Floral 22

Pearlie L. Pitts

September 4, 2022
Obituary Image


  Pearlie Lee (Coaston) Pitts, 93, of Thorndyke Street, and formerly of Maynard Street, Springfield, Massachusetts, departed this life on Sunday, September 4, 2022, at CareOne at Redstone in East Longmeadow, Massachusetts.  Born in Allentown, Georgia, she was a daughter of Alfred Coaston and Clara (Mathis) Coaston.  

  A graduate of Hudson High School in Macon, Georgia, she received a degree from the former National Business College in Nashville, Tennessee.  She moved to Springfield in 1953 and began working for the Springfield Water Department.  She then worked as a teaching assistant at the Early Childhood Education Center, which motivated her to pursue an Early Childhood Education degree from Springfield Technical Community College.

  A seventy-year resident of Springfield, Mrs. Pitts worked for 35 years as an Administrator for the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in the Child Psychology Department's satellite location in Springfield until her retirement.  She had been a member of First Central Bible Church, Bethlehem Baptist Church, Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, and she also loved joining her friends in worship and Bible studies at the Pioneer Valley Baptist Church. 

She devoted a lifetime to the Lord and to music.  She sang with the Bethel A.M.E. Senior Choir and First Central Bible Church choir for several years.


  Pearlie created and led the Nursing Home Ministry at First Central for nearly 30 years. Numerous Chapin Terrace Nursing Home residents were blessed by the volunteers she organized to minister through music, messages, and the “comfort” stuffed toys donated by local businesses that resulted from the partnerships she established.  On special holidays, she and volunteers distributed these items to the residents along with the handmade cards she lovingly crafted.  

  Pearlie had local and national media presence: she, along with her late daughter Tawnya and Tawnya’s former husband Randy, appeared on the popular Sally Jesse Raphael Show; was featured in the daily newspaper with her early morning walking group, “The Dawn Brigade;” and coverage when a major storm downed a huge tree in her backyard – missing her house by mere inches.  

  Pearlie was also a quiet advocate for equity and social justice and volunteered for many years as a poll worker.  She received numerous accolades and awards from local, state, and congressional elected officials.

A woman of style, elegance, and grace, she led an active life, walking two miles daily until she was nearly 91.

  She was pre-deceased by her parents, her former husband, Marcus N. Pitts Jr., a daughter, Tawnya T. Pitts-Jones, a grandson Ryan L. Jones, five sisters, Alice Lee, Tessie Lee, Rosa Lee, Verna Bell, and Dorothy Girtman, and two brothers, Daniel and Andrew.  Mrs. Pitts is survived by three children, Gary L. Colston Sr., Marsha Rose Pitts-Phillips (and husband, Earle, Sr.), and Marcus N. Pitts, III (and wife, Jocelyn);  11 grandchildren, Gary L. Colston Jr. (and Kyra), Alice Marie Colston, Anneesah Colston, Randyl L. Jones Jr., Rodney L. Jones, Amaris Rose Phillips, Samuel A. Phillips, Jarreau L. Pitts (and Andrea), Trevor J. Pitts, and Lamar K. Pitts;  a step-grandson, Earle Phillips, Jr. (and Shannon);  and her beloved Godson Bayete' Ross Smith; and several great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews, dear friends, and other loved ones to mourn her loss. 

The calling hour is 9:30-11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 13, 2022, at First Central Bible Church, 50 Broad Street, Chicopee, Massachusetts, followed by a celebration of life at 11. 

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Alzheimers Association of MA and NH, 309 Waverley Oaks Rd, Waltham, MA 02452, or The Dementia Society of America, PO Box 600, Doylestown, PA 18901.

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September 13, 2022

9:30 AM
First Central Bible Church
50 Broad St
Chicopee, MA 01020

Celebration of Life
September 13, 2022

11:00 AM
First Central Bible Church
50 Broad St
Chicopee, MA 01020

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