Pearl Jamieson Pillon passed away peacefully at the age of 94 on June 28, 2021, at Brookdale West Lake Village in Westlake Ohio. She was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1926 to Charles and Susanna Jamieson. She is survived by Jeffrey and Diane (Kachman) Pillon of East Lansing MI, Charles Pillon and Stephanie Cook of Millersport OH, Mark and Jeanne Pillon of Columbia Station and John Pillon of Naples Florida. She had four grandchildren Amy, Jeffrey, and Kimberly (Pillon) Pasky, and Guy Pillon son of Craig and Gail, and two Great Grandchildren, Autumn and Hailey Pasky. She was preceded in death by her husband Charles in 1974, daughter Nancy in 2016, and son Craig in 2020.
Pearl dreamed of becoming a pilot as a young girl. In the summer of 1945, she went to a local airfield in Redford Township, near Detroit, Michigan, and signed up for classes. She earned her pilot's license in October 1946. Pearl flew both a Taylorcraft airplane and a Stearman open-cockpit bi-plane and did acrobatic maneuvers for fun. After obtaining her pilot’s license she became a member of Amelia Earhart’s “Ninety Niners” an organization of women pilots. Shortly after Pearl became a pilot, the Goodyear Blimp was operating out of a local airfield. The crew heard about this young woman pilot and invited her on board to take over the controls and fly the Goodyear Blimp.
Pearl Jamieson grew up in the Detroit area with her two sisters Dorothy and Eileen and a brother John and graduated from Redford Union high school. Her family move to Seattle, Washington when her father went to work for Boeing as a process engineer following World War II. Pearl stayed in Seattle for a little while and worked in Operations at the Naval Air Station in Seattle, Washington before returning to Detroit.
Pearl married Charles Pillon in 1950, who went to work for Ford Motor Company, and they settled in Allen Park, MI. Pearl noticed there were no preschool classes in the Church they attended, and parents and their young children often had to just sit in a "cry room". So, in 1956 she took it upon herself to develop a Catholic preschool program with a fellow educator at her parish. This program evolved into the National Catholic Preschool Association, and she wrote ten books on establishing and teaching preschool programs for the Catholic Archdioceses that were used by teachers, children, and parents in 48 States and 20 foreign countries.
In 1972, Pearl's husband, Charles, was promoted by Ford to a Governmental Affairs Manager for the mid-Atlantic region and the family moved to Pennington, New Jersey, near Princeton. In 1974, Charles passed away; leaving Pearl to raise five teenage children on her own (Her son Jeff was attending Michigan State University).
After her husband’s death in 1974, she went to work for the Township and Borough of Princeton as the Regional Planning Board as Administrator and Assistant Planning Director. Princeton has very strict zoning requirements and the Planning Board’s is responsible for and preserving historic buildings and the architectural integrity of the town.
One of Pearl's greatest passions was her cottage. In 1938, Pearl's mother-in-law built a beach house as she called it, in Leamington, Ontario near Point Pelee which she left it to the Pillon family. Pearl loved the cottage and cherished her time there. The Pillon family would spend most of their summers at the cottage and as time went by, Pearl continued to visit the cottage after retiring to Naples, Florida in 1993. For 20 years she would spend her winter months in Naples and her summer months at the cottage, and in-between, road-tripping to see her children in various states on her way to and from the cottage and Naples.
In another of her life’s adventure Pearl met Pope John Paul II on June 6, 1997, while spending a month at a close family friend's Villa in Italy. She also traveled to Scotland with her sister Dorothy visiting the town where her father was from before the family moved to the U.S. when he was a boy. Pearl had a good long and productive life and will be missed by her family and friends.
Friends may call on Thursday July 1 from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. at the Baker, Osinski, Kensinger Funeral Home 206 Front St. Berea, Ohio. Interment will be at the Ewing Cemetery in New Jersey.
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