In Memory: Verna Ruth (Deater) Adams

  • verna1Born November 30, 1928
  • Daughter of Alvin and Ellen Deater Alvin and Ellen Deater
  • Married Lloyd Henry Adams
  • 1 Son: Lloyd Russell Adams L
  • 3 Daughters:
    • Carol Ann Dorward
    • Nancy Jean Newcomer
    • Louise Irene Hess
  • 10 Grandchildren
  • 8 Great Grandchildren

Memories of Mom: “She’s a Tough Act to Follow”
Submitted By: Louise Adams Hess
Three things I’ll always remember about my Mom: Her kind heart and love of God; her love for family; and her love of laughter.

verna2One day when I was little (age 4 or 5), a “bum” came to our back porch door and asked for work. I had never see a “bum” before, and so I watched carefully from the comfort of the nearby grass as Mom told him she didn’t have any work for him but asked if he was hungry; then she brought him a bowl of corned beef and cabbage and some bread. He ate it hungrily as mom talked to him about God. It wasn’t long after that when I observed my mom as she knelt at a chair in our front room. She cried and prayed there often. I wanted to know more about this praying and talking to God, so I tapped her on the shoulder to ask. She led me to Christ that day, right there at that front room chair. She’s a tough act to follow.

As she got older, she got bolder. She told everyone she knew about her God: the repair man, the cable guy, the paper boy…anyone who came to her house. I asked her about it one time, and she told me she figured that it was her job. She didn’t get out much so the ones that came to her were the ones she had to tell. She’s a tough act to follow.

Mom loved her family. She had a closeness with her siblings that I always envied. I often pondered how, with a family as large as theirs, they all stayed so close. I wondered if the depression years or the fact that they didn’t have much materially or maybe even the disease many of them shared played a big part in it. But I always come back to their shared faith in God as the big key to their closeness.

Mom always found fun things for us kids to do. Not things that cost money or big events but things like: sitting on the front porch swing playing hangman (in our heads); sleeping out on the front porch on a hot summer night; a Halloween party with a “Murder”; or a 4-day monopoly marathon…of course, these were snow days with my best friend snowed in with us! She always made things fun and she continued this with her ten grandchildren. She might not have been able to walk anymore, but she still loved playing with the kids. She was everything from the gas station attendant for all their bikes and “toot-apillars” (kiddie cars) to the best caller for a good game of “Sheep, Sheep, Come Home.” She played any game they wanted to play: board games, card games…but her favorite was any word game. She never got the opportunity to play with her eight great grandchildren, but I’m sure she would have done the same for each of them—after she got done hugging and kissing them. She’s a tough act to follow.

She was married to my dad, Lloyd Adams, for 39 years. She missed him so much when he passed away that she’d talk to him all the time. I was a little worried for awhile, but I found it was her way of coping with the loss. I really thought she had to come and live with us, but she proved me wrong again. With each little thing that came up, she’d talk to dad and say, “Well, what am I going to do now, Lloyd?” But she always figured something out. She’s a tough act to follow.

My mom loved to laugh. Everyone that knew her well knew her sense of humor was her most endearing quality. She was a great story-teller, too. She loved to tell stories that made her and everyone else laugh…even if it was at her expense. She told the story of how she tried to put a stamp on a letter she had tapped out on Dad’s old electric typewriter. She had used a pencil turned eraser side down to tap out each letter. Then she tried to use the eraser to get a stamp. It worked! She licked it and then it just disappeared. It was stuck on one hand…then the other hand…and then it disappeared again! Just then the doorbell rang. It was a friend of hers from church. They had a nice visit, and when her friend went to leave, she asked politely: “Verna, why do you have a stamp on your forehead?” Mom roared with laughter as she explained. She told that story many times…even in an MD support group meeting…and she roared with laughter each time. She never let her disabilities get her down. Her sense of humor always prevailed. She’s a tough act to follow.

I find myself really missing her now and many tears have dropped on the keyboard as I’ve typed this. There is so much more I could say, but take this with you: Mom’s life has taught me to keep God first in my life; love my family and friends and keep them close; and never let the things of this life get me down because as she often said: “I am going to run with the angels someday”; and “always, always laugh at yourself ‘cause everybody else is already laughing.” She’s a tough act to follow.

Memories of Gram
Submitted By: Tami Newcomer Murphy

tamiWhen it comes to grandmothers, mine was definitely one of the best. My gram was a very special lady, and she had a gift for making all of her grandchildren feel special too. When we were younger, she was always telling us one of her classic fairy tales like Hansel and Gretel or Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Whether it was to entertain us during long car rides home in the backseat of her van or to help us fall asleep while we were spending the night with her, she was always willing to tell us a tale. Even though we had heard them all so many times, she had a way of telling the story that made you feel like you were hearing it for the first time all over again. You could tell that she really loved the stories, but more than that, you could tell that she really loved us.

When my pop-pop died, instead of crumbling under the weight of her loss, my gram showed all of us that life could still go on and gave us an example of what it was like to be strong and independent. She also showed us that living with a disability meant just that…living.

One of my favorite memories of my gram involved a family and friends Thanksgiving dinner hosted by my girl scout troop when I was about 10 years old. All of the tables were lined up side by side to create a big square around the room so everyone could see each other. My gram was using her scooter chair swiveled around as her seat at the table, so she positioned herself and locked her chair in place. As we were all sitting down to eat, she realized she wasn’t close enough to the table, so she asked me to press the lever on her handle bar to move her whole scooter closer to the table. I thought that sounded like something I could handle, but apparently it wasn’t. I accidentally pressed the lever too hard and my gram went flying front-first into the table all set with dishes, food, and drinks for the dinner. When I finally let go of the handle, it was way too late…my gram, her scooter, and the table were halfway across the room. The tablecloth and most of what used to be on the table were now on the floor, and my friend’s dad was semi-stuck between the table and the wall. Needless to say, everyone saw the whole thing and I had never been so embarrassed in my short life. Everything got really quiet, and I was waiting for someone to yell at me for slamming my helpless grandmother into a banquet table and ruining the dinner. Instead, I heard my gram start laughing and saying how I gave her one really “wild ride.” The tension was broken, everyone laughed, the evening was fun, and I ended up with one great memory. I learned from her that night to try to take life as it comes and not take things too seriously. This is a lesson that I am admittedly still working on, but one that I’m getting better at.