Jean Faye Pearthree, a 25-year resident of Durango, died Tuesday, March 9, 2021 at home in Durango. She was 1 1/2 months short of her 99th birthday. Jean lived in many places across the upper Midwest and the East during her life, but she felt truly blessed to spend the last part of her life in an area of exceptional beauty with kind and caring people.
Jean Pearthree was born April 22, 1922, in Hibbing, Minn., the first of 6 children of Clarence and Mildred Rutter. Her father was a railroad station master and they moved frequently within Minnesota and Wisconsin while she was growing up during the Great Depression. She graduated from McGregor (Minn.) High School and then attended business college in Duluth. She married Murray Pearthree on December 19, 1942.
Jean was active in church and philanthropic organizations throughout her life. She was a member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood for 56 years, serving as the President of the New Jersey State Chapter in 1988-89. She was deeply involved in the First United Methodist (now Summit) Church of Durango. She was part of the group that established the Methodist Christian School (now the Summit Early Learning Center), volunteered for many years as a cashier at the Methodist Thrift Store, and had great friends in the Joy in the Morning and Crafty Ladies groups.
Jean was a multi-talented artist and craftsperson. She began building bed frames as a teenager to help support her family and she built beautiful wooden furniture through much of her life. She loved wood carving and was a prolific painter. She loved to paint western landscapes and most recently she focused on painting the birds of Colorado. Her family cherishes her various creations, and she contributed many unique artistic objects to the fall bazaar. She was an excellent cook and baker, specializing in pies and cookies.
Jean was a loving wife, mother, and grandmother. She is survived by her three children, Linda McLaughlin of Durango, Vicki (Charles) Raeburn of New York, and Philip (Marie) Pearthree of Tucson and Durango; five grandchildren, four great-grandchildren, and her beloved dog Molly. She was preceded in death by her husband, 3 sisters and a brother.
A memorial service at the Summit Church is tentatively planned for Saturday, June 12. We suggest that any memorial contributions in Jean's memory be made to the La Plata County Humane Society or the P.E.O. Foundation.
Published in Pine River Times on Apr. 21, 2021.