ALDEANE LOUISE ZAHLER ADAMS
October 8, 1927 ˜ July 12, 2020
On July 12th our strong, independent, compassionate Mom passed peacefully from this world. Deanne was born on October 8, 1927 to Abraham and Rose Zahler, the third of four children. She grew up in the small Swiss immigrant community of Helvetia, OR on the family farm. Her two-mile walk to the 2 room school she attended was a long, often rainy one over meadows and fields. Being a child with great curiosity, and a love of learning, she excelled in school and graduated from Beaverton High School at age 16.
Following graduation, Mom joined the War effort by training as a welder. She worked at Kaiser Shipbuilding’s Vancouver yard, attaching interior bulkheads to Casablanca-class escort carriers.
In 1945, she married Dale W. Adams, whom she was married to until his death in 2007.
Deanne attended Willamette University. She became a registered medical technologist, later furthering her education in cytotechnology and working in pathology at Vancouver Memorial Hospital. She ended her professional career as supervisor of the blood bank department at Southwest Washington Medical Center. She raised 4 children while working full time. Deanne’s home was a welcoming gathering place for her children’s friends, who still think of her with deep affection.
The mountains of the NW gave Deanne and Dale many years of backpacking adventures. Together they also built a vacation home on the Washington coast where family gatherings included clam digging, mushroom hunting, and tide pool exploring. She was always a thoughtful steward of the earth and its wonders. Deanne and Dale were avid gardeners and grew a wide variety of vegetables from seed and harvested year round. An accomplished and creative cook, Deanne lovingly created delicious meals highlighting their organic produce. Deanne even incorporated their veggies into home cooked meals for their beloved pets. Several of Deanne’s specialties remain staples at holiday meals. Though she gladly shared her recipes, when prepared by others, they were not quite as tasty because Mom always included a large dose of love in every dish she made. Even after her esophageal cancer diagnosis last winter she grew one last crop of peas which she was able to harvest, enjoy eating and sharing with others.
Deanne’s skillful sewing provided lovely clothing for her daughters as they were growing up, including prom dresses and dance recital costumes. Custom upholstered furniture and drapes for the home came from her sewing machine as well.
Upon retiring 33 years ago, Deanne bought herself a computer. Her love/frustration relationship with her computer, and its ever-changing technology, was ongoing until her death.
Deanne’s Christian faith was strong and lifelong. She was an active member of Immanuel Lutheran Church, and its congregation was a constant in her life. Deanne felt it important for the church to reach out and be part of the community and was one of the driving forces in the creation of Safe Haven, an after school program launched in 2006 that still operates today.
Deanne is survived by 3 of her 4 children: Kathi Anderson (Ted), Jeff Adams and Shawn Holter (AJ); six grandchildren; seven great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren. Her son James (Buz) died in 1978.
The void she has left is great but her memory will live long in the lives of those she touched.
The family would like to thank Glenwood Place and Community Home Hospice for helping our Mom these last months of her life.
Donations in her name can be made to the Immanuel Lutheran Safe Haven program or The Humane Society for SW Washington.
Due to COVID-19, Deanne’s memorial service will be held online September 12, 2020.
Please share a memory @ www.columbian.com/obits