Lila Adams, May 3, 1931-Oct. 27, 2013

Tuesday, October 29, 2013 | 2:06 p.m. CDT; updated 8:23 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, October 29, 2013

*This article has been updated with the correct name of a family member and updated service information.

Born in Highland, Wisconsin, on the family farm, to Edwin and Stella Reed Johnson on May 3, 1931. Her father died in 1937 after she was just 6 years old. Her mom moved her and her two sisters, Fern and Bernice to the nearest town, Highland, and later to Dodgeville where she graduated from 8th grade.

She and her mother moved to Madison where better work was available for her mother and she graduated from Madison Central High School in 1948. She then went to the Nursing School at Madison Methodist Hospital and three years later in September, 1951 graduated.

She married Gayle Adams, an Engineering student on September 15, 1951. She worked in Pediatrics at Methodist for a semester while Gayle got his PhD. They moved to Schenectady, New York, to work at General Electric after he graduated in February 1952.

Their first child, Jeffrey was born November 17, 1952. She worked at Ellis Hospital in Schenectady in Obstetrics until Jeff was born. She did some private duty on nights until Nancy was born September 5, 1955. The family moved to Phoenix in 1959 and remained there 7 years when they moved to Columbia, Missouri where Gayle was an Engineering Professor. Involved in the lives of her growing children gave her the opportunity to help Jeff have band practice space in their home and hauling him to various gigs.

Nancy got a horse and Lila became a horse mother being active as a supporter of the Junior Saddle club in Columbia and when Nancy got a second horse was riding and exercising the horses. Friends will remember the joy she had in her flowers. In the early years in Columbia, she was active in Fortnightly Club, being secretary of Newcomers and also serving on several other committees.

She chaired the trip to Arrow Rock in 1968 when Florence Waidelich was President of Fortnightly. She also chaired a Fortnightly Fashion show in the late 60s, when Couture was an interest group. She spent several years in the Afternoon Book Discussion group as she loved reading. She was also active in Engineering Wives when they had an active group of women meeting in homes every month.

Her husband Gayle had yearly mixers for his Engineering colleagues with square dancing (which he called) to keep people acquainted with one another. She worked in two Dr.’s offices part time. Dr. Horace Thomas and Dr. Richard Heimberger were surgeons. She was active in her church and while at Calvary Lutheran Church lead a Woman’s Bible Study. She then went on to Community Bible Study which she has been involved in over 20 years where she served as Core Leader, and Substitute Core Leader.

She was involved with her husband, Gayle, at the Columbia Area Senior Center since the early 1990s. Gayle taught Line Dancing where she was his helpmate and also with the Saturday Night Dances as well. She was on the Talker Committee where she saw that Seminars and Dances were reported. She also did some stories introducing Board Members to the people.

After Gayle died in June 2008 she took over the Seminars for several years. She also did publicity for the dance committee and the Seminars to the Tribune and several local retirement communities; as well as publicity for the Seminars in the Talker. Recently, she kept up with her scheduling of Panera Bread pickup and sackers; until she was hospitalized for a foot infection in August.

On August 11th; she had a major stroke, and then on the last weekend of September had a second stroke. She died peacefully in her sleep October 27th at Columbia Manor. She will be greatly missed!!

Survivors include a son, Jeff, who lives in Columbia, retired from the City. Jeff has two children Jermaine and Stephanie. Jermaine and Yasmine have three children, Kyrie, Kaylee, and Kaden; a daughter, Nancy, lives in Rio Rancho, NM. She is a photographer and her husband Rick is an Engineer.

Lila was preceded in death by her parents; two sisters, Fern and Bernice.

The visitation is from 4:30 until 6:00PM on Friday, November 1, 2013 at Memorial Funeral Home. The funeral service will be held at Evangelical Free Church, 600 Silvey St., Columbia on Saturday, November 2, 2013 at 11:00AM. A viewing will be held at the church from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Entombment will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery.

Tributes can be left online at

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