Reta Mae Clodfelter Pearson

Friday, April 28, 2023

In her 85 years, Reta Mae Clodfelter Pearson brought a lot of joy to her family and friends through food. Whenever her grandkids were coming, she’d spend a week baking – zucchini bread, sugar cream pies, peach and raspberry cobblers. Reta was an old-style country cook and proud of it. She learned from the best, her mom, Madonna Clodfelter. Too bad Reta’s skills didn’t transfer to her kids, Jeff and Lisa. Neither cares a hoot about cooking or baking.

But Reta’s kids did learn other valuable things from her — the importance of hard work, of setting goals and persisting to achieve them, of being honest and keeping your word, of voting in every election.

Although Reta’s dad, Willard Clodfelter, saved to send Reta to college, she chose not to attend. She went to work after graduating from Bainbridge High School in 1955. How she loved attending the annual Bainbridge and Clinton Center alumni banquets. Reta started work at IBM, stayed home when the kids were young and retired from the state Division of Family Resources after 28 years. Reta always expected Jeff and Lisa to go to college and was proud that both have degrees and careers that fulfill them.

If you think Reta could brag about her kids, just wait until she got going about her four grandkids – Josh, Caleb, Jaki and Wyn. Look out if she had new snapshots of them in her purse. And Reta was known for her really big purses. You’d be held up in the grocery checkout until Reta showed you every new photo. How she loved photos of her family; that was her favorite gift. Family photos and covered bridge pictures filled the walls of Reta’s home. The first of Reta’s five great-grandchildren arrived shortly before her dementia set in. Although she couldn’t remember their names, she loved seeing photos of them.

Reta is reunited with her second husband, Dallas Pearson; her parents; and her many cat and dog kids.

Special thanks to Ann and her memory care team at Lincoln Hills in New Albany for loving Reta and giving her such compassionate care in her last year.

In Reta’s memory, her family invites you to play cards with friends, work a jigsaw puzzle, dig in the garden, buy a pair of shoes you don’t need, play croquet, savor being waited on in a restaurant (Reta loved to be waited on), admire a “Stargazer” lily, hunt for morel mushrooms, enjoy a bowl of oyster stew (hold the raw oysters) or sip a Diet Coke.

Family and friends can visit Reta’s family at Bittles & Hurt Funeral Home from 11 a.m. until time of service on Friday, May 5. Services will be held at 1 p.m. on Friday with Pastor Karl Sparks officiating. Burial will follow in Clinton Falls Cemetery. Wear your Western boots or a sparkly sweatshirt.

Memorial donations may be made to Clinton Falls Community Church or Clinton Falls Cemetery.

Memories may be shared with the family at