Jeanne G. Adams, 89, of Cary, passed into eternity on July 14, 2013 after a brief illness. She spent her life joyfully serving the God she loved with her compassion and care for those around her. Her loving spirit will be greatly missed within her family and at Glenaire where she lived for 20 years.
Born January 2, 1924 in Worthington, MN, the only child of George and Marie Goodell, Jeanne grew up with a love for music, learning to play the piano as well as playing the bass drum in her high school marching band. She met her husband Edward in Alaska while serving him as civilian secretary in the Air Force and they were married in Watertown, SD on September 29, 1945. They moved several times while he finished his education after the war, eventually settling in State College, PA where he was an art professor and designer at Penn State University. Jeanne's heart was in the home raising their 3 children, but she also found great satisfaction working with disabled children and adults during their earlier time in the Chicago area, supporting development of The Lambs Inc., a self-sufficient working environment for those with developmental handicaps. Lambs Farms of Libertyville, IL thrives to this day. She also had a passion for missions and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ with those who didn't know Him.
While living in State College, Jeanne went back to school and finished up her degree in Elementary Education. Rather than teach, however, the Lord led Jeanne and Ed to start a Christian bookstore business in the early 1970's. From 1972-1981, The Way Bookstore would play a significant role in Jeanne's life and also in the landscape of State College and the Penn State community. Jeanne had found her calling.
In 1981, the couple moved to Raleigh, NC, where Ed grew up, to care for his mother who was in declining health. A Christian bookstore focus would surface again, this time first as You Count and then as their namesake Adams Christian Bookstore. From 1982-2001 the bookstore thrived as a landmark in Cary, NC, drawing many people in the community to the warm spiritually-nourishing environment that Jeanne created, as much as to the books and music they sought. Sadly, as with many "mom and pop" operations, the pressures of the economy and chain retailers eventually led to its closing, but the impact it left on the hearts and souls of its customers lives on.
Even in "retirement", Jeanne was not finished serving. She attended Colonial Baptist Church, her church home since its founding, where she taught a generation of 3 and 4-year olds in Sunday school. She blessed the Glenaire retirement community, lifting the hearts and spirits of its residents with her musical gifts. Along with accompanying at Sunday vespers, she would sit down on a daily basis at one of the many pianos there to play familiar hymns and old favorites by ear.
Jeanne touched more lives than will probably ever be realized. She served her Lord and Savior until the end and is now home where she yearned to be.
She is survived by her husband Edward of 67 years, daughter Mari-Jo Hill (Burton), son Stephen (Donna) and son Loren (Frieda), along with grandchildren Stephanie and Anthony (Maranatha) Adams, Whitney Hill, and Emily Adams, and 5 great-grandchildren, all in the area.
Her family is very grateful to the Glenaire staff for their compassionate care, as well as to Hospice of Wake County for their support.
Visitation with the family will be held at Brown-Wynne Funeral Home in Cary on Friday, August 2, 2013 from 5:00-7:00 p.m. A celebration of her life will take place at Glenaire on Saturday, August 3, 2013 at 2:00 pm. All are welcome. Burial will be private.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in her honor are suggested to Colonial Baptist Church Missions fund, 6051 Tryon Road, Cary, NC 27518, or Hospice of Wake County, 250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, NC 27607.