Catholic 05

Maureen T. (Pearl) Harris

December 28, 1928 ~ December 23, 2019 (age 90)



Topeka—Maureen T. (Pearl) Harris, 90, passed away Monday, December 23, 2019

at Aldersgate Village in Topeka.

She was born December 28, 1928, on a farm in the Sandy Hook community, the daughter of Thomas M. and Florence G. (Doyle) Pearl.  She was raised in Sandy Hook and attended grade school at The James School in rural Rossville.  Maureen graduated from Immaculate Conception Catholic High School in St. Marys and in 1950, attained a nursing degree from The College of St. Theresa, School of Nursing in Kansas City, MO. 

After graduation, Maureen continued her nursing studies, and worked as an R.N. for three years in St. Louis, MO, where she met Richard J. Howes.  They were married in St. Marys, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church on February 7, 1953., and she relocated to his family’s area near Boston, MA

While in New England, she attended evening classes and learned the art of cake decorating.  Her home there had hollyhocks and a large pear tree, reminding her of her home growing up in Kansas.  She lived in Boston for 23 years, where she loved and enjoyed her family.  Richard preceded her in death in 1986.

Maureen moved back to Kansas, and worked as a nurse at the Topeka State Hospital, Menninger’s Clinic, the United Methodist Home, and as a private duty nurse until retirement.  In retirement, she enjoyed senior’s programs, gardening, and her friends, and family.  Her church community was very much a part of her life.  She was a member of Holy Name Catholic Church in Topeka, and the Daughters of Isabella Little Flower Circle, also in Topeka.

In 1999, after a long friendship, she married Charles W. Harris at Council Grove.  Maureen and Charlie spent time attending veterans’ programs, travelling, and playing Bingo.  She loved planting and attending to the flowers around their home each year.  Charles preceded her in death in 2009.  Her niece, Ann Dobson, assisted Maureen selflessly, in the years following Charlies’ passing.  Maureen was also preceded in death by her parents, a brother James B. “JB” Pearl; a sister, Marjorie Guerich; sons, Kevin and Michael Howes.

Survivors include her son, Robert “Bob” Howes and his daughter, Serena, Marlborough, MA; her daughter, Mary Howes Basham, Topeka; brothers, Robert L. Pearl, Parma Heights, OH. and Gerald “Jerry” Pearl, St. Marys; her sister, Sister Virginia Pearl, CSJ, Concordia; sister-in-law, Dorothy Eileen Pearl, St. George; many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:00 A.M. Saturday, January 4, 2020, at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in St. Marys.  Interment will be in Mt. Calvary Cemetery, St. Marys.  Mrs. Harris will lie in state and the family will receive friends from 9:00 until the D of I Rosary at 9:40 A.M. Saturday, January 4, 2020.  Memorial contributions may be made to Sunshine Connection, and sent c/o Piper Funeral Home, 714 Maple Street, St. Marys, Kansas 66536.  To leave online condolences go to

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Maureen T. (Pearl) Harris, please visit our floral store.


Public Visitation
January 4, 2020

9:00 AM to 9:40 AM
Immaculate Conception Catholic Church (St. Marys)

January 4, 2020

9:40 AM
Immaculate Conception Catholic Church (St. Marys)

Mass of Christian Burial
January 4, 2020

10:00 AM
Immaculate Conception Catholic Church (St. Marys)

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