A FORMER Motherwell woman has died at a nursing home in Aberdeen just weeks after celebrating her 100th birthday.
Mary Pearson was born in Martin Place, Gavin Street, in February 1913, the youngest of four children of John and Jean Weir.
Her father ran a grocery business in Motherwell and was also clerk to the deacons’ court of Clason Memorial Church from 1908 until his sudden death in 1914, when Mary was just over a year old.
To support Mary and her siblings Belle, James and Bruce, mother Jean taught elocution privately from their home in Leven Street.
Mrs Weir became a well-respected teacher and worked until she was 86. She died in 1974 aged 96.
Mary and her sister, Belle, followed in their mother’s footsteps, qualifying as elocution teachers.
With their mother they regularly entered pupils successfully in national examinations, local competitions and festivals in Glasgow. They also produced many concert parties in the Motherwell area.
Belle also worked in Glasgow and was the first female comptometer operator in Scotland.
It was while she was working at ICI that Mary met her late husband, scientist Gavin Pearson. They married in 1944 and later moved north to Gavin’s home city of Aberdeen where he took up a teaching post.
After their children, James and Jean, were born, Mary established Weir School of Speech and Drama in Aberdeen.
She was the Aberdeen area representative for the London Guildhall School of Music and Drama until she retired from teaching aged 80.
For many years she was a voluntary worker for the Aberdeen branch of the National Savings Committee for Scotland and in 1975 was honoured with the MBE for her services to the movement.
Mary’s brothers were founder members of Dalziel High School Former Pupils’ football team.
Her nephew Drew and his wife, May, who live in Motherwell, travelled to Aberdeen for his aunt’s 100th birthday.
Mrs Pearson is survived by her daughter, Jean, a doctor in Lancaster, and three grandchildren.
Sadly, Mary’s son, James, died of a blood disorder in 1960 at the age of 14.