Elsie Janis Pearson

Elsie Janis Pearson

BERNE — Elsie Janis Willsey Pearson was a joyful person who was always willing to help others. She died on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018, at the Daughters of Sarah Nursing Center in Albany. She was 92.

Mrs. Pearson was born in Albany on Aug. 7, 1926, to the late Archie and Ella Warner Willsey and lived in Berne for her entire life. She attended Berne-Knox-Westerlo Central School and worked in the cafeteria there for several years.

Mrs. Pearson would later work for many years as a baker at Bryant’s Market in South Westerlo and continued in the Greenville store before retiring at age 70.

Mrs. Pearson met her husband, Everett Pearson, later in life while working in the bakery, said her brother-in-law, Philip Pearson. Everett Pearson was living in South Westerlo at the time that Mrs. Pearson was working there. Their 25-year marriage ended only ending with her husband’s death, said Mr. Pearson.

“She was just so pleasant and outgoing and gregarious,” he said, noting that she loved to spend time with her extended family.

Mrs. Pearson was “very much a helping person,” he said.

She was devoted to her religion, first as a member of the United Methodist Church of Greenville and Norton Hill and later, when she could not travel as easily, as a member of the Helderberg Lutheran Church in Berne. She was also a member of United Methodist Women and volunteered in the Elliot House Thrift Shop at the Methodist Church. She was also a life member of the Westerlo Volunteer Fire Company.

“She was just a very happy person … ,” said Mr. Pearson. “We miss her; we miss very dearly.”


Mrs. Pearson is survived by her brother-in-law, Philip (Laura Lee) Pearson; nieces and nephews, Philip Jr. (Daphane) Pearson and their children, Jessica and Taylor; Laurie (Marc) Nickford and their children, Alison and Sarah; Beth Pearson (James Wallace) and her children, Alex and Hannah; Christopher (Ashlie) Pearson and his children, Kameron, Victoria, and Elizabeth; and Timothy Stadler.

Her husband, Everett A. Pearson, died before her, on March 3, 2005. Her parents, Archie and Ella Warner Willsey, also died before her, as did her brother, Morris Willsey.

In a tribute to Mrs. Pearson, her family offers their gratitude to Jay and Shanna Becker and their children, Aurora, Benjamin, and Lucas; and to Maver and Maryann Becker, “for the friendship and care they gave to Janis.”

Calling hours were held on Nov. 27 at the A.J. Cunningham Funeral Home in Greenville. The funeral will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 28, at 11 a.m. at the Helderberg Lutheran Church at 1728 Helderberg Trail in Berne. A burial in Medusa Cemetery will take place in the spring.

Mourners may leave condolences online at ajcunninghamfh.com.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Daughters of Sarah Nursing Center, 180 Washington Avenue Extension, Albany, NY 12203, or to the Helderberg Ambulance Squad, 978 Cole Hill Road, East Berne, NY 12059.

— H. Rose Schneider

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