Laura Marie Pearson, a nurse, lawyer, and resident of Mills River, North Carolina passed away on September 11th, 2022 at the age of 75 at Elizabeth House Hospice Center in Flat Rock, North Carolina.
Laura is survived by her two children, Laura Rose McNeely and Jack Pearson, her sister Cathy Johannes-Noble, her son-in-law Cameron McNeely, and her granddaughter Laura Grace McNeely.
Laura was born in New York City on January 22nd, 1947 and lived on the lower east side of Manhattan before moving into her childhood home in Bellerose, a neighborhood in Queens, with her two parents Laura “Dolly” Johannes and John “Henney” Johannes and her two sisters Cathy and Barbara. She met her husband, John Pearson, in middle school and they never looked back. He always said he knew the moment he saw her that they would marry, and they lived the kind of love story you see in movies but so rarely in real life. She also LOVED the Beatles and spent much of her teenage years following them around, often waiting outside hotels where they were staying to catch a glimpse, and even once sneaking onto a tarmac to greet them as they landed in New York.
Laura was born to be in medicine, and at 18 she went to nursing school to pursue her calling. Upon graduation, she quickly made a name for herself at Long Island Jewish Hospital in Queens, rising to assistant head nurse of the MICU and eventually head nurse of the ER. She practiced nursing for over 30 years and served as a medical advisor for family and countless friends throughout her life.
She married John on December 28th, 1967, and the two had a fairytale partnership. “Ducks for life” is what she would often say. They lived in New York together until 1980 when John was offered a partner position at a law firm in Miami. They moved to Key Biscayne, Florida and spent the remainder of their years together there.
As a continuation of her need to serve, Laura became a lawyer herself, graduating from St. Johns Law School in 1981. She applied her medical knowledge to medical malpractice cases including a case involving the Warsaw Convention that eventually went to the Supreme Court, a fact she loved to remind her children of.
She and John decided to adopt, and in 1985 brought home Laura Rose, and in 1986, Jack. She was a devoted and loving mother. A devout Catholic, Laura and a few close friends started a Catholic pre-school at St. Agnes on Key Biscayne where her children ultimately attended pre-school, elementary, and middle school.
Even in retirement Laura continued her life of service, volunteering her time and expertise working with different non-profit and Catholic organizations such as American Legion, Respect Life, and the Alpha-1 Foundation.
In 2020, Laura moved to Mills River, North Carolina to be closer to family and was able to spend her final years living with her daughter Laura, her son-in-law Cameron McNeely, and her granddaughter Laura Grace McNeely. Her many friends and family will miss her wit, wonderful sense of humor, unquenchable thirst for knowledge, her silliness, and her unique ability to make fun of herself. She was a loyal and loving friend, and an amazing daughter, sister, wife, mother, Godmother, and nana. While we are sad she is gone, we are so happy she is finally reunited with her “duck” John.
In lieu of flowers please send donations to the Alpha-1 Foundation, Shake-A-Leg Miami, or Four Seasons Hospice.
Published by Legacy on Sep. 17, 2022.