Leah D. Adams
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Leah Dutenhaver Adams, age 81, died peacefully Saturday, February 1, of complications from chemotherapy. Tim, her loving husband of nearly 60 years, was by her side as well as her four children and one of her ten grandchildren.
Leah was born on September 13, 1932 to John and Elizabeth (Casper) Dutenhaver in Malvern, Ohio. She was extremely active in 4-H as a teenager and graduated from Malvern High School in 1950 as valedictorian of her class of 30 students.
Leah went on to The Ohio State University, where she made many life-long friends and met her husband, Tim when she was a 19-year-old sophomore. They were engaged a year later and married May 29, 1954, just days before her OSU graduation.
Leah graduated Summa Cum Laude from Ohio State in Home Economics Education and Communications. She was inducted into Mortarboard Honorary at OSU. This was just the beginning of her advanced education and many honors. Leah completed her Masters at Wayne State University in Human Development and Educational Psychology in 1963, by which time she was raising her four children. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 1970 with a PhD in Educational Psychology and Early Childhood Education.
Between the completion of her B.Sc. and her Ph.D., Leah worked as a Public School Teacher, Adult Education Teacher, High School Teacher and Cooperative Preschool Teacher. She taught one of the earliest public preschool programs beginning in 1963, before the days of Head Start. She joined the faculty of Eastern Michigan University in 1969 as a Professor in the School of Education, teaching a wide variety of teacher preparation courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. She also taught as an Adjunct Lecturer at the University of Michigan from 1972 to 1979. After 30 years at EMU, she retired to the position of Professor Emeritus in 1999.
Leah was a veracious contributor to the field of education. Her full curriculum vitae, listing her numerous publications, presentations, consultancies, professional organization activities, honors and awards, is more than 20 pages. Even after retirement from EMU, she continued to do research, writing, and international consulting and served on the editorial boards of several international journals. In 2006, she was selected as a Fulbright Senior Specialist from the Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board to lead a project in South Korea.
She served as president of the National Association for Early Childhood Teacher Educators and president of the USA Committee of the World Organization for Early Childhood. She received the Lifetime Achievement award from the Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children for her leadership at the state level. Leah was perhaps best known for her international activities and had given major speeches in 38 countries on six continents. She served on the Executive Committee of the World Organization for Early Childhood, as a consultant to UNESCO and USAID and had five work assignments in the Middle East.
She loved to travel and was always planning her next trip. She had visited over 100 countries and all 7 continents. In retirement, she became an accomplished weaver and spent two years as a cruise ship lecturer. Leah was a current member of the Ann Arbor Symphony Board and the Fiber Arts Guild.
Survivors include her husband, Tim, daughters Michelle (Jim) Romano of Fort Myers, Florida, Jennifer (Bill) Coon of Pearland, Texas, sons Gard (Annette) of Bloomfield Hills, Douglas (Christine) of East Grand Rapids, grandchildren Eric Duffett, Jennifer Duffett, David Coon, Meredith Coon, Steven Coon, Charles Adams, Emily Adams, Olivia Adams, Maxwell Adams and Alexander Adams. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Paul Dutenhaver.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Zion Lutheran Church 1501 W. Liberty Ann Arbor at 10:30 am on Friday, February 14. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Leah D. Adams endowment at EMU Foundation 1349 S. Huron Ypsilanti MI 48197. To sign Leah's guest book, please visit www.muehligannarbor.com.