Pearl Estep

Published 1:43 pm Tuesday, April 2, 2024

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Pearl Estep of Asheboro, N.C., formerly of Johnson City, Tenn., entered into the joy of her Lord on Monday, April 1, 2024. She was 96 years old.

Born Pearl Edith Carden on August 12, 1927, she was the first child of Paul and Maude Hyder Carden. She grew up in the Horseshoe community of Watauga Lake with her three younger sisters in a loving family that shaped her life. 

Pearl was a member of Immanuel Baptist Church of Elizabethton, Tenn., for 64 years, where she was active in the Women’s Missionary Union and taught children in Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. She loved children and listened to them with respect and compassion, as she did with everyone else. She was a loving teacher and example to her own children and grandchildren.

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Pearl claimed she always hated to cook. She certainly fooled us. She was famous for her cornbread, her meatloaf, her sour cream and potato casserole, her black forest cake, and, oh my, her roast beef. She cheered up her sister Lona by regular deliveries of her coconut pies. She dealt with a stubborn friend who was also her heat pump contractor but would never charge her for repairs by paying him off with her strawberry pies.

She was loved by everyone and loved everyone, especially her parents, sisters, children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and the love of her life, Clyde Buck Estep, to whom she was married for 71 years.

In addition to her parents and husband, she was predeceased by her sisters, Marie Carden, Nyla Reece Pierce and Lona Malone; a son-in-law, Jim Ludolf; two brothers-in-law, Paul Malone and Jess Pierce; a sister-in-law, Jean Schretter; a nephew, Terry Malone; and by a dear friend, Georgie Scott.

She is survived by two daughters, Faye Ludolf of Asheboro, N.C., and Vicky White of Oak Ridge, Tenn.; one son-in-law, Lee White of Elizabethton, Tenn.; four grandchildren, Steve Ludolf and wife Michelle of Clemmons, N.C., Kate Kerekes and husband Ryan of Oak Ridge, Tenn., Mar White and partner Caitie Lustig of Seattle, Wash., and Molly White of Seattle, Wash.; six great-grandchildren, Sarah Ludolf, Zoe Grace Ludolf, Pearl Ludolf, Patrick Kerekes, Neven Kerekes and Trevor Kerekes; one brother-in-law, Howard Schretter; and several nieces and nephews, Mike Malone and wife Jan, Karen Reece Ryan, Jim Reece, Deborah Schretter and husband Burkhard Straub, Teresa Coker and husband Jerry, Philip Schretter and wife Ana, and Andrew Schretter and wife Paola.

Services will be conducted at 1 p.m. Friday, April 5, at Memorial Funeral Chapel in Elizabethton, Tenn., with graveside services to follow at Happy Valley Memorial Park. The family will receive friends at Memorial Funeral Chapel before the service from 12 to 1 p.m. To celebrate Pearl’s life, the family would appreciate written remembrances of her from her friends. Condolences may be sent to the family at our website,

Memorial Funeral Chapel is serving the Estep family.