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In Memoriam Lois Carolyn Pearson

October 7, 2010

Photograph of Lois Pearson Lois Carolyn Pearson, age 88, former Associate Dean of Drexel University’s Nesbitt College of Design Arts, died peacefully on Thursday, October 7, 2010, at the Shannondell retirement community, in Audubon, PA. Formerly of Devon, PA, Lois was born on May 6, 1922, in Jim Thorpe, PA to the late Walter C. Helman and the late Ilda M. Helman (nee Felsburg). 

A graduate of Mansfield University (B. S.) and Drexel University (M. S.), Dean Pearson began her academic career in what was then known as Drexel’s College of Design Arts, first as a graduate assistant and then moving through the ranks to full Professor.  She served as Department Head of the Department of Human Behavior and Development (1976-1984) and then as Associate Dean of Nesbitt College of Design Arts (1984 – 1989). 

As Associate Dean, Lois Pearson served as the advisor for graduate home economics coursework and for the Kappa Omicron Nu honor society; and assisted with development of new academic programs including the Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management major. She advocated strongly for early childhood education, which led to a grant of over $1 million to the Drexel Early Childhood Center in 1975, where she served as Executive Director. Earlier in her Drexel career she was the supervisor of student teachers in the College of Home Economics Education where she would place and observe about twenty student teachers each term, in high schools across the Delaware Valley.  Lois Pearson was more than a teacher to her students; she was a valuable mentor, career advisor and in many cases a lifelong friend.  On many occasions, Lois Pearson would share her home, her hospitality and her family traditions with visiting foreign students during holidays. 

Her honors and awards included the 1967 Recipient of the Distinguished Educator Award from Mansfield University; the World Who's Who of Women in Education; Who's Who of American Women; Kappa Omicron Nu, National Home Economics Honor Society; Certified Home Economist (C. H. E.) by the American Home Economics Association; and the Legion of Honor, Chapel of the Four Chaplains in Philadelphia.   She was a charter member of Les Dames d’Escoffier in both the international and Philadelphia chapters.

Friends are invited to attend a memorial service on Saturday, October 16, 2010 at 11 AM at The Church of the Good Samaritan, 212 West Lancaster Ave., Paoli, Pa 19301. The interment will follow immediately after the memorial service on the Church grounds. Memorial gifts may be made to The Lois Pearson Endowed Scholarship Fund, in her name, for the Antoinette Westphal College of Media Arts & Design at Drexel University. Checks should be made payable to Drexel University-the Lois Pearson Endowed Scholarship Fund and sent to Drexel University, PO Box 8215, Philadelphia, PA 19101.

Lois’ beloved husband, William Pearson, of Devon, PA, to whom she was married for 45 years, preceded her in death. Her son Robert Pearson also preceded her in death. Survivors are two sons, William Pearson II and wife, Ruth, of Potomac Falls, Virginia; Albert Pearson and Cindy, of Radnor, PA; five grandchildren; and her brother Robert Helman and wife, Joan, of Bethlehem, PA.