Verna (Shunk) Pearson
1930 - 2020
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Verna Shunk Pearson was born on June 22, 1930 in Woodinville to Anna Grace Calkins and Henry Newberg. Verna grew up in Woodinville and attended Woodinville grade school and Bothell High School before moving with her family to Lebanon, Oregon in 1947. She graduated from Lebanon Union High School in 1948. After graduation, she moved back to Seattle in 1949 and worked and went to night school until she married Jack F. Shunk in 1950. She moved to Upper Preston in 1952 and lived there until she succumbed to diffuse large B cell lymphoma on May 7, 2020.

A gifted artist, community leader, and an avid gardener, she was a lifetime member of the North American Rock Garden Society, Alpine Garden Society of England, and Bothell High School Alumni Association. She also belonged to the Washington Park Arboretum, American Rhododendron Society, American Daffodil Society, Eastside Republican Club and more. She was a wonderful wife and mother, the kind who created a home so warm, welcoming and fun that all the neighborhood kids wanted to hang out there. Her eyes crinkled when she laughed, she made the best gravy, she bought herself chainsaws for her birthday, and she gave terrific hugs. She was fiercely independent but devoted to her friends, her family, Judge Judy and her beautiful two-acre garden, which she cultivated for almost seventy years. Her optimism and self-reliance allowed her to bloom wherever life planted her.

Verna is preceded in death by her first husband, Jack F. Shunk (1977), and her second husband, Fritz P. Pearson (2002). She is survived by her children Belinda (Craig) Rone of Tacoma, Laura (Neil) Shorney of Ballarat, Australia, Edward (Cara) Shunk of Eastsound; her brothers Richard (Sharon) Newberg of Willimina, Oregon, Chuck (Kathy) Newberg of Snohomish, Frank (Jaye) Newberg of Sedro Wooley; her sisters Anna (Bob) Couture of Monroe, Betty Schmitz of Ridgefield, Sharon Stripe of Seattle, and Janet Young of Sultan; her stepchildren Elizabeth (Bill) Schlicting of Forks, Jeanne (Ben) Ray of Olympia, and Phil (Kitty) Pearson of High Point; five grandchildren; seven great grandchildren; and a multitude of extended family members who considered her to be their grandmother.

She will be greatly missed by all who had the good fortune to know her. A celebration of her incredible life will be held when the COVID-19 situation allows.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The Seattle Times from Jun. 9 to Jun. 30, 2020.
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