LIBERTY TOWNSHIP, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – Leola I. “Lee” Adams, 100, passed away Tuesday, October 3, 2023.
Lee was born near Dubois, Pennsylvania on April 21, 1923. She was reared on a small farm near her birthplace along with four sisters and one brother, all of whom walked two miles to school every day.
After graduating from high school, she worked at a soda fountain until she married.
She met her husband, Thomas on a blind date and eventually moved to Indiana, Pennsylvania.
She then worked in the R&P Coal Co. Accounting Department until the birth of her first child, Linda in 1953. Shortly thereafter the family moved to Westlake, a Cleveland suburb, where she had her second child, a boy, Will in 1955.
Upon learning that Linda was deaf, Lee took Linda to the Hearing and Speech Center in Cleveland three days a week. At that time, there were no schools in the Cleveland area for the deaf but Lee found that Kent State University needed students for teachers training, so she enrolled Linda. For the next year she drove Linda 100 miles round trip to Kent each school day. That training ended with the completion of the school year. She then got together with the parents of the other deaf children, they decided to lobby the education system, along with the support of newspaper articles, to provide a school for the deaf, which materialized in a western suburb of Cleveland. When sign language became the preferred method of communication with deaf people in the 1980s, Lee learned and became very proficient at ASL, American Sign Language.
She cherished her memories of living in Westlake for 62 years. She was a member of the Church of Redeemer in Westlake for many years.
After her children graduated from high school, she worked in an administrative job for a small company in Westlake prior to entering retirement. In retirement she volunteered at the local senior center.
Her husband passed away May 24, 2002. At that time, she had friends that often got together to play cards and she attended social activities sponsored by the senior center. She then moved to the Youngstown area to be near her son in June 2017, where she lived in Park Vista and then Shepherd of the Valley in Liberty.
She is survived by her son, William Adams; a sister, Emma Dee McMinn and son-in-law, Thomas Schuler.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Thomas Adams and daughter, Linda Schuler.
Family and friends may call from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, October 11, 2023, at Kinnick Funeral Home, 222 S. State Street, Girard where a brief service will take place at 5:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, Lee’s family suggests memorial contributions be made to the Rescue Mission of Mahoning Valley or another charity of your choice.
A television tribute will air Monday, October 9 at the following approximate times: 5:17 a.m. on WKBN, 8:39 a.m. on FOX, 5:21 p.m. on WYTV and 6:35 p.m. on MyYTV. Video will be posted here the day of airing.