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Obituary: Dr. Eva Jean Pickering

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Dr. Eva Jean Pickering A compassionate life 1951 ~ 2006 Life ended suddenly January 19, 2006 as the result of an automobile accident for Dr. Eva Jean Pickering, whose life was totally dedicated to the needs of others. Eva Jean was born November 5, 1951 in New Castle, Indiana to George Willard Pickering and Elsie Jean Wicker Pickering. She was an identical twin of Ava Jane Pickering and the two have remained inseparable for the past 54 years as friends, confidants, and partners in every phase of their lives. Eva Jean received her early education in New Castle, Indiana and graduated from Tri High School. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Purdue University at West Laffayette, Indiana. While completing this university phase of her education she was already heavily involved with helping exceptional and special needs children to gain an education even in their pre-school years. Her love of people was accompanied by a love of animals which was developed on the family farm in Indiana. She participated in 42 Indianapolis State Fairs beginning at age six and won numerous awards including twice winning the Grand Champion award competing with more than 300 other participants. Her love of animals attracted her to membership in the American Shetland Sheepdog Association. She had an unfulfilled desire to train a Collie dog, but did find a great measure of satisfaction in raising numerous other dogs to whom she became very attached. In addition to her accomplishments in animal raising, she also won numerous State Fair awards for her pies, cakes, and special recipes. With a continuing desire for maximum education to help her provide maximum service to those with special needs, Eva earned a masters degree and then a doctorate in Special Education from the University of Utah. She also earned teaching certifications in Secondary Teaching, and Teaching the Severely Disabled. She received training in Mediation, Victim Awareness, Offender Awareness, Domestic Mediation, and Community Building Process. Numerous other special studies and educational training, including a University of Utah Fellowship for Graduate Study in Special Education, prepared her in every way for her life of service to those with special needs. With her excellent and continuing education, she, with her sister, Ava Jane Pickering, founded Special Educational Programming Services (SEPS), catering to the special education needs for students in kindergarten through 12th grades. Countless young people who would otherwise have found it challenging if not impossible to function normally in the community have been trained to live useful lives through the dedicated work of this educational center. The center provides an integrated program of academic, extracurricular and social elements and consultation with educators, employers, and social service professionals concerning learning styles and adaptive behaviors so that students could provide on their own useful services to the community. While pursuing a seemingly all consuming school operation, Eva Jean found time to give service through numerous professional service organizations including the Utah Council of Conflict Resolution; CUED Language Network of America; American Shetland Sheepdog Association; Delta Kappa Gamma education sorority. She gave service through the Learning Disabilities Association of America; the Learning Disabilities Association of Utah; the Tourette Syndrome Association, and the Utah State Board of Education Learning Disabilities Advisory Committee. She served as a mentor for the Women's Network for Entrepreneurial Training. She was an officer and leader in nearly all organizations in which she served. While providing unselfish, low profile service was always Eva's goal in life, she received endless awards and honors for her service. Among the many awards were Outstanding Provider Leadership Award for leadership and bringing computer based learning to children; President's Award for distinguished service to learning from the Disabilities Association of Utah; Outstanding Educator Award from that same organization; Sam Kirk Award as the Outstanding Educator. Her listing of publications, writings, and presentations would fill many pages. Typical of this lengthy list is the production of a handbook outlining the Legal Rights of Children with Learning Disabilities, which she wrote and produced for the Learning Disabilities Association of America. Eva Jean always had a challenging list of goals which she diligently pursued. Early in life she had a goal to be valedictorian of her high school class, to get a PhD and to raise a shepherd dog. She did qualify as valedictorian and also delivered the salutatorian address at her high school graduation. She accomplished her education objective and it left only her shepherd dog raising as an unfulfilled goal. Eva Jean's contribution to the lives of those with special needs will live on through many generations as will her example of unselfish service. Funeral services for Eva Jean Picker-ing will be conducted in Indiana Sun. Jan. 29th. A special viewing will be held in Salt Lake, 4-8 p.m. Mon. Jan 23rd, at Larkin Mortuary, 260 E. South Temple, SLC. Services under the direction of Myers Mortuary of Ogden. Condolences may be sent online to www.myers-mortuary.com Memorial donations may be made to S.E.P.S. Learning Center, 2120 South 1100East, SLC 84106.