Mona Mae Adams

April 23, 1916April 15, 2010

Mona Mae Adams, loving mother and grandmother, passed away peacefully on April 15, 2010, surrounded by members of her family.

Mona was born in 1916 in Hammon, Oklahoma. Her father was a farmer, oil field worker, and owned a general store and trucking company. She married Walter Kauk and they relocated to Portland, Oregon in 1936. She had always wanted to come to Portland Oregon. When she was 12 years old, she read about Portland in her social studies book and astonished her teacher by saying she was going to live there some day. She and her husband Walt drove with her mother, Mona Gaither, in a Model A, loaded to the top. They were traveling over the mountains and were delighted to come to a clear stream, which they’d never seen before. They came into Portland on #99 and as they approached town, she said, “I’m home!” She always loved the natural beauty of the northwest and would praise the region to anyone who would listen.

She and Walter moved eventually to St. Johns and had two sons, LaMar and Larry. She helped run a service station/garage for several years. (They lived in a house that is a few blocks from where her grandson lives now.) She loved to sew and sewed all her own clothes in the latest fashion. She took a bookkeeping course so she could keep books for the garage.

In 1946 she married Albert Adams, to whom she was married for nearly 50 years. They moved to an acreage in Gresham, with berry fields on either side and a wooded hill behind. They had two more children, Beverly and Stan, and raised the four children “in the country”. They also brought Donna into their family. Mona loved to garden and cook for her family and they had fruit trees and vegetable garden, tended by Albert and her sons. She also dabbled in oil painting and became certified to teach Chinese cooking; she taught 5 provinces of Chinese cooking at Mt. Hood Community College and taught many others, including Girl Scouts and student groups.

For a couple years, Mona and Al lived in Bend and eastern Oregon while Al installed electrical substations. Mona would drive around during the day and get to know the people and history and sights of the area, gathering new friends as she went.

In 1975 the couple moved to Honolulu, Hawaii for a couple years while Al worked on an electrical installation. They made new friends and had many delighted visitors. When they returned, they moved from Gresham to Beaverton, where Al made a beautiful home for them, complete with his rose garden and her vegetable garden.

They traveled in their retirement all over the country, going to nearly every state in the union, including visits to relatives in New York and their good friends in Alaska. They went on an RV tour in Mexico and took a trip to Australia.

After Albert’s death, Mona continued to visit family in Louisville, Atlanta, the Seattle area and Hawaii. She always loved spending time at the family mountain cabin on the Breitenbush River, enjoying songs around the campfire, grandchildren and their friends and the river singing her to sleep.

Mona spent the last four years of her life as a resident of Maryville Nursing Home in Beaverton, where she made many friends and received loving care. She was always active and involved and liked having a voice in her community: she read a newspaper a day, clipping articles for others; she voted in every election; she read a novel every couple weeks; and she corresponded as long as she could with her friends and relatives. She was president of the Resident Council, which met regularly to address resident issues and concerns.

One day she picked up a Beaverton city newsletter from the lobby counter and took it back to her room to read; then she called the mayor’s office and asked his assistant if she could have a copy mailed to her personally. The assistant took her information while Mona told her what a great job the mayor, Bob Drake, was doing and said she wished she could meet him. Within a couple days, the mayor’s office had contacted Maryville and made arrangements for Mr. & Mrs. Drake to come for a visit, and he arrived two weeks later, flowers in hand, to have lunch with Mona. There was much mutual admiration and respect and it was the beginning of a very solid friendship,

Mona had a tremendous love of nature and was thrilled by beautiful scenery. She especially loved trees and leaves and said, “If I had to choose between flowers and trees, I’d choose trees every time.” She taught her children to revere nature as well and they repaid her with gifts of jewelry made of stone and shell, hand painted watercolors, and photos of their gardens and beautiful scenes from their travels.

Mona encouraged everyone to “Think big!” and to follow their dreams. She had a notice on her bulletin board, "Don't be afraid to think big". (The Valley Times wrote an article about her and another resident and their belief that a positive approach to life kept them young.) She taught her children that they could be anything that they wanted to be, and they returned to tell her about their dreams and achievements for the rest of her life. Others were encouraged by her as well, as she offered motivation, nurturing, and guidance. One Mothers’ Day she received a card from a woman who had just gotten her RN certification; she said she owed it to Mona because she had encouraged her to complete her training. She was thought of “as a mother” to many, who simply gratefully received her loving attention and care.

She had a strong faith and belief in the power of prayer. She taught her children and many others to believe that their prayers would be answered. If someone had a problem or concern, she encouraged them to pray about it and promised that she would pray for them as well. She told each one that they were a beloved child of God and had value and importance in this world.

She is survived by five children, LaMar Adams, Larry Adams, Beverly Staton, Stan Adams, and Donna Davidson; 15 grandchildren, many great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.

Services in her memory will be held on Friday, May 7th, 2:00 pm at Bateman Carroll Funeral Home in Gresham, Oregon. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be sent to Maryville Nursing Home in Beaverton, Oregon.

Arrangements under the direction of Bateman Carroll Funeral Home, Gresham, OR.


  • Funeral Service Friday, May 7, 2010

Mona Mae Adams

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Beverly Staton

May 17, 2010

To Those I Love

If I should ever leave you whom I love
To go along the Silent Way, grieve not,
Nor speak of me with tears, but laugh and talk
Of me as if I were beside you there.
(I’d come—I’d come, could I but find a way!
But would not tears and grief be barriers?)
And when you hear a song or see a bird
I loved, please do not let the thought of me
Be sad…for I am loving you just as
I always have…You were so good to me!
There are so many things I wanted still
To do—so many things to say to you…
Remember that I did not fear…It was
Just leaving you that was so hard to face…
We cannot see beyond…But this I know:
I loved you so—‘twas heaven here with you!
~Isla Paschal Richardson

Diem Nguyen Buckner

May 7, 2010

Mark and I are so blessed to be "adopted" by Granny Mona. I am so glad to have gotten a chance to visit with her in March, when she gave me more wonderful advices to live by. She said to me, "If you remember anything from Granny, I want you to remember this: When you worry, ask yourself, 'Will my worry change anything?' If it won't, then don't worry about it". Granny Mona will always have a giant space in my heart. Mark and I will miss her greatly.

Basha Krasnoff

May 7, 2010

Mona's great spirit and deep love continue on in each of us. She has made this world a better place for having been here and I know that now she is off to experience the great wonders of the next. Via con dios, Mona.

Barb Ring

May 6, 2010

I loved Mona and Al just like gradparents. When Al died I was so sad. Mona was so strong and somehow I just new they would be together again. I know they are now. I have cut Monas hair for so many years now and I have the cutest memory. Al was playing Santa at the mall where I work. He used to bring candy canes to me and the other girls at my shop. He used to ask me if I could give him a better haircut and I told him of course I could.And so I started cutting his hair. Mona decided she better check me out and the next thing I knew, I was cutting her hair. I feel so lucky to have had them in my life. I will truly miss Mona, her beautiful curly hair and wonderful smile. I'm so glad I will still see Bev, lucky for me, I cut her hair too. Love to all the family, Barb

Jon Adams

May 4, 2010


There are so many beautiful memories written on these pages. They are all true, I'm sure. I can hear you laughing when I tell you that my fondest memory of my times spent with you is... frozen grapes.

Be at peace and know that I love you,


May 4, 2010

I first met Mona and Al at their home in Gresham. I had dated Beverly for about three weeks and Bev said it was time to meet her folks. I will never forget how Mona instantly made me feel like I was one of her family. I thought I was special for that but would later learn that she made everybody she met feel that way. On my first visit we spent some time chatting and then she proceeded to show me some of the flowers in her yard. She could have shown me the roses or the hollyhocks or the daisies but instead she showed me only two very specific flowers. One was the Bridal Wreath and the other was Bachelor Button. I think she also mentioned that she thought the Bridal Wreath was a much nicer flower than the Bachelor Button. As usual, she was right.

As with so many others she instantly became a mom to me and for that I will forever be grateful to her. She would introduce me as her son, not a son-in-law. That was an honor and a testimony to my relationship with her. I always tried to treat her and care for her as I did my biological mother. She was indeed a special lady.

As time passed, for many people, including me, Mona gained a new identity. Instead of being known as Mona she became known as “Granni”. All of her grand kids called her Granni and all of their friends called her “Granni”. Many adult friends also called her “Granni”. And, she loved it. She was a “Granni” to many people who needed a Granni in their life whatever age they were. Whenever she would call our house I would answer and say “Hi Granni” and she would always say “Hi Son”. I would usually start the conversation by asking how she was doing and, as a way to highlight her usual optimistic sprit, I would ask how her soccer game went that day and she would always laugh. When she fell and broke her hip and had the pin installed I told her that once the other team heard about the pin in her hip they would probably forfeit the game rather that face somebody as tough as her. During her last stay in the hospital I told her that I told the team that she would be missing soccer practice for a few days but she would soon be back and as tough as ever. She laughed.

There are several phases of Granni’s life and my life that have connections besides my being married to her beautiful daughter. Granni was from Texas and Oklahoma and my biological mother was from Texas and Oklahoma. Al and Mona were married in Pocatello, Idaho, which is where I was born and raised. I often wonder if my parents ever met Al and Mona those many years ago in Texas, Oklahoma, or Pocatello. As a young boy I spent many hours in a movie theater that Al wired as an electrician. So Al and Mona were part of my life way before I officially met them and before Mona introduced me to Bridal Wreath.

I feel blessed to have had Mona/Granni as a mother and miss her deeply. As I am writing this I looked up at the shelf of books above our computer and the first book that caught my eye is a book titled “Simple Ways To Encourage Others”. I think she could have written that book because she encouraged so many people to think big and become the best they could be.

I love you Granni. The soccer team misses you.

Your son, Ralph

Cindi Morgan

May 3, 2010

I will always hold dear the memory of our time when you visited us in Johnson City, NY and I came to know my Aunt and Uncle. You are now reunited with Uncle Louie and happy again.

May 2, 2010

I came to the US from Germany as an immigrant in 1954 and our family settled in Gresham. I was in the fourth grade at the time and it was difficult to make all the cultural adjustments and to learn a new language.

My best friend was Beverly Stayton (Adams) and I was privileged to get to know her mother, Mona. She was always an inspiration to me. I did not know if I could go to college and she said, “You can do anything that you set your mind to and work for”. She also inspired me to be a better cook as she taught me to appreciate many kinds of foods, including Chinese food and many other ethnic foods which we did not have at home.

While I cannot take credit for being a “great person” I must give Mona credit for making me a “better person” in many subtle ways. She never treated me like a guest or friend of her daughters but always as a member of the family.

I will always remember Mona and she will be missed by me as well.

Gabriele Oscarson

Bev Staton

May 1, 2010

Strawberry Picnics

Tamara called me on my cell on our third day of our hospital vigil. (She had already been to visit Mom, as had Geoff and baby Kaya and Mom had had some good times with them.) Tamara asked if she and Kaya could come by. I said of course, but warned her that Mom was not really conscious and was “halfway home to Albert”. She said that she understood that, but that she wanted to come to support me, which I appreciated very much.

Ralph had been there with me, but for a period of time I had been alone with Mom, listening to the music she loved and sitting with her peacefully. When Tam and the baby came in, she put Kaya in the chair and took out a quart of fresh strawberries and the three of us sat there eating strawberries in the sunny window with the 9th floor view and loving the baby and talking about seeing Mom out. Kaya loved the strawberries and made us laugh and I thought, “Mom is loving this.” Tamara picked up Mom’s lifelong tradition of providing picnics and good times for her loved ones and carried it forward.

Kaya pointed to Mom and lovingly said her name and Tam told her she was sleeping. Tam bundled the baby back up and went over and told Mom that she loved her and told her goodbye. She hugged Ralph as he came back in the door and they went on their way.

Mom said (even put it in her will) that she did not want a funeral, but a happy celebration and for life to go joyfully on. This strawberry picnic was one of many steps in that direction.

Love you, Mama

Theresa White

April 30, 2010

Hey Bev. Julie told me about Granny. She was an amazing woman and has left a wonderful legacy in you and Julie, and everyone else she met. Thinking of you guys in this time. Love ya!