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California Genealogy and History Archives


San Bernardino County


Jane Sheldon Pearson 

May 26, 1919 - March 8, 2012

Awake! For Morning in the Bowl of Night

Has flung the Stone that puts the Stars to Flight:

And Lo! The Hunter of the East has caught

The Sultan’s turret in a Noose of Light

The Rubayyat of Omar Khayyam

Jane joined the “Hunter of the East” on March 8 at the age of 92. She lived a long, fulfilling life devoted to children, family, country, dear friends, literature and Frank Sinatra.

Jane was born in South Pasadena to Alice and Charles Sheldon. She attended school there and kept in touch with many of her classmates throughout her life. Her love of literature, especially "The Rubayyat," was fostered in the halls of South Pasadena High School. She graduated in 1937 and went on to attend UCLA where she joined the Chi Omega sorority, studied education, and received her teaching credential. Jane was hired by a UCLA sponsored education program in Etiwanda, Calif., and served as principal of the elementary school during World War II.

In Etiwanda, she met a handsome sailor, Bill Pearson, who courted her on the back of his motorcycle and swept her off her feet on the dance floor. They were married in 1945. Jane cherished the years in Etiwanda where she raised her daughters, Nancy and Cindy, amongst the orange and lemon groves. The family moved to Big Bear where Jane taught at North Shore Elementary from 1964-1986. After retirement, Jane supervised student teachers at Cal State San Bernardino for the Bear Valley Unified School District.

Jane’s last years were spent in Del Mar near her eldest daughter, Nancy, who visited her daily and provided entertainment and unfailing companionship. Her other daughter, Cindy, supplied fodder for lively discussions on politics, books and current events. Jane also lived near her sister, Nancy Moore, whom she considered her very best friend. The two Sheldon sisters were known to break into song at the slightest reference to “Frankie” and spent many a moment recounting childhood memories.

Jane is survived by daughters Nancy T. Johnson (Arthur) of San Diego and Cynthia P. Gates (Bill) of Pacific Grove; three grandchildren, Jill Talley, Christopher Gates and Sophie Gates; her sister Nancy Sheldon Moore; and her four precious nieces, Jaimie, Martha, Rae and Shelley. She was predeceased by her husband, William George Pearson, in 1990.

The family requests memorial contributions to the Big Bear High School Education Foundation, which provides college scholarships for local students.

"Big Bear Grizzly" Posted: Wednesday, March 28, 2012 1:43 pm | Updated: 1:46 pm, Wed Mar 28, 2012

Submitted by: Peggy Hooper