Gladys I. Pearson, longtime resident of Pleasanton and beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and host mother passed away on December 29, 2017 at the age of 87.

On Aug. 23, 1949 she married Richard (Dick) King Pearson, ND, where Gladys finished her degree and worked as an accountant. The family moved to Pennsylvania where Dick alternately worked to support the growing family and went to Penn State to earn his PhD in chemistry, moving several times. By 1955 the family was complete with Diane, Nancy, David and Marjorie.

In 1958 the family moved to Pleasanton, CA where Gladys lived until her passing. She raised the family, helping with all the children’s activities as 4-H leader, chauffeur and musical coach. She was an excellent seamstress and an active member and Financial Secretary of the First Presbyterian Church of Pleasanton for many years. Gladys was also a volunteer for the local Youth For Understanding program, interviewing families and placing students locally. All of those YFU students knew they could talk to her about whatever was on their minds and she loved learning from them as well. She was ‘mom’ not only to her biological children, but also to numerous exchange students through the YFU program. Her ‘adopted’ children included Gloria Herrera-Narvaez from Chile, Erich Mohr from Germany, Hakan Dalvag from Sweden, Koenraad De Smedt from Belgium and Volker Knappertz from Germany. These exceptional students stayed with the family for six months to a year and continued to keep in contact with their beloved American mom.

Donations in memory of Gladys will go towards setting up a scholarship fund for high school students to participate in a YFU exchange program for years to come.