Cover photo for Dr. Lou Ethel Duckworth Pearson's Obituary
Dr. Lou Ethel Duckworth Pearson Profile Photo

Dr. Lou Ethel Duckworth Pearson

March 5, 1934 — January 24, 2024

Lou Ethel Duckworth Pearson was born March 5, 1934 to Louise and George Duckworth in Bay Springs. Mississippi. When Lou Ethel was a very young girl, her mother moved with her children to Steelton, Pennsylvania. While Steelton was a small community where "everybody knows everybody", and George Pearson and Lou lived within a mile of each other, but they never formally 'met' until one summer day in 1949. A deep interest developed, and they were married on September 27, 1950, in Hagerstown, Maryland.

A little more than a year into their marriage, George enlisted in the United States Air Force. Following his completion of basic training at Sampson Air Force Base, New York, Lou accompanied him to Kelly Air Force Base, San Antonio, Texas where they spent four years and five months. In 1963 the Pearson's were blessed to become parents to their nieces Barbara, Betty and Georgianna. Upon separation from the Air Force, George and Lou moved with their three girls, Georgianna, Betty and Barbara to Huntsville, Alabama, where George enrolled at Oakwood College to pursue a ministerial degree, which he achieved in 1959. They then moved to Washington, D. C., where George enrolled in Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan and received the Master of Arts Degree. Lou was awarded the honorary degree PHT (Putting Hubby Through).

At this juncture, Lou began her educational pursuits by enrolling at District of Columbia University, Washington, D. C., while George taught in the Secondary Division of the Dupont Park Seventh-day Adventist School. In September 1962, George and Lou accepted a call to the South Central Conference, and were relocated to Greenville, Mississippi. Lou continued her studies at Mississippi Valley State University, where she received the BS Degree in Natural Science. Lou then joined her husband in Hattiesburg, MS, where he had been transferred several months before her graduation and secured a teaching position at the Mattie W. Jones School at Richton, Mississippi, where she taught mathematics. In the following years, George and Lou served in the Knoxville, TN and Montgomery, AL districts, and as ABC Manager and Departmental Director in the South Central Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. During the time of this service, George and Lou accepted pastoral assignments on different occasions at Riverside, Hillcrest, and New Life Seventh-day Adventist Churches in Nashville and Springfield, Tennessee. On two occasions they served as interim pastoral liaisons at Lima Drive Church in Lexington, Kentucky. Their last pastoral assignment was at Calvary Church in Campbellsville, Kentucky, which brought the total number of churches pastored to 22. During the years since their service in South Central Conference began, Lou achieved the amazing feat of completing five other degrees – Master of Science from Tuskegee University, BSN and BS from Tennessee State University, and MPH and Dr.PH from Loma Linda University, Loma Linda California. Additionally, Lou did extensive study at more than twelve other colleges and Universities. Having taught in the public schools of Knoxville, TN and Montgomery, AL, Lou later served in such areas as Cancer Research, Health Education and Promotion and Community Services at various institutions including Meharry Medical College in Nashville and the Thompson Cancer Survival Center, Knoxville, TN. Lou retired from the Tennessee Department of Public Health in June 2000. Dr. Lou was an avid bowler, bingo enthusiast, and a phenomenal Scrabble player.

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