Kathleen Janell Pearl was known as Kathy, Mom, Mother Pearl, Gram, LaLa, Graces Gram, beautiful sister Kathy, Aunt Kathy, Kat, friend … the list can go on. Our beautiful Kathy went to be with the Lord on January 8, 2024, holding her daughter Teresa’s hand.

Born Kathleen Janell Timm in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 15, 1943. For the first three years of her life, Kathleen was raised by her mother and her grandparents, Grandma and Grandpa Holmes, whom she loved very dearly. Kathleen’s father was stationed in India as a drill sergeant for one of the last remaining calvaries in the army during WW2 during the first few years of her life. While he was away, her mom worked part-time with the war effort while her parents helped raise Kathleen. After Kathleen’s father returned from India in 1946, Kathleen‘s family moved to Southern California. This is where they eventually bought their first home in West Covina in 1950, on Vine Street. Kathleen grew up helping her father tirelessly tend to the orange trees on this property. She also often helped take care of her younger siblings, Patty, Bill, and Susan. While in West Covina, Kathleen met her lifelong best friend, Donna Gaynos. And to her last day, Kathy and Donna referred to themselves as sisters. As kids, the two used to walk back and forth on Vine Street where they lived across from one another, enjoying each others company.

Growing up and in school, some of the activities that Kathy enjoyed the most were speech and debate, singing and acting in the theater, swimming, and playing dress-up. When she was in high school, she met Willie Ray Clifton who soon became her sweetheart, and proceeded to get engaged to him the day before graduating high school. She graduated from West Covina High in the class of 1961. She was lucky enough to not only have one love of her life but two. Willie Ray Clifton and Charles James Pearl whom she met after being set up by a friend. From these romances, she had numerous beautiful children that she raised. She was a loving mother to Cindy, Scott, Katherine, James, Kimberly, Charles, Suzanna, and her youngest daughter Teresa. And from there, a multitude of beautiful grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren, continued to carry on Kathleen’s family legacy.

Kathy permanently moved up to Eureka in 1983. For numerous years she ran an in-home board and care home along with raising and taking care of her family. But as Kathy grew older, she resided with her daughter, Teresa, and granddaughter Grace, for the remaining decades of her life in Humboldt County.

Kathleen had several careers during her life. She worked as a car hop waitress, go-go dancer, bartender, office manager for plumbing and Roto-Rooter company, worked at the senior resource center, Sears Roebuck, volunteered for the American Cancer Society, was an in-home caregiving manager and caregiver, worked in a candy shoppe, sold Avon, provided respite care, did board and care services, volunteered in her granddaughters classroom, was an ordained minister, and was known to be psychic and extremely clairvoyant. But her most important job of all was being a mother and a homemaker. She always loved kids, especially babies, and had so much love in her heart while helping take care of young ones and watching them grow.

Kathy’s door was always open, to both her friends and family. She never met a stranger, talking to people as if she had known them for years while wearing a huge smile on her face. Kathy loved to garden and share conspiracy theories and her thoughts about alien intelligence. Cooking was one of her passions, having the ability to whip something out of nothing and still make it taste delicious. The bearer of the most amazing hugs you would ever receive, she used to always say on phone calls to loved ones, “Take your right hand and put it over your left shoulder, your left hand and put it over your right shoulder, and give a big squeeze! That’s a big bear hug from me to you!” She also had what we called a “Timm” sense of humor. And don’t you dare forget about her prominent Facebook account, where she would communicate with people daily, sharing love and kindness with all who would listen, especially those who she considered her “prayer warriors.”

She is preceded in death by her loving grandparents, Pete and Clara Holmes, her parents Harold and Eleanor Timm, her daughters Cindy and Kimberly, her daughter-in-law Veronica Jo, her grandson Buddy Fife, Marti Fletcher, and numerous others, all greeting her on the other side as she made her transition. Heaven truly gained another angel when Kathy stepped through its doors. Donations in place of flowers may be made to the American Cancer Society in Eureka or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in Humboldt County.

A celebration of life will be held Saturday, February 3, 2024, 1-3 p.m. It will be a potluck, so bring your favorite dish. The Wharfinger Building. 1 Marina Way Eureka CA 95501.


The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Kathleen Pearl’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here.