Helen Louise Speight Pearson was born on July 1, 1930 in Farnwood, Arkansas, to Walter Speight Sr. and Arilla Bean Speight. She departed this world on Dec. 17, 2021.

Helen graduated from Central High School in 1949 in Lake Village, Ark. During her senior year she was a student-athlete on the state championship-winning girls basketball team. Helen then moved to Chicago and attended Kennedy-King College and later the Conservatory of Music.

Helen always had a thirst for knowledge and encouraged others to do the same. She was an educator with Chicago Public Schools for over 30 years, shaping young minds and supporting families. She also became a delegate for the Chicago Teachers Union, fighting for labor rights for teacher assistants and the campaign of Jacqueline B. Vaughn, the first African American and the first woman to serve as the union's president.

Through this taste of civic engagement, Helen expanded her community work with the N.A.A.C.P., serving on the Chicago Southside Branch Executive Board and M.V. John A. Bell Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M. Grand Chapter O.E.S.

She also established her relationship with God at an early age at the Woodson M.B. Church in Lake Village, and continued her walk with God at Liberty Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. A.P. Jackson, joined the Sanctuary Choir and remained a member until she passed.

Helen was preceded in death by her husband Frank Pearson, her parents Walter and Arilla Speight, and siblings Rev. Charley Speight, Frank, Louis, Walter, Timothy, and John Speight, Idale Brown, Nancy Davis, Hazel Trigleth and Arilla Woods. She leaves to cherish her memories sister Vicki L. Ballard, and sister-in-law Velma Speight of Washington D.C., a host of nephews, nieces, cousins, and friends.

Services will be held Wednesday, Dec. 29, at Leak & Sons Funeral Home, 7838 S. Cottage Grove Ave. Wake at 10 a.m. and services at 11 a.m.

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