Mona Mae Adams, loving mother and grandmother, passed away peacefully on April 15, 2010, surrounded by members of her family.
Mona was born in 1916 in Hammon, Oklahoma. Her father was a farmer, oil field worker, and owned a general store and trucking company. She married Walter Kauk and they relocated to Portland, Oregon in 1936. She had always wanted to come to Portland Oregon. When she was 12 years old, she read about Portland in her social studies book and astonished her teacher by saying she was going to live there some day. She and her husband Walt drove with her mother, Mona Gaither, in a Model A, loaded to the top. They were traveling over the mountains and were delighted to come to a clear stream, which they'd never seen before. They came into Portland on #99 and as they approached town, she said, "I'm home!" She always loved the natural beauty of the northwest and would praise the region to anyone who would listen.
She and Walter moved eventually to St. Johns and had two sons, LaMar and Larry. She helped run a service station/garage for several years. (They lived in a house that is a few blocks from where her grandson lives now.) She loved to sew and sewed all her own clothes in the latest fashion. She took a bookkeeping course so she could keep books for the garage.
In 1946 she married Albert Adams, to whom she was married for nearly 50 years. They moved to an acreage in Gresham, with berry fields on either side and a wooded hill behind. They had two more children, Beverly and Stan, and raised the four children "in the country". They also brought Donna into their family. Mona loved to garden and cook for her family and they had fruit trees and vegetable garden, tended by Albert and her sons. She also dabbled in oil painting and became certified to teach Chinese cooking; she taught 5 provinces of Chinese cooking at Mt. Hood Community College and taught many others, including Girl Scouts and student groups.
For a couple years, Mona and Al lived in Bend and eastern Oregon while Al installed electrical substations. Mona would drive around during the day and get to know the people and history and sights of the area, gathering new friends as she went.
In 1975 the couple moved to Honolulu, Hawaii for a couple years while Al worked on an electrical installation. They made new friends and had many delighted visitors. When they returned, they moved from Gresham to Beaverton, where Al made a beautiful home for them, complete with his rose garden and her vegetable garden.
They traveled in their retirement all over the country, going to nearly every state in the union, including visits to relatives in New York and their good friends in Alaska. They went on an RV tour in Mexico and took a trip to Australia.
After Albert's death, Mona continued to visit family in Louisville, Atlanta, the Seattle area and Hawaii. She always loved spending time at the family mountain cabin on the Breitenbush River, enjoying songs around the campfire, grandchildren and their friends and the river singing her to sleep.
Mona spent the last four years of her life as a resident of Maryville Nursing Home in Beaverton, where she made many friends and received loving care. She was always active and involved and liked having a voice in her community: she read a newspaper a day, clipping articles for others; she voted in every election; she read a novel every couple weeks; and she corresponded as long as she could with her friends and relatives. She was president of the Resident Council, which met regularly to address resident issues and concerns.
One day she picked up a Beaverton city newsletter from the lobby counter and took it back to her room to read; then she called the mayor's office and asked his assistant if she could have a copy mailed to her personally. The assistant took her information while Mona told her what a great job the mayor, Bob Drake, was doing and said she wished she could meet him. Within a couple days, the mayor's office had contacted Maryville and made arrangements for Mr. & Mrs. Drake to come for a visit, and he arrived two weeks later, flowers in hand, to have lunch with Mona. There was much mutual admiration and respect and it was the beginning of a very solid friendship,
Mona had a tremendous love of nature and was thrilled by beautiful scenery. She especially loved trees and leaves and said, "If I had to choose between flowers and trees, I'd choose trees every time." She taught her children to revere nature as well and they repaid her with gifts of jewelry made of stone and shell, hand painted watercolors, and photos of their gardens and beautiful scenes from their travels.
Mona encouraged everyone to "Think big!" and to follow their dreams. She had a notice on her bulletin board, "Don't be afraid to think big". (The Valley Times wrote an article about her and another resident and their belief that a positive approach to life kept them young.) She taught her children that they could be anything that they wanted to be, and they returned to tell her about their dreams and achievements for the rest of her life. Others were encouraged by her as well, as she offered motivation, nurturing, and guidance. One Mothers' Day she received a card from a woman who had just gotten her RN certification; she said she owed it to Mona because she had encouraged her to complete her training. She was thought of "as a mother" to many, who simply gratefully received her loving attention and care.
She had a strong faith and belief in the power of prayer. She taught her children and many others to believe that their prayers would be answered. If someone had a problem or concern, she encouraged them to pray about it and promised that she would pray for them as well. She told each one that they were a beloved child of God and had value and importance in this world.
She is survived by five children, LaMar Adams, Larry Adams, Beverly Staton, Stan Adams, and Donna Davidson; 15 grandchildren, many great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.
Services in her memory will be held on Friday, May 7th, 2:00 pm at Bateman Carroll Funeral Home in Gresham, Oregon. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to Maryville Nursing Home in Beaverton, Oregon.
Arrangements under the direction of Bateman Carroll Funeral Home, Gresham, OR.