Hard working and resourceful are just two of the words that could be used to describe Pearl Arnetta (Gobert) Stephen. Born to Albert and Mary (Kaufman) Gobert and the middle child of three, Pearl attended school at SS #6 on Grey Road 3. As a child, she enjoyed playing football (or soccer as we know it) at any recess she could. After completing Grade 8, Pearl soon met her future husband Harry at a cousin’s house. He was 18 and Pearl was 15. Together they continued spending more and more time together attending socials and dances. They were married Wednesday, September 6, 1939 at Pearl’s home. In marrying Pearl, Harry had to promise to join Faith Lutheran Church in Desboro. Being the trustworthy fellow that he was, Harry did indeed join Pearl’s church. Her faith was important to Pearl and she lived out her life being a faithful servant. Having been baptized into the wider family of God, Pearl was confirmed in 1934. She thus took on the responsibility for her own faith as an adult of the congregation, fully accepting the teachings of Martin Luther – Grace alone, Faith alone, Scripture alone.
Between the years of 1941 and 1955, six boys were born to Pearl and Harry; Roger, Howard, Alvin, Robert, Harold and Grant. Preferring to work outside, Pearl had acres of strawberries and a large garden with lots of fruits and vegetables, with not a dandelion successfully living nearby. Hydro was purchased in 1949 for the family home with Pearl’s egg and babysitting monies. Pearl also enjoyed curling with Harry and was a proud member and supporter of the Community Club in Keady.
Pearl was a great cook and loved hosting people, especially for solo and euchre parties. Being the athlete she was, Pearl also enjoyed playing crokinole and shuffle board. Never working outside the home for a paycheque, Pearl kept exceptionally busy at home. She quilted, sewed, and baked pies, bread and buns. Personally, her favourite dessert was anything with Boston Cream in it – pies or donuts. Funny thing though, Pearl never really liked pie crusts but loved the fillings! If you were to join her for a coffee, watch the sugar, as she would often mention that sugar ruins the coffee!
Despite her determination and ingenuity Pearl never did get her driver’s license. Perhaps that is because Pearl did not like to stray far from home. In fact, Harry went to Ireland without her as she did not like the idea of having to fly. Maybe it is just as well Pearl didn’t travel much as she also disliked having her picture taken, although she did enjoy taking the pictures.
Not having a daughter of her own, Pearl deeply loved her daughters-in-law. She was such a thoughtful mother-in-law that she chose to celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve after church so that her daughters-in-law could spend Christmas Day with their mothers.
Wanting to have a “big funeral” Pearl teasingly told her daughter-in-law Ruth to make sure she phoned a lot of people. Regrettably, by the time one is 95, there are not a lot of friends to invite. Pearl Arnetta Stephen of R.R. #2 Desboro, passed away at Lee Manor, Owen Sound on Sunday, October 25, 2015 in her 96th year. Pearl leaves to grieve her loss: Roger, Howard (Donna McCraken), Alvin (Pat Wood), Robert, Harold (Ruth) and Grant, as well as 19 grandchildren and 32 great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by husband Harry, her daughters-in-law Rubbie and Margaret, great-grandson Brent, siblings Etta Carroll and Percy (Evelyn) Gobert and Harry’s siblings, Alexander (Alma) Stephen, John (Betty) Stephen, Vivian (Adolf) Schopf, Vera (Bill ) Lettau and Donald Coleman.
Visitation will be held at Rhody Family Funeral Home, Chesley on Wednesday from 2 – 4 and 7 – 9 p.m. A funeral service celebrating Pearl’s life will be held at Faith Lutheran Church, Desboro on Thursday, October 29, 2015 at 2 p.m. Interment in Faith Lutheran Cemetery, Desboro.
Memorial donations to Lutheran Hour, Faith Lutheran Church or the charity of your choice would be appreciated as expressions of sympathy.