When my sister Gigi and I were 8 and 6, our mother told us we were moving to Bermuda to live in a pink house where she would marry a descendant of a pirate. We did just that.
Jean Hamilton Pearman died peacefully at her home in Palm Beach, Florida, at the age of 80, Sunday, July 17th. Jeannie was the loving mother of Gigi Newhard Mortimer (Averell) of Palm Beach, FL, Penn Hamilton Newhard (Kirsten) of Aspen, CO and Richard Scott Pearman (Saskia) of Paget, Bermuda; dear grandmother of Max, James and Nick Mortimer, Chapin, Lacey, Natalie and Teagan Newhard and Tomasina, Ellie, Christopher and Lucas Pearman.
Not one to shy away from sharing more love, Jeannie was the stepmother of Helen Pearman Orchard (Mark), and Sally Pearman Clinton (Glenn); dear grandmother of Oliver, Beau and Reid Orchard and Simon and Michael Clinton.
Jeannie’s life flowed from her love and friendships. She was a true and loyal friend and loved social occasions where she could sing or dance. Born in St. Louis to CDP (Penn) and Jean Hamilton III in 1931, she attended Mary Institute and Miss Porter’s School and Briarcliff College.
Her eldest two children are the result of her first marriage to Harry Wallace Newhard of St. Louis. Harry was a navy pilot during the Korean conflict and President of Newhard Cook & Company brokerage firm.
In 1970, Jeannie married RSL (Dick) Pearman of Bermuda. Dick would become a partner at Conyers, Dill & Pearman law firm and a two-time US National Croquet champion. Their south shore homestead, Callithea is the fabled sprawling pink house complete with courtyards, gardens and a view over Grape Bay.
Beyond her family, Jeannie loved the arts and design. She was formative to the St. Louis Ballet, started and ran a successful dress shop, Triangles, in Hamilton, Bermuda with Janine Lines and founded a Sharkskin clothing line, Great White. She also authored two children’s books: My Malmaison: A Doll House Fantasy and Tomasina and the Little Hall of Mirrors with Dana Hyde.
Jeannie’s character came from her style, warmth and youthful ways. She had an optimist’s heart. She made those around her feel special. She adored her friends and making new ones. She liked fun, ice cream and fancy hats.
Jeannie was a collector and when she became intrigued, she went down the rabbit hole assembling themed arrays of frogs, pears, Alice and Wonderland, Napolean and croquet. Jeannie had a fascination with doll houses and loved to pen handwritten letters. More deeply, Jeannie lured out the good in people through artful conversation, a welcome trait in these times.
Most recently, Jeannie spent her time between New York, NY and Palm Beach, FL. She is survived by her companion Donald C Hannah. A planned service to celebrate her life will be held in late November in Palm Beach, FL exact details are to follow.
Posted online on July 22, 2022
Published in The Palm Beach Post