Sharon Pearson, age 79 of Sac City, IA, passed away on Tuesday, November 22, 2022, at Park View Rehabilitation Center in Sac City, where she resided most recently due to Alzheimer’s Disease. Sharon Elaine Gardiner was born on October 23, 1943, to adoptive parents John and Zoa (Shreve) Gardiner in Takoma Park, MD. They were unable to have children so adopting and raising Sherry brought great joy to their lives. Sharon grew up with her family in Pasadena, CA, where she attended school. She always enjoyed watching The Rose Parade in person growing up. She grew up as a member of the Seventh-Day Adventist Church and always had a deep-rooted, strong faith in the Lord. Sharon attended secretarial college after graduating high school and put her skills to great use after moving to Sac City where she worked for the Sac County Sheriff’s Office as a meter maid.
Sharon was blessed with three children: Joyce, Elizabeth, and Kenneth, Jr. She adored her family and cherished all time spent with them. Sharon stayed home to raise her children for many years before returning to work. She worked for Noble Manufacturing in Sac City in the accounting department until the company closed its doors. After that, Sharon worked for Citizen’s Insurance Agency in Sac City before going back to school to get her nursing degree in 1996. She and her daughter Elizabeth attended Iowa Central Community College together, both obtaining their Associate’s Degrees in Nursing. Sharon passed the Iowa Board Exam and began working as an RN at St. Anthony Nursing Home in Carroll, IA, for nearly fifteen years before she retired at the age of 65 in 2008.
Sharon was an excellent seamstress and made a lot of her girls' clothes when they were little. She used her mother Zoa’s Singer sewing machine, a treasured item of hers for sure. She was sure to keep it in good working condition, often looking far and wide for new parts to repair when needed. Sharon passed the sewing machine down to her daughter making her promise to always take great care of it. She also enjoyed needlework, crocheting afghans, scarves, slippers, and mittens, and quilting. Back when Cabbage Patch Dolls were really popular, she designed and made her own version of them. She made a doll for each of her grandchildren that came with its own adoption papers.
Sharon spent countless hours searching for her birth parents. She wrote letters and made phone calls to anyone and everyone she could think of that could possibly lead her in the right direction. This quest went on for decades before she was finally successful in finding her mother and several half-siblings with the help of the internet and DNA ancestry sites.
She loved being outdoors, gardening, and going on walks. Sharon always adored any time spent with her family and friends. She also enjoyed annual fishing trips with her husband Don’s siblings to Minnesota. She liked decorating for every holiday, but especially at Christmastime. Sharon had many pets over the years. Dogs, cats, and a “special” rooster named King Charlie who really didn’t like her or any other female for that matter. Imagine seeing Sharon running around the yard with a broom in her hand screaming as Charlie chased her! While not funny at the time, later on, it always made for a good story. She always had bird feeders scattered around the yard and the location of their home along the Raccoon River meant many birds as well as other wildlife ‘visitors’. She especially liked seeing the cardinals eating from the feeders in the winter.
After losing her husband of thirty-eight years, Don Zimmerman, she later remarried an old classmate of hers, Martin Pearson. They had ten wonderful years together enjoying trips to the Clay County Fair, going to the movies, and traveling several times each year to Branson, MO, during the spring and again at Christmastime, enjoying the wonderful music and entertainment the area has to offer.
She will be missed dearly by all of her family and friends.
Left to cherish her memory include her children, Joyce Callesto of Georgia, Elizabeth (Kelly) Laursen of Sac City, IA, and Kenny Jr. (Julia) Earnest of Des Moines, IA; eight grandchildren; two great-grandchildren and another one on the way; four stepchildren: David (Jean) Zimmerman of Emmetsburg, IA, Donna (Paul) Jesse of Storm Lake, IA, Terry (Kim) Zimmerman of Storm Lake, IA, and Tammy (Doug) Andersen of Cedar Falls, IA; ten step-grandchildren; many step-great-grandchildren; many nieces, nephews, other extended family members, and friends. Sharon had four marriages so had a huge blended family, which she loved very much.
Sharon was preceded in death by her parents, John and Zoa Gardiner; both birth parents and several half-siblings; former spouse Robert K. Petersen (CA); former spouse Kenneth Earnest, Sr. (IA); spouse of thirty-eight years, Donald L. Zimmerman; and spouse of ten years, Martin Pearson.