Pearl Joyce Turpin, wife, sister, daughter, mother and “Grammy,” hat aficionada, purveyor of books, collector of unique objects, and loving friend to all that knew her, passed from this life at home, surrounded by her loving family, on Thanksgiving night, Nov. 27 at the age of 77.
Born on Oct. 26, 1937 in Denison, Texas, Pearl was the fourth of eight children. Pearl began her career in the credit industry at age 18, when she took a job at a medical collections agency as a secretary. When she saw that medical collectors made more money than she did, she promptly told her boss she would do that instead. What her boss didn’t realize was that every endeavor Pearl undertook, she pursued with great passion. Thus began an impressive career that spanned five decades.
In 1962, Pearl moved to Montrose where she continued working in medical collections. During this period, on a New Year’s Eve she met Peterfield Burleigh Turpin, an artist, and the man who’d become her husband. He coerced her to join him at a party in Pasadena, and invited her to his sister’s home the following afternoon. From that day forward, they were inseparable. Pearl and Peterfield wed in 1967 and one year later their daughter Isabelle was born. They brought her home from the hospital to their new home in Sparr Heights where they maintained residence ever since.
With Pearl’s passion for books, it was natural that she opened a bookstore in Montrose for a short time to ensure she had ample reading material while she also continued to work in credit and collections. Pearl’s distinguished career in the credit and collection industry earned her the reputation as being a leading expert in that field. During her career she was the owner and manager of various collection agencies, as well as a consultant and professional speaker. She was an active leader in Credit Professionals International and consulted for the Attorney General’s Task Force, Senate Advisory Commission on Debt Collection, and California Association of Collectors. Pearl sat on many boards including the Consumer Credit Counseling Service/ByDesign of Los Angeles while also devoting time to family and participating in Camp Fire Girls activities with her daughter Isabelle. With the arrival of her grandson Brighton in 1999, Pearl retired so that she was free to seek out new adventures with her beloved husband, daughter and grandson.
Through the years Pearl enjoyed volunteering for the Salvation Army, Huntington Hospital Blood Donor Center, and other organizations, including those that helped at-risk youth. She was a collector, nature-lover, tea drinker and hat-wearing woman of great wit and wisdom.
She is survived by her husband Peterfield; daughter Isabelle; grandson Brighton; brother George; and sisters Marye Kathryn, Mabel Virginia, Ella Beth and Sarah Louise, along with many loving nieces and nephews. A celebration of Pearl’s life will take place at Descanso Gardens on Sunday, Dec. 14.