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Prayers up for stabbing victim
Little known about mother, son in tragedy
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Gretchan Pearce

Fellow church members and neighbors were reeling Tuesday from the attack on Gretchan Pearce, asking for prayers for her speedy recovery.

Pearce, 66, was in critical condition at Atlanta Medical Center late Tuesday, following Monday's knife attack at Harbour Point Yacht Club that left her sister-in-law dead and her nephew fatally shot by Hall County sheriff's deputies.

"It's such a shame that something like this would happen to such a sweet person," said the Rev. Terry Walton, senior pastor at Gainesville First United Methodist Church on Thompson Bridge Road.

Pearce and her husband, Charlie, "are very engaged members of the church," Walton said.

"They're involved in their Sunday school class and they are regular attenders in worship," he added.

"They are very kind and gracious people who are part of trying to spread the good news of God's love and hope in the world."

Not as much is known about Pearce's sister-in-law, 64-year-old Mary Pearce, who, police said, was stabbed to death in her Sunset Point Drive home.

"I spoke to her on one occasion," said Carol Baker, who lives two doors down on Sunset Point. "... She seemed like a sweet lady, when I talked to her."

Mary Pearce, who moved to the house in the spring of 2010, asked Baker to refer her to someone who could cut her grass.

Her son, John Pearce, lived at the house. Her husband, Hollis Uel Pearce, died Oct. 19, 2009.

Hollis was a member of Wildwood Baptist Church in Kennesaw, where he and his family worshiped regularly, according to his obituary. No one answered at the church Tuesday night.

Baker said she had noticed John out in the street before and that he seemed "creepy."

"If I had to peg anybody who would flip out, I would not put it past that man," she said.

Gretchan and her husband have lived at Harbour Point since 2002, according to the Gainesville-Hall GIS website. They lived less than a mile away from Mary Pearce.

Jane Karnes, a Harbour Point resident, said she knows Gretchan Pearce and knew that Mary was her sister-in-law.

"I never knew anything about the son," she said. "This is a real tragedy for everybody. We keep praying that Gretchan will get through this.

"... We love (she and Charlie) very much and are wishing her the best and (that she can) hurry and get home."

The funeral for Mary Pearce is set for 2 p.m. Friday at Jones Chapel Church in Woodbury in West Georgia, and visitation is 7-9 p.m. Thursday. Smith-Steele-Meadows Funeral Home in Woodbury is in charge of arrangements.


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