Bernice Ann Adams, 87, along-time resident of Newton, passed away peacefully July 27, 2020, in Ankeny, with her daughters by her side.
Bernice was born April 11, 1933, in La Crosse, Wis., and is the only child of Arthur and Anna (Stenke) Buelow. She graduated from La Crosse Central High School in 1951 and continued her education at the University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse, where she earned a bachelor’s degree and her teaching certificate. Shortly after graduation, she relocated to Newton where she was married to Richard “Dick” Adams Aug. 16, 1955 and together they built and operated the local A&W franchise and several other businesses.
At a very early age, Bernice developed a love for children and knew in fourth grade teaching would be her dream career. She taught primarily first grade at Aurora Heights Elementary School in Newton for 37 years and during this time she also went on to earn a master’s degree from Truman University. Bernice made a lasting impression on many of her students and after she retired, and even late in her life, it was common for her daughters to hear past students say “Mrs. Adams?” followed by “your mom was my favorite teacher.” Bernice also had the chance to work with many student teachers over the years and loved to share her experience and passion for teaching with future generations. Her feelings can be best summed up by her own words at her retirement, quoting from Winnie the Pooh, “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
Bernice continued to live a very active retirement and enjoyed traveling, shopping, laughing and volunteering in her community. She was a member of several women’s groups and was an active member of St. Luke’s Methodist Church. She has many special memories of time spent with her Newton “birthday club” friends and her closest high school friends, the self-titled “Ten Neat Teens” or “TNT” and more than anything, loved doting on her grandsons, inspiring their love of learning and doing the “happy dance” with them at every opportunity.
Bernice was preceded in death by her mother; father; and her beloved aunt Emma, who moved from La Crosse to Newton to help care for her girls and continued to live with Bernice until her passing. Bernice leaves behind her two daughters, Amy (Randy) Wiseman of Ankeny and Anne (Neil) Rudd of Batavia, Ill. She is also survived by her two beloved grandsons, Dr. Andrew Rudd of La Jolla, Calif., and Peter Rudd of ChapelHill, N.C.; and her best friend, Marsha Haycock, who is one of our family.
In respect to Bernice’s wishes, there will not be a memorial service at this time. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Newton Public Library or the St. Luke United Methodist Church. Memorials may be mailed to the Wallace Family Funeral Home and Crematory.