You shall love the LORD you God with all you heart, with all you soul, and with all your strength. And these words, which I command you today, shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise.
Deuteronomy 6: 5-7
“Anyone can follow a path, but only a leader can blaze one. That’s often not easy. If you are a leader, a lot of people depend on you:
Family and friends need leaders who model purpose-driven lives.
Children need leaders who help them reach their potential.
Churches need leaders who chart the course and equip the saints.
Communities need leaders who create a better place to live.
Leaders are meant to help others become the people God created them to be.”
These two passages describe the servant leader approach to life of Mary June Willis Pearce, who left her earthly family to unite with her eternal One on December 27, 2019. She was born on June 21, 1930 in West Frankfort, Illinois to the late Fred Willis and Marge Dillard. She moved to Corpus Christi in 1948 where she married her beloved husband and best friend Marshal W. Pearce, who fought a long battle with cancer and helped to strengthen June’s relationship with the Lord through the faith of knowing that God is ever present.
With great love and total devotion, June raised and nurtured her children, Marsha Kay James (Tommy) of Jackson, Mississippi and Gary Blaine Pearce (Debbie) of Corpus Christi, Texas. Her grandchildren and great grandchildren, Greg James (Fiona), Kimberly Norvell (Charles), Kristi Winford (John), Brad Pearce (Frances) and Aiyana James, Sterling James, Jack Norvell, Lorraine Norvell, and Pearce Winford, were precious in her sight and a part of her heart. June is survived by her sister, Donnie Howat (John) of Pittsburg, Illinois, brother, Don Willis (Carol) of Fairhope, Alabama and niece, Carol Kikkert (Michael) of Naples, Florida.
June was a member of First Christian Church where she was an Elder Emeritus, on the Board of Trustees, on the Evangelism and Outreach Ministry Team, chair of the Family Food Ministry and a Pastoral Care chairperson. In addition, she participated in the Elder Shepherding Ministry, was a member of the Boar’s Head Yule Log Guild for 25 years, helped establish the Pearce Sunday school class where she was a teacher, was on the Scholarship Fund Board for the Christian foundation of Corpus Christi, was a member of the Permanent Endowment Fund Board for the church, helped to plan and execute weddings too numerous to count, worked in concert with the Church Pastor to provide counseling and comfort as a funeral coordinator, was the inspiration for the “Junebug” award, greeter of Corpus Christi Women’s Bible Study, an officer of the Disciple’s Women’s Ministry, was a girl scout leader, a little league baseball organizer and a mentor for students at Wilson Elementary School. The list of church committees, good deeds and recognitions are endless just like her love, affection and mentoring spirit that was shared with everyone who crossed her path. June did not seek acknowledgement or thanks for her efforts. She just quietly helped anyone in need. Her humble dedication is summed up with the following verse and quote:
Love one another deeply from the heart.
1 Peter 1:22
“Love is an attribute of God. To love others is evidence of genuine faith.”
June lived a life that was a reflection of God’s love, an instrument of His will and a testament to a life well lived through Christian faith, wisdom and service. The ripple effect of her boundless energy, generosity and grace-filled journey will live on through multiple generations.
On her 80th birthday, it was recounted that a friend once said, “When I grow up, I want to be “A Junebug.” “A Junebug” says it all, because she defined it by who she was and the life she lived, the kind of life that all of us want to live…hopeful, courageous, generous, committed, determined, humble, welcoming, honest, thoughtful, compassionate, faithful and loving.
For “A Junebug,” everyday is a gift that should be cherished, lived to the fullest and “grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ . . . (2 Peter 3:18).
A service celebrating the life of June will be held Saturday, January 4, 2020 at 2:00 PM at First Christian Church on Santa Fe.
For those desiring, memorials may be made to the Scholarship Fund of the First Christian Church Foundation.