Pearl Cooling, 99, of Cedar Rapids, passed away Aug. 30, 2018, surrounded by her daughter and grandchildren. A private family service will be held. Stewart Baxter Funeral & Memorial Services, Cedar Rapids, is caring for Pearl and her family.
Survivors include her daughter, Penny Preston; grandchildren, Jamie (Mark) Moran of Galena, Ill., and Matt (Tamera) Preston of Cedar Rapids; great-grandchildren, Tyler, Kate, Hunter and Emma; and sister, Mickey Cessna, of Cedar Falls.
Pearl Sarah Larson was born May 3, 1919, in Nevada, Iowa, to Peter and Severie (Hawskins) Larson. She graduated from Nevada High School in 1937 and eventually moved to Cedar Rapids to work at Wilson's meat packing plant as a comptometer, an early mechanical calculator operator. Pearl worked in Chicago and in Nevada, Iowa, during World War II. Later, she baby-sat several children for numerous years. Pearl never obtained her driver's license, but was a constant bus customer. She enjoyed eating out with friends and family, and was a frequent enough guest at Chi-Chi's in Cedar Rapids that they placed a nameplate for her and friend, Alma, in their usual spot. She also enjoyed dancing at the various dance halls previously found in town.
Pearl was proud to have lived on her own, even requesting a new push mower for her 93rd birthday, which she would feign difficulty starting until a passer-by would start it for her. At 96, she moved to Living Center West, where she received excellent and compassionate care from the staff and Chaplain Deb Black. She avoided writing notes, would remember all of her appointments and would do any necessary math in her head until recently.
She was preceded in death by her parents; sisters, Viola and Darlene; and son-in-law, Gary.
Please share your support and memories with Pearl's family on her tribute wall at www.stewartbaxter.com under obituaries.