Mary Jane Barlow Pearson

Honored by:The Pearson Family
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The family of Mary Jane Barlow Pearson wishes to honor this outstanding woman, wife, mother, grandmother and community volunteer. Mary Jane was born in Buffalo, New York on July 25, 1933. Both of her parents were Iowa Staters. Her mother, Dorothy Dannatt Barlow Farr, was enrolled at Iowa State from 1926 to 1929. Her father, Henry Wallace Barlow, graduated from Iowa State with honors in chemistry in 1926.

Mary Jane graduated from Davenport High School in 1950. She attended Iowa State from 1950 to 1954 and graduated in 1954 with a major in mathematics and minors in statistics and education. Besides being an excellent student, she was involved in numerous extracurricular activities. These included band, Veishea, Vodvil Committee, Science Council and Kappa Delta social sorority, serving as their Veishea float chairman and rush chairman. Her honors consisted of a Layne Wells Scholarship, charter member of Lampos, and Pi Mu Epsilon.

Following graduation, Mary Jane married Phillip T. Pearson on August 28, 1954. While her husband continued his education, Mary Jane worked at the Ames Laboratory at Iowa State as a research technician. In 1956, Mary Jane and Phil moved to Boston for 15 months and Mary Jane worked for the Aeronautical Engineering Department at M.I.T. in a computation center. In 1957, Mary Jane and Phil returned to Iowa State and Mary Jane's role as a mother started on July 20, 1958, with the birth of Jane Catherine.

Jane followed her grandparents and parents and became an Iowa Stater. She graduated with distinction from Iowa State in 1980 with a double major in child development and elementary education. In 1981, Jane married Perry A. Beeman, also an Iowa State graduate. They have two children, Scott Matthew and Joel Thomas.

Mary Jane's role as a mother continued to expand with the births of Bryan Theodore on February 20, 1961; Todd Wallace on July 20, 1965, and Julie Ann on January 30, 1968. Bryan married Kim L. Janovec in 1988 and they have one daughter, Morgan Elizabeth. Todd married Cora B. Willhoft in 1988 and they have one son, Erik Thor. Julie married Joel L. Utterback in 1991. These three children and their spouses are all graduates of The University of Iowa.

With Mary Jane's tender love and care, the four children have grown up to be outstanding individuals and they are all very fortunate to have wonderful spouses. Mary Jane is a very loving and proud grandmother to her four grandchildren. Mary Jane has been a very loving and supportive wife for over 40 years. She was a very capable and helpful partner for Phil in carrying out the responsibilities of dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State for 17 years.

In addition to her family duties, Mary Jane has devoted much time and effort to volunteer activities in the Ames community. A few of these many activities are corporation board chairman and treasurer of Sigma Sigma chapter of Kappa Delta, president of Faculty Women's Club, president of Chapter KR of P.E.O. Sisterhood, Worldly Goods volunteer, Bethesda Lutheran Church Council and office volunteer.

These are only a few of the reasons why Mary Jane's family feels she deserves to be honored in the Plaza of Heroines at Iowa State University. With the early death of her father, she was raised in a single-parent family at a time when that was not a very common family situation. She realizes the importance of education for women and this has always been very important to her. We love and appreciate her very much.