Mabel Marie (Holmes) Adams was born January 8, 1917 to William Edward and Vesta Maude (Wantland) Holmes at the family farm north of Worth in Worth county, Missouri. Younger siblings included twins, Beulah Bethel and Ethel Lucille, and a brother, William Eugene (Shad).
As a youth, Mabel helped her father in the fields and with his threshing crew. She attended several country schools around the county and told stories of walking through snowstorms and sometimes riding a horse to school. She loved school and loved learning all her life. Mabel graduated from Worth high school as valedictorian of her class and received a full scholarship to attend a business school in Chillicothe, Missouri. However, her father was reluctant to have her so far from home and encouraged her to instead open a grocery store in Worth. Mabel proved to be an astute businesswoman. Her grocery store employed several residents in Worth and was very successful until it was destroyed in the Worth tornado of 1947 along with Blaine’s feed store. Blaine and Mabel lost virtually everything but the rocking chair Mabel was sitting in with infant C.B. and she bears the scar on her forehead yet today from the bricks that fell to cover them.
It was during those early years that she became acquainted with Charles Blaine Adams who worked for her father’s trucking business. Their plans to marry were delayed by WWII. Blaine was discharged December 6, 1945 and they were married December 20, 1945 in Atchison, Kansas as many veterans were because they didn’t have to wait for a blood test in the state of Kansas. They celebrated over 55 years of marriage until Blaine’s death June 19, 2001 from congestive heart failure.
Mabel and Blaine were blessed with children. C.B., Jr. was born in 1946, Richard Wayne in 1948, Janis Elaine in 1953 who died shortly after birth, Christine Marie in 1954, Lisa Diane in 1957 and Dennis Duaine in 1959 when Mabel was 42 and Blaine 47 years of age. Mabel always put her children and family before herself and made many personal sacrifices throughout her life on their behalf. Mabel and Blaine did not have rules but rather expectations for their children. Mabel was tolerant and long-suffering while her children grew and matured to a better understanding of those expectations. However, she did not suffer fools. They led active and busy lives with their children. Mabel was a 4-H leader for many years and encouraged her children’s participation in school and community activities. She strongly encouraged her children to do well in school and to pursue furthering their education.
Mabel devoted her life to her family, always applauding their successes and offering encouragement through their disappointments. She deeply loved her 13 grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren and had a quiet way of loving and bonding with each one.
Mabel stayed home to raise her children until they were all in school and then worked at the cap factory in Grant City, Missouri to help support her family. She began a career at the Missouri Regional Diagnostic Clinic in Albany, Missouri that brought personal satisfaction as she was finally able to further her own education and become a certified medical technician. Mabel had great compassion for the children at the clinic and would frequently bring a child home with her for weekend visits.
After retirement from the clinic, Mabel greatly enjoyed quilting, crocheting, growing flowers and working on family genealogy. She dearly loved for her family to gather and took pleasure in preparing their favorite dishes. Mabel’s custard pie has become a family tradition. It continued to give her great joy when her family gathered for the nursing home’s annual picnics. She loved to feed her family.
Mabel was an intelligent person and relied on her own abilities throughout her life. She possessed strong will and a deep sense of need for independence. Her son, C.B., provided a van with a lift to accommodate a wheelchair. However, she refused to use it until she was absolutely unable to do otherwise. At that point, she gladly rode in her wheelchair in the van and continued going to family gatherings as long as she was able.
Blaine and Mabel moved to Clearview Homes in Mount Ayr, Iowa on June 2, 2001 and Mabel reside there one month short of nine years. The home’s professional care and expertise along with guidance from her latest and most favorite doctor helped Mabel be as independent as possible as long as was possible. As her health declined and she became totally dependent, the staff continued to treat her with great compassion, dignity and respect. Several claimed her as their favorite resident and cared for her as though she were their own mother. Hospice joined with the home for the second time in the last two and one-half years to provide additional attention to detail during these last weeks of Mabel’s life. Their staff was excellent in anticipating and meeting her every need, both physical and spiritual, with the utmost kindness and consideration. Mabel truly received wonderful care in an exceptional home from people gifted with special talents in caring for others.
At a young age Mabel became a lifelong member of the Church of Christ in Worth of which her parents were charter members. She continued to attend church services through use of C.B.’s van as long as she was able. The church regularly mailed her cards of well wishes and one dear church friend wrote Mabel every week without fail all these past nine years. Mabel had a deep, abiding faith and walked with God all of her life. She was a devoted and very accomplished student of the Bible and taught the children’s Sunday school for many years. After her eyesight failed in later life, Mabel listened to the Bible on tape to verify chapter and verse as she continued to challenge and teach others about God as long as she was able. Even after she was unable to clearly communicate, she recognized that how she lived her life could still serve as an example to teach her children and others lessons of love and compassion — that even though we do not understand God’s purpose, we do well to accept his will and that we will prosper by having faith in his plan.
While Mabel suffered many years of increasingly debilitating and crippling health issues, to her very last breath in this world she never waivered in living and loving the life God gave her and was steadfast in her faith. She faced her trials and tribulations, her health concerns all through her life with the attitude there was nothing to do but to do it as she accepted God’s will. She recognized that human life is God given and therefore precious and her focus to the very end was on fighting the good fight.
Mabel’s fight ended at the age of 93 years, three months, 27 days Thursday morning at 1:30 a.m., May 6, 2010, at Clearview Nursing Home in Mount Ayr, Iowa with loving children by her side. Mabel fought the good fight and will now meet her beloved maker.
Mabel was preceded in death by her parents, Ed and Vesta (Wantland) Holmes; sisters, Ethel Pickering and Bethel Holmes; her brother and sister-in-law, Eugene (Shad) and Shirley Holmes; her parents-in-law, Edson Victor and Daisee Orrie (Long) Adams; brother and sister-in-law, Doyle and Edith Adams, and brothers-in-law, Elbert Adams and Clifford Cassel. Her husband, Charles Blaine Adams, Sr.; infant daughter, Janis Elaine Adams, and grandson, Joseph Bradley Adams, await her.
Mabel is survived by five children and their families, C.B., Jr. and wife Jo Ellyn Adams of Lenox, Iowa and their five children and families, Brook Garden and daughter Alexandra of Houston, Texas, Spencer and wife Lori Garden of Tulsa, Oklahoma and their sons, Zach Underwood, Cooper, Keifer and Tucker Garden, C.B. III (Chip) and wife Melissa Adams of Omaha, Nebraska and children Carter McDonnell, Taylor Beutler, Jamison June Adams and C.B. Adams IV, Cody and wife Brook Adams of Lenox, Iowa and children Samson, Patton and Winston Adams and Jordan Adams of Tampa, Florida; Richard and wife Margaret Adams of Elmo, Missouri; Christine and husband Randy Bishop of Mount Ayr, Iowa and their three children and family, Shane Bishop of Columbia, Missouri, Mekenze and husband Casey Cortum of Norwalk, Iowa and Kegan Bishop of West Des Moines, Iowa; Lisa and husband Roger Ridge of Saint Joseph, Missouri and their two children and family, Caleb Ridge of Blockton, Iowa, Taylor and wife Kelsey Ridge of Grant City, Missouri and children Tanner and Riley Ridge; Dennis and wife Ann Adams of Grant City, Missouri and their two children and family, Mitchell and fianc?? Breann Adams of Fulton, Missouri and Brooke Adams; brother-in-law, Emory Pickering of Worth, Missouri; brother and sister-in-law, Austin and Mary Adams, and sister-in-law, Faye Adams, all of Grant City, Missouri; sister-in-law, Bonnie Cassel of Westminister, Colorado, and many nieces, nephews, other family members, Mabel’s church family and other friends.
Services were conducted by Terry Roberts on Monday, May 10, 2010 at the Andrews Funeral Home in Grant City, Missouri. Mabel’s grandchildren served as pallbearers and included Brook Garden, Spencer Garden, C.B. III (Chip) Adams, Cody Adams, Jordan Adams, Shane Bishop, Mekenze Cortum, Kegan Bishop, Caleb Ridge, Taylor Ridge, Mitchell Adams and Brooke Adams.
Mabel was laid to rest alongside her husband, Blaine, infant daughter, Janis, and grandson, Joseph, at the Barnes Cemetery west of Worth, Missouri.
A memorial in Mabel’s honor has been established for the Barnes Cemetery. Memorials may be made to Barnes Cemetery in care of Dennis Adams, P.O. Box 158, Grant City, Missouri 64456.
If roses grow in heaven, Lord pick a bunch for me.
Place them in my mother’s arms and tell her they’re from me.
Tell her that I love and miss her and when she turns to smile
Place a kiss upon her cheek and hold her for a while.
Because remembering her is easy. I’ll do it every day.
There’s an ache within my heart that will never go away.
— Author Unknown
Mabel Marie (Holmes) Adams