Hilda Charlene Adams Stanberry
May 4, 1925 – November 11, 2013
Charlene was born in the Adams family farmhouse in rural Atchison County, Kansas. She was the only one of Earl and Opal Adams' four children to be born at home, the same farmhouse where her father was born and died.
Charlene had one older brother, George, and one younger brother, Blair. She also had one younger sister, Julie. They grew up on the farm, enjoying the good life and hard work that imposed on the family. They all attended their first eight years of school in a one-room schoolhouse, a mile away down a dirt road. For high school, they had to catch the bus for a long ride into Effingham. All the Adams children went on to college, although Charlene married after her first year and never finished her degree.
In 1943 she met John Arden Stanberry, who was in training for the Army at Kansas University in Lawrence, Kansas. Charlene was serving food to the Army recruits at their mess hall when she caught John's eye, and the rest, as they say is history.
John and Charlene married on March 4, 1944. John was soon to be sent overseas to the fighting for WWII. He did get to see his firstborn, David, before he was deployed. After the war, John enrolled at Kansas State University on the GI bill. Charlene worked in the campus bookstore to help finance John's education. In 1948, their second child, Linda was born, while they were still at K State, living in the married student housing known as Hilltop Courts.
After John graduated with a degree in veterinary medicine, the family moved to California. John set up a practice specializing in cow doctoring in the small central valley community of Laton. They bought a seven acre ranch and spent the next 55 years planting, pruning, and harvesting. Charlene named the ranch, "An Handful with Quietness," based on Ecclessiastes 4:6.
Charlene was a gifted gardener and planted exquisite gardens of every variety of flower and shrub and tree. She designed the walkways that meandered through her gardens, with benches to sit and rest and listen to the birds and fountains. She was especially pleased with her white garden, limited to only white-blooming plants. Her gardens are a living sculpture of delight to the senses and of succor for the soul.
Charlene was also a gourmet cook and an expert seamstress. She made everything from soufflés to hats. She sewed every piece of clothing in her wardrobe, and for both children and even grandchildren. But her passion was reading. She devoured books on history, archaeology, and Biblical lore. She loved attending Bible Study Fellowship with her daughter Linda and daughter-in-law Susan. She loved poetry, and could read them aloud to you with such keen interpretation of the poet's muse to convince you she shared the personal insight of each one. She also loved great music, especially opera, which she and John shared most nights in their home.
Charlene was blessed with six grandchildren. The oldest, Betty, was born to Linda. The other five were David's: Matthias, Nicholas, Anastasia, Justus, and Evangeline. She also had the blessing of four great-grands: Glenn, Elizabeth, Helen, and John, with the fifth on the way. She loved each grandchild unconditionally and tried to praise each one's special gifts. She always encouraged each one to achieve the best education and to seek and discover all of God's purpose for their life. She rejoiced in the weddings of the four oldest grandchildren and in the ongoing blessings of the growing families.
Charlene is survived by her husband of nearly 70 years, John, by her devoted daughter, Linda, and by her beloved daughter-in-law, Susan. She is also survived by her sister, Julie, and all her grandchildren and great grands. She was preceded in death by her son, David, and her two brothers, George and Blair.
We are heartbroken that Charlene has left her beloved John and us to try to carry on without her. But we rejoice that she is with her savior, Jesus, in His everlasting arms. She is in no more pain. She is reunited with loved ones, and awaits our earthly journeys to complete, when we will meet again and walk together with her and our Lord in His heavenly gardens.
A Graveside Service will be held on Tuesday, November 19, 2013 at 10:30 a.m. at San Joaquin National Cemetery; 32053 W. McCabe Road, Santa Nella, CA 95322 209-854-1040.