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Dr. Elaine Pearson died peacefully in the arms of her daughter Steph on Thursday. Born June 25, 1935 in Sanford, MI to Russell and D. Lucille Hubbard, she was an educator (and yet always a scholar), a poet, an artist and a passionate defender of those who could not advocate for themselves, be they two-footed or four-footed. Never afraid to pursue her dreams, she returned to school to complete her education as an adult and attained her bachelor’s degree in Education, followed by her Master’s degree and her PhD in Urban Education – at the age of 60. She touched the lives of hundreds of students over the course of her career, using her brilliant mind to search out myriads of ways to help them learn and succeed.

On top of her amazing career accomplishments and while surviving overwhelming personal obstacles, most of all she was loving mother, grandmother and great-grandmother and her family meant everything to her. She leaves to cherish her memory her daughter Stephanie (Steve) Benner, who filled her life with love and kindness until the very end, and her daughter Nancy (Bob) Castaneda, granddaughter Amber (Lane) Parker, grandson Ian (Kelly) Forbes, great-granddaughter Jessa Janelle, grandson Steven (Sara) Benner, great-grandson Adam and great-granddaughter Aubrey, grandson Jason (Kristi) Barrett and great-grandsons Nolan and Pierce. Also missing her are her four-footed babies, Valentine and Aurora, and many other family members and friends. She was preceded in death by her sister, Ardith, dear friends Marcelo Pantig, Jr. and Mark Allen, and her parents.

A Memorial Reception will be held today from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Preservation Hall, 740 Lake Avenue. Memorials to the Humane Society, Defenders of Wildlife or to World Wildlife Fund have been suggested.

Please send condolences to Maresh-Meredith & Acklam Funeral Home.