AUBURN — Elaine Panna Pearce, 67, of Auburn, passed away peacefully at home on Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, surrounded by her family.
She was born in Auburn on Feb. 19, 1951, as the daughter of the late Charles Panna and Stella Piwinski. Elaine graduated from Mount Carmel High School and secretarial school in Boston, Mass. She later returned to Auburn to marry the late Bert B. Pearce in November 1973. Within a couple of years, the devoted pair became a family. Soon after, Elaine was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She immediately began to fight for her dream to overcome every challenge so her family could continue to grow. No matter it be a dance recital, baseball/softball/basketball game, cross country/track/gymnastic meet, or cheer competition, Elaine was always there as the biggest and brightest supporter. Elaine continued her journey at Mercy Rehabilitation Center with her love for sports as an avid Syracuse Orange and Boston Red Sox fan. On game day, she was found dressed in her apparel and intently watching every play.
Determined to prove that she would overcome any challenge, Elaine journeyed back home to be with those she loved the most, her family. Every single day Elaine shined a smile albeit her knowing that some were unable to see or believe in her courage and stealthy demeanor of experiencing life via spending her last year on great adventures (an SU game, Lake George); but the ones that meant the most to her were a 1st birthday party, dance recital, football/basketball/lacrosse games, and most importantly holidays with family. Those who knew Elaine admired her for her strength, angelic presence, and heroism. She did it all, beat all odds, and overcame every challenge with a smile.
Elaine is survived by her loving children, Jaclyn (Derek LeClair), Timothy (Kristen), and Kristyna (Jonathan Geherin), all local, and Melissa (Craig) Flynn, of Pennsylvania; her grandchildren, Doryn and Damyn LeClair, Carissa and Corinne Flynn, Elsie and Juna Pearce; a brother, Joseph Panna; brother-in-law, Robert (Linda) Pearce; sister-in-law, Karen Pearce; nephews, Jerry Panna, Michael Marciano, Sean, Rob, Kevin, and Michael Pearce; her favorite niece, Patricia (Anthony) Marciano; and her very special godson, Anthony Marciano.
Elaine was also predeceased by her brother, Jerry and sister-in-law, Phyllis Panna; brother-in-law, Albert; and in-laws, Herbert Pearce, Marjorie Pearce Rowoth, and Olin Rowoth.
Friends and family may visit from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 30, at White Chapel Funeral Home, Inc., 197 South St., Auburn. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday in Holy Family Church, Auburn, followed by a burial in St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Auburn.
In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Elaine Pearce may be made with a smile to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.