Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Pearl I. Brown

Pearl I. Brown, age 106 years, a resident of rural Vienna, passed away Friday evening, January 4, 2019, at 11:30 PM at Hillview Health Care Center in Vienna.

Pearl was born July 10, 1912 near Tunnel Hill.  She was the third of seven children born to Allen S. and Sarah A. (Newby) Vinson.

In 1931, Pearl was united in marriage to William “Bill” Preston Brown at Tunnel Hill.  He preceded her in death on January 15, 1993.  Together, Bill and Pearl enjoyed over 62 years of marriage.

Pearl is survived by: a brother – James Allen Vinson of Georgetown, Texas; a daughter-in-law – Lora Brown of Vienna; 2 step grandchildren – Rick Staton and Ann Staton Goins; as well as a host of nieces, nephews, other relatives and many dear friends and neighbors.

In addition to her parents and husband, Pearl was preceded in death by her son – Bennie R. Brown in 1997; a grandson – Miles Preston Brown; 4 sisters – Blanche Harris, Mary Vinson, Ruby Mae Rainbolt and Erma June Vinson; and a brother – Frank Vinson.

Pearl was a graduate of Tunnel Hill Grade School and attended Vienna High School.

Pearl was a farmer at heart.  Three years after Pearl and Bill were married, they purchased a 175 acre farm.  To help meet expenses, Pearl picked and sold wild blackberries and took on other odd jobs to help out until the debt was paid offin only one and a half years.  During the 1940’s, the family owned and operated Farmer’s Café in Vienna on two different occasions.  Pearl recalled that they sold hamburgers for fifteen cents each. For thirteen years, Pearl worked for Glen Taylor at the Vienna Hatchery where she “dressed chickens and a little bit of everything else” she later recalled. Pearl also served as the activities director at the Hillview Health Care Center for a time.

Pearl reminisced that they received electricity in their home in 1952.  In 1953, the family purchased an RCA television for their enjoyment as well as the enjoyment of friends and neighbors.  The original TV antenna which was mounted on the family farm home in 1953 is still in place to this day.

Pearl was baptized at the Tunnel Hill United Methodist Church. In later years, she worshiped at the Mount Olive Community Church, the Tunnel Hill Pentecostal Church, which Pearl fondly remembered was referred to as the “Little Red Church” and also at the Cedar Grove church near Buncombe.

A funeral service honoring the life of Pearl Brown will be conducted Tuesday morning, January 8, 2019, at 11 AM at Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna. Pastor Pete Vinson, one of Pearl’s nephews, will conduct the service.

Burial will be in the Graves Cemetery north of Vienna.

Visitation will be conducted Monday evening, January 7, 2019, from 5 PM to 8 PM at Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna.

Memorials may be made to the Graves Cemetery, c/o Ethel Odum, 5325 Dutchman Lake Road, Tunnel Hill, IL 62972.

To share a memory of Pearl or to leave an online message of condolence for her family, please visit

Arrangements have been entrusted to Bailey Funeral Home in Vienna.

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