It is with great sadness that the Diocese of Leeds announces the death yesterday evening, Wednesday 29 April, of Fr Anthony Pearson, aged 88, Please remember his sister, Barbara, and his family and friends in your prayers at this time. Fr Pearson’s funeral will take place in Ilkley on the morning of Friday 15 May when Bishop Marcus will conduct a graveside service. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated for Fr Pearson at a later date.
Eternal Rest grant to him O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him, May he rest in peace. Amen.
Fr Anthony Pearson RIP
Edward Anthony Pearson was born on 22 January 1932. He was educated at St Bede’s Grammar School in Bradford before commencing his training for the priesthood. Initially he studied philosophy at Maynooth in Ireland and then transferred to Ushaw College in County Durham to study theology. He was ordained at Leeds Cathedral on 29 June 1957.
After ordination Fr Pearson embarked on further studies at Cambridge University, which he completed in 1961. In that year he joined the staff of Ushaw College, where he remained until 1972.
Fr Pearson returned to the Diocese in 1972 to take up appointment as Administrator of the parish of St Walburga, Shipley. The following year Bishop Wheeler appointed him as Parish Priest of the Holy Name in Leeds, a post he held for the next twenty-one years. In 1994, at the request of Bishop Konstant, he became the Parish Priest of the Sacred Heart, Ilkley. He retired from the Sacred Heart in the summer of 2007,when he chose to stay living in Ilkley. He was happy to remain in the town and his former parishioners were happy to have him still in their midst.
Fr Tony’s later years were marked by periods of ill-health and shortly after Easter he was diagnosed with an aggressive form of Leukaemia. His health deteriorated very quickly, and he died at the Manorlands Hospice in Keighley on the evening of Wednesday 29 April.
It will be a source of great regret to his brother priests and his former parishioners that they will not be able to attend Fr Tony’s funeral, to pray for the repose of his soul and to pay their own respects to an unassuming man who was a dedicated Parish Priest and a faithful servant of the Bishops and People of the Diocese of Leeds for more than sixty years.
May He Rest in Peace