Annie Pearl Gordon Dies; Was a Teacher at MEHS

Annie Pearl Gordon

Ms. Annie Pearl Gordon, formerly of Sitka and Reidsville, North Carolina, transitioned from her earthly home on May 13, 2021, at the Williamson Medical Center in Franklin, Tennessee.

She peacefully passed with her niece “Shettapie” by her side, after 95 years of a wonderful life. 

A celebration of her life was held May 22 at the McLaurin Memorial Chapel, in Reidsville.

Annie Pearl Gordon was born on November 8, 1925, in Gastonia, North Carolina, the daughter of Bench and Sadie Gordon.

After graduating from Booker T. Washington High School in Reidsville, Annie Pearl began her college education at Bennett College in Greensboro, North Carolina, then transferred to Howard University in Washington, D.C., where she earned her bachelor of arts degree in dance.

Embracing the thought of a wonderful life, she earned a master’s degree in education from North Carolina A. & T. State University in Greensboro.

Believing that life was full of wonder and possibilities, Annie Pearl continued her studies for several years, taking post graduate courses in a variety of fields – science, history, and physical education.

Defying the stereotypical life that the 1950s had defined for her, Annie Pearl moved to California and worked as a live-in maid while she studied fencing in Hollywood.   

Annie Pearl’s love for life was heard in her tap dance; it was seen in her jazz dance; it was marveled in her ballet; and it was amazingly shown in her acrobatics.

She became a teacher for the Bureau of Indian Affairs at Mt. Edgecumbe High School in Sitka in the late 1960s. For 27 years, she taught biology, physical education, gymnastics and dance, and coached track and field teams.


After work, Annie Pearl, energetic and generous, taught dance and gymnastics to many children, at no charge. She organized and directed dozens of costumed children in a recital at the Centennial Building. Enjoyment was the goal, and when a 7-year-old girl misplaced her costume and was in tears, Annie Pearl made it all right by assuring the child it was special to get to dance in her skirt and blouse.

 In other community service, Annie Pearl mentored young women who pursued the title of “Miss Sitka” at the Miss Sitka Pageant.

To Annie Pearl, the dance was her sincere expression of her gratitude and praise to the marvelous God who had given her an unfettered life with a bounty of possibilities –  she lived it, she enjoyed it, she celebrated it and she shared it.

After she retired from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, Annie Pearl went  back home to Reidsville where she “bowled with the best and danced with the rest.”

Annie Pearl shared the joy of life’s dance with the members of the Reidsville Senior Center and the St. Paul United Methodist Church. She made several trips to the Senior Games in Raleigh, where she was awarded several gold medals performing her signature dance to Elvis Presley’s rendition of “Precious Lord Take My Hand.”

Annie was the epitome of living life fully and her life became a beaconing light for many younger people. 

Annie lives on in eternity dancing with her two sisters, Bernice Gordon Scales and Frances Gordon Roberts, who preceded her in death.

“Thank you,  Annie Pearl, for showing us how to live and dance,” her family said. “Now, your dance will help us live through this pain of missing you.  We all will live and we will dance.”

Annie Pearl is survived by her devoted niece Reshetta Roberts of Spring Hill, Tennessee; her loving sister, Doris Gordon Brown, of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida; her loving nephew, Maurice Brown of Ft. Lauderdale; and extended family and devoted friends, Lillian Carr, Cindy Baynes, Kathy MacDonald, Deborah and Billy Bowie, and Deborah Pettit.

Other relatives and a plethora of dear friends also survive.

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At a Glance

(updated 8-17-22)

By Sentinel Staff

The state Department of Health and Social Services has posted the following update on the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Alaska as of 12:15 pm Wednesday, August 17.

New cases as of Wednesday: 1,444

Total cases (cumulative) statewide – 277,007

Total (cumulative) deaths – 1,296

Total (cumulative) hospitalizations – 3,843

Case Rate per 100,000 – 198.11

To visit the Alaska DHSS Corona Response dashboard website click here.

COVID in Sitka

The Sitka community level is now "High.'' Case statistics are as of Wednesday.

Case Rate per 100,000 – 211.20

Cases in last 7 days – 18

Cumulative Sitka cases – 3,022

Hospitalizations (to date) – 29

Deceased (cumulative) – 7

The local case data are from Alaska DHSS.






August 2002

 Sitka Trail Works Cross Mountain hike will be held Aug. 17. Hikers should meet at the Herring Cove gate for the six- to eight-hour bushwhack adventure hike that ascends 3,500 feet and is rated difficult. Contact Charles or Chris Horan for further information.


August 1972

From Sitka Seine: Delightful is the only word for the floating sensation you get driving around the Maksoutoff Street side of St. Michael’s Cathedral now that the bottomless pits have been filled and paved over.