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Debra Pearce recalls downtown’s cherry cokes, snowballs

MADISON – “I love Madison because it’s my town,” Debra Pearce said.

Pearce likes driving around and reminiscing about “what used to be: a cotton field, corn field, the old corner grocery, Patio restaurant, True’s grocery where I would get a snow cone or the drugstore that had the best cherry coke at the soda fountain.”

“This town holds history and memories for me,” she said.

Debra was born in Panama City, Fla, but her family moved to Madison for her father’s job at Redstone Arsenal before her first birthday in 1960. When she was 15, they moved for her father’s job to Iowa. She graduated from Davenport West High School.

Debra returned to Madison in 1983, met future husband Steve and married in 1985. “We knew this was where we wanted to raise our family,” she said. All graduates of Bob Jones High School, their children are daughter Linda, her husband Eric and two-year-old Carson of Madison; daughter Katie of Madison; and son Luke of Brooklyn, N.Y.

When her children were in school, Debra was constantly involved on PTA boards, as band booster and sports parent and as volunteer in their church youth activities. “I feel it’s important to support your children in their activities and their schools,” she said.

Debra worked for Department of Defense for 14 years until Katie was born and then “was blessed to be a stay-at-home mom. When Luke was 3, I started teaching pre-school at Asbury CDC and did that for 10 years.” She also worked in a doctor’s office for four years.

“When my grandson was born, I quit to help take care of him a couple a days a week while my daughter works as a nurse,” Debra said.

The Pearces own four cats.

“I love Southern gospel music, groups like the Gaither Vocal Band, Kingmen and Inspirations,” Debra said. “I also enjoy some contemporary Christian music, as well as country music.”

When dining out, she enjoys Chili’s, Logan’s, Chick-fil-A and Ruby Tuesday.

Also Madison residents, Debra’s parents moved back from Iowa when her father retired in 1985. “They are 87 and have seen Madison change a great deal,” she said.

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