Pearlie Rivas, 87

Pearlie Rivas, age 87, passed away, October 11, 2021, peacefully in her sleep. She was born in Vienna, Missouri, on September 22, 1934, to parents, Garrett & Maude Eads. As a young lady, she became a member of St Mary’s Catholic Church when her family moved to Oak Ridge in the late 1940s. Pearlie graduated from the University of Tennessee with a bachelor’s degree in engineering, which led to a 27-year long career at General Electric. Pearlie was a dedicated member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Oak Ridge and even taught briefly at St. Mary’s School. She enjoyed serving as a eucharist minister, Fall Festival chairwoman, member of the Catholic Women’s Club, Garden Guild, Arts & Crafts Guild, and Bereavement Guild, and volunteer at the White Elephant Thrift Store and ministry center office. As a novice artist, Pearlie also used her talents and skills to serve the church by creating alter banners and Fall Festival signs. In addition to Pearlie’s commitment to St. Mary’s Catholic Church, she was also an active member of the Boy Scouts. She received their distinguished Silver Fawn Award for her contributions to the organization. Pearlie’s love of her family and her community did not come to an end with her death.

She was preceded in death by her sons, Mitchell and Larry Rivas; and brother, Sonny Eads.

Survivors include daughter, Valarie Rivas, and husband, Phillip Walker; granddaughter, Natalie Hiestand and husband, Josh; grandson, Nathan Wilder; great-grandchildren, Maxwell Hiestand, Elijah Kirby, Layla Kirby, Zyah McPherson, and Kyle McPherson; sister, Millie Abner; and several nieces and nephews. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Pearlie’s memory to St. Mary’s Catholic School at or 223 Vermont Avenue, Oak Ridge, TN 37830.

Funeral arrangements will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Oak Ridge from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm on Friday, October 15, 2021. Memorial service will follow at 3:00 pm at St. Mary’s Catholic Church. A private family inurnment will be held at Anderson Memorial Gardens. Online guestbook is available at

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