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Rowena Elaine LaCoste Adamson passed from our presence to heaven on Monday, Oct. 1, 2012, of coronary failure at the age of 95.
She moved to Pagosa Springs in 2003 to live with her daughter, April Adamson Holthaus. She spent her last few months being lovingly cared for at Peaceful Place LLC in Pagosa.
She was born in Lafayette, La., on Nov. 15, 1917, the daughter of Rowena Corine Nick of New Orleans and Antoine Wilbert LaCoste of Lafayette. She grew up in Louisiana, Virginia and New York. After attending the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and briefly studying voice in Paris, she married Keith Earl Adamson of Sedgwick, Kans., in Washington D.C. in June 1941. Her children are April Holthaus, of Pagosa Springs; Linda Adamson, of Honolulu, Hawaii; Marque Adamson, of Gaithersburg, Md.; and Eric Adamson, of Front Royal, Va. Her grandchildren are Christopher Smith and Carolyn Riedberger, of Pagosa Springs; Andrea Sprague, of Honolulu; Christopher Adamson, of Sao Paulo, Brazil; Kathryn Bowers of Iszmir, Turkey; Katherine Loppacker of Charlottesville, Va.; Christopher D. Bentley, of Virginia; Ruth Yowell, David Adamson and George Adamson of Gaithersburg, Md.; and Eleanor Keisman of Prague, Czech Republic. Her great grandchildren are Keagan Smith, Kailey Smith Wiggers, Sawyer Smith, Sydney Smith, Kassidy Brueckner, Sullivan Smith, Clark Riedberger, Becky Riedberger, LeighAnna and Lydia Sprague, Luke Bowers, Elijah, Lydia Grace Bowers, and Emily Abigail Bowers; Grace, and Sarah Elizabeth Bentley; Thomas and Jackson Loppacker; Markkel Malloy, Ariana Adamson, Elijah Adamson and Daniel Adamson. Her only great-great granddaughter is Ivy Wiggers of Pagosa Springs.
One of Elaine’s passions was language. Her first language was French, then English, followed by Spanish, Arabic and Turkish (at least enough to be sociable). For many years she taught TESL classes and TESL instructors how to teach English to foreign students at the American University in Ankara, Turkey, and Washington, DC; George Mason University in Northern Virginia; and University of New Orleans in Louisiana. She spent a good part of the last 30 years writing and refining her tome: The Phonemic Dictionary of English which was written as her Ph.D thesis. At the age of 83, she began a frenzy of writing poetry and became an award winning member of the National Society of Poets. Her interests spanned many areas of art, music, travel, history, nature and most of all her family. Her worldwide travels as the wife of an American diplomat enabled her to indulge in all these interests on a global scale. Their early assignment in Cairo, Egypt, in 1949 was her favorite. She was fascinated by the history of that civilization and always had a book about or object of Egyptian antiquity on hand. Another assignment in Bogota, Colombia, gave her enough of an interest in emerald mines to travel outside the security of civilization to visit one. Always the trailblazer, she led her children on many adventures across deserts, up monuments, across rivers and into large museums and libraries to see everything she thought was exciting about the world and worth learning.
A Service of Burial was held at Trinity Anglican Chapel in Pagosa Springs on Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012. Father Marvin Moncrief officiated and her family honored her with her son, Eric, giving the Homily, her grandchildren sharing their memories of her legacy and the great-grandchildren reading the scriptures.
During the many years she cared for her mother, Rowena Nick Pennock, they worshipped at the Episcopal Church of the Annunciation in New Orleans where she was a Lay and Eucharistic minister. On Nov. 14, at 11: a.m., she will be interred in the Nick family plot at Metarie Cemetery in New Orleans, next to her mother, Rowena Pennock, grandfather Henry Nick, grandmother Almira and other aunts and uncles. The family invites her friends to join us there.
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