Lillian Ida “Pat” Pearson, 84, died of pneumonia on June 17, exactly 41 years to the day of her dad’s (Carroll R. Noble) death. Her mother, Christina Ann Clementsen Noble, daughter of the first sheriff of Pinedale, and brother, Carroll L. “Mike” Noble, also preceded her in death. Pat leaves behind her husband, Alvin “Ben” Pearson and the sparkplugs in the Pearson’s life – their four daughters and families – Cris (Rudy) Paravicini with son John and wife Emily; Mary Bluemel with son Toby; Patty (J.R.) Johnson with son Ben and daughter Jamie; Teresa (John) Shenefelt with son Joe and daughter Cindi and husband Drew; great-grandchildren, Riley, Dana and little Shaylee; and two brothers and families, James “Jim” Noble and Richard R. “Dick” Noble.
Grannie Pat Pearson was born Dec. 23, 1929 in Rock Springs. She was reared on the Noble family ranch and attended the Cora and Pinedale schools. She completed her registered nursing degree at DePaul School of Nursing in Pueblo, Colo. In 1951, Pat married a young Sublette County cowboy, Benny Pearson, of Big Piney. The couple worked at the Noble ranch for the next six years, and in 1957, more than half a century ago, the couple pulled up roots in the Cora Valley and journeyed over the sagebrush hills in a horse-drawn wagon to the Daniel Valley, where they purchased the homestead of Sublette County’s first doctor, the Dr. John Montrose Place, including the historic site of old Fort
On this old ranch, Pat, Ben and their family forged a fair living and have grown to be as much a part of the beautiful Valley of the Green as its sage and pine, cottonwoods and clover and all the creatures that also call this land home. Noteworthy to mention, their cattle herd is proudly considered to be the oldest, continuous, straight Black Angus herd in Wyoming.
As a small girl, Pat became an accomplished horsewoman, riding her dear, old horse, Frank, to the Cora country school two miles from the Noble homestead. She always drove a spunky little rake team, Pal and Cheyenne, in the hayfield, and over the many years, she helped to move cows to better feed. But, especially, Grannie always got a twinkle in her eye whenever someone challenged her to a good, old-fashioned horserace.
Grannie’s “Annie Oakley” marksmanship was admired far and wide. She could bring in an antelope or venison steak or stop a skunk, fox or other varmint dead in its tracks with one shot. In her later years, she especially enjoyed shooting the most awesome of family photo treasures.
Despite all brands of weather, she was always first to offer her help with the outdoor work like running night shifts during calving time or branding calves and vaccinating cows. Gram always said that her nursing background came in handy whenever a caesarian section was needed or a sick critter or young’un needed tending. And she never tired of being the ranch’s parts runner, medic, general “gopher,” chief cook and bottle washer.
Gram loved her wild, untamed yard - her lilacs, honeysuckles, gooseberries and Poppa’s rhubarb were her pride and joy. She loved her big, towering pine tree near her house; insisted on feeding hot dogs to her barn cats and ranch dogs; tossed out special birdseed to her doves each day; and mixed up a “just right” sugary red syrup for her beloved hummingbirds.
Pat’s social life was somewhat limited due to the hectic, oft times, unpredictable nature of ranching. Still, she was a friend and confidante to everyone who needed a kind ear and was always willing to volunteer her services regardless of the occasion.
As a very proud and patriotic American – loyal to God, country and the flag, Pat was a 60-year, lifetime member of the American Legion Auxiliary; she contributed to community benefits, bake sales and fundraisers and, for several years, served as an election judge for the Daniel precinct. She was especially supportive of Sublette County’s youth and encouraged positive attitudes and goals in academics, sports and life in general.
Always willing to share her warmth, friendship and stories of rural life, Pat was, for many years, a special organizer of the Pinedale kindergarten’s annual spring field trip and hay ride at the Pearson ranch, where she loved answering questions about ranch life, showed off her antique collection and served her delicious sugar cookies and punch to complete a perfect day.
In Sublette County, the sport of rodeo and the reenactment of the Green River Rendezvous exist in part due to Pat’s and her family’s early participation. Additionally, she was an avid supporter of chariot and cutter racing when it was popular in this area. In fact, Pat and Benny were among a handful of racers, who under extreme weather conditions, chose to run their ranch saddle horses through a swirl of chocolate mud and dangerous ice when many teams pulled out of the first Shriner’s Cutter Race in Jackson Hole. Their selfless efforts made possible the chance for this now annual benefit to continue. To this day, “the cutters still run, that a child might walk.”
So, folks, if you’ve ever stopped by the Pearson ranch, you always knew that the coffee pot would be merrily bubbling along, and you would find Grannie Pat in the kitchen either baking a cherry pie or making her famous raisin-nut filled cookies, biscuits or cinnamon rolls, and at the same time, happily playing games with her grandkids. She always said that she had no plans for retirement as she preferred the ranch woman’s adventuresome way-of-life to any other pursuit which she could dream. She stayed true to her passion until the end.
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