Grandma Madeleine Adam’s Obituary

My grandmother Madeleine Adams passed away a week ago tomorrow on February 28th, 2013. Her death notice was posted online. I haven’t seen her obituary posted online, perhaps it was only put in the physical paper, but I got a copy and thought I’d post it here. For those interested:

Madeleine Raeberta Leonard was born July 16, 1914, in Oroville, California, to her parents Lucille B and Raymond Anthony Leonard. She grew up at the family home on Floral Avenue, with her younger brother, Raymond Anthony Leonard, Jr.

Her father was a civil engineer and also served as Butte County District Attorney.

Madeleine attended Oroville schools, graduating from Oroville High School in 1932. She attended Scripps College, UC Berkeley and then court reporter’s school.

In 1936, she married a fellow OHS graduate, Kenneth E. Adams. When he joined the Army Air Corps and was stationed in Florida, Madeleine became a court reporter and legal secretary to Jack M. McPherson, then District Attorney for Butte County.

After the war, Kenneth and Madeleine spent a few years in San Jose and Oakland before returning to their home town. Once back in Oroville, Kenneth established his business, Adams Butane Company, and the couple oversaw the design and construction of their adobe brick house.

When their two daughters reached school age, Madeleine became active in the Butte County Republican Women’s Club and Omega Nu Sorority. She loved to cook, to entertain, and could put together a delicious picnic dinner on an hour’s notice – to enjoy at Bidwell Bar — a great swimming hole and state park that was a favorite summer evening destination in the 1950s in the days before air conditioning.

After her daughters grew up and established homes of their own, Madeleine and her husband enjoyed traveling. They went to Europe several times, as well as Japan and Canada. In 1982, they began an annual tradition of renting a beach house on Monterey Bay – a tradition that continued for 29 years.

In 2005, Madeleine embarked on an new chapter in her life. With friends, she hired a local caterer to prepare her evening meals. Don Conway, the chef and caterer, provided wonderful dinners – with lemon meringue pie being Madeleine’s favorite dessert. In 2008, Madeleine moved to an apartment at Country Crest, with a stunning view of the Sutter Buttes. She continued to play bridge with several foursomes, had season tickets at local theater shows.

She was preceded in death by her husband in 1986. She’s survived by her daughters, Jan Adams Cox, of Sacramento, and Sally Kenst, of Stockton, granddaughter Melissa Kenst, of Stockton, and grandson Chris Kenst, of Agoura Hills.

At her request, no services will be held.

It’s kind of funny what you can learn about people through their obituaries. I had no idea my grandma went to UC Berkeley, that she was a court reporter or that she was politically active. I’ll miss you grandma.

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