I became involved in the Whitcher family Cemetery sometime around 2005-2006 and immediately became drawn into the story. I don’t rightly know why, it sometimes feels likes a possession, but soon after beginning to learn about the poor Whitcher family it didn’t take much to figure out the reasons. The father’s name was Thomas Rose Whitcher. He came from England by way of Canada and made his way to California. I don’t have the time to go into the soap opera which the Whicher family became, but prior to writing their story I was interested in the tombstone of Mary Pearson who, as you know came to have her stone rest by amongst the Whitchers.
I began searching to discover why, since her death was in 1935. I soon found that her life ended by a drunk driver where the Community Hospital used to be, and that she was a schoolteacher. Her sister had also been a schoolteacher and had been driving the car and a young girl had been with her that terrible day. Both the sister and young girl had lived.
Later on I received the death certificates of both sisters and found that Mary had been buried in Mission Memorial Cemetery. I went down to Mission Memorial to discover what I could and the funeral people didn’t know anything about it, even saying that they weren’t a cemetery at that time. But I knew that wasn’t true because the death certificate said where she where she was buried. So then I started calling around to the oldest cemeteries and found Mary at Centerio El Encinal, which means Cemetery of Many Oaks. Mary’s body had been actually moved from Mission Memorial to Cemeterio El Encinal July 31, 1945 by her sister Martha Rose, the one who was driving the car when Mary was hit by the drunk driver. Both Martha and her husband George Rose are buried in Mission Memorial.
As I’ve tried to figure over why this may have happened, my best guess is that the married sister’s name of Thomas Rose Whitcher is Elizabeth Pearson, perhaps someone got the last name confused as a relative who belonged there. But as I read this over the Rose middle name of Thomas and last name of George and Martha are rather odd too. There is no explanation for that. As I come to think of it, Elizabeth Pearson’s middle name may very well have been Rose. Still, it prove nothing, because Mary H. Pearson is buried in Centerio El Encinal, or Cemetery of Many Oaks. I’ve gone to her grave site more than one and spoken to the man who oversee the graves. So, rest in peace Mary. You’ve been buried more than once and that’s one time too many. I hope she has eternal peace. But her stone doesn’t belong in with the Whitchers. It’s for bodies, and there is no body resting beneath Mary H. Pearson’s gravestone.