LaRena Marie Jenkins Adams

1930 -

Marie Adams, a contralto, directed choirs and small vocal ensembles for forty years in Seventh-day Adventist schools. She also taught art, English, and secretarial science classes as needed in schools where her husband served as principal.

Marie was born and raised in Madera, California, one of four children and the oldest daughter of George and LaRena Jenkins. She attended Walla Walla Valley Academy in Washington state and, following graduation in 1947, enrolled at Walla Walla College, now University, where she completed a B.A. in music in 1951, studying under Stanley Walker, Clarence Dortch, and Elaine Meyers. While attending WWC, she met and married M. Earl Adams in July 1950.

They began teaching in the Oregon Conference following graduation and after three years taught at Sheyenne River Academy, now Dakota Adventist Academy, in North Dakota for a year, where he served as dean of boys. In 1955 they traveled to Iran, where for the next three years they helped build a school in Tehran.

On their return to the U.S. in 1958, the Adamses worked for three years at Greater Baltimore Academy and five years in Texas (two years in Houston and three years at Jefferson Academy) before returning to GBA, where he served as principal for two years. They then worked at Highland View Academy in Maryland and at Platte Valley Academy in Nebraska, where he served as principal and she taught music from 1970 to 1977.

At that time they accepted positions at Sandia View Academy in New Mexico and then at Reno Junior Academy in Nevada. In 1986 they traveled to Bangledesh to teach at the SDA seminary and later at the Adventist school in Bangkok, where he served as principal.

The Adamses had four daughters, Carol (Swinyar), Patty (Denison), Nancy, and Krista (Leirmoe) and raised them in a home where music was an important activity. Marie also played saxophone, and Earl was a trombonist. Carol, inspired by the instruction she received from her mother, majored in music at Southern Missionary College, now Southern Adventist University, and has been a music teacher and administrator for over 35 years.

Marie and Earl retired in 1991 and were living in Desert Hot Springs, California, when he died in 2004. She now resides in Chino Valley, Arizona.


Sources: Information provided by Carol Adams Swinyar, 1 May 2012; 1930 U.S. Federal Census; North Pacific Union Gleaner, 7 August 1950, 6; Central Union Reaper, 4 August 1970, 7; WWC alumni magazine, Westwind, 1991; Online Westwind, 2004; California Birth Index, 1905-1995; Information provided by Carol Swinyar, 25 November 2008; Review and Herald, 16 October 1986, 20; and 16 March 1989, 23.