Regina A. (Heupel) Adam|
1921 - 2014
Regina Adam passed away peacefully in her sleep on the morning of July 9, 2014. She lived her life fully until the very last day. Regina was born on October 7, 1921 on a farm near Leola, South Dakota. Her parents, Fred and Rose Heupel were new immigrants from Odessa Russia and Regina was the oldest of 6 kids. She grew up speaking first German and then English. She graduated from high school in Leola in 1939 and continued on to Northern State Teacher's College. She graduated with a teaching certificate in 1941. She married Elmer Adam in 1943. Her first son, Gary was born in 1944 in Aberdeen, South Dakota, followed by a daughter, Linda in 1945. The family moved from Aberdeen settling briefly in Salt Lake City, Boise, Phoenix, and finally ending up back in Boise in the early 1960's.
Regina had a passion for early childhood education and spent most of her life engaged in teaching young children to read. She began by teaching in country schools near Leola, South Dakota and after leaving South Dakota, she taught in various preschool settings. When her third child, Paul, was Kindergarten age, Regina began her own private kindergarten because she felt strongly that children could benefit from early education, especially learning to read. She read to her own four kids and many of our best memories with our mom are evenings of reading together, first she reading to us and then when we were old enough, us reading to her. She inspired a love of books and learning in all of us that continues to this day.
She took a brief hiatus from teaching when her last child, Tami, completed kindergarten. At this time, Regina returned to school and completed her bachelor's degree at Boise State College in 1973. She was 52 years old. During the 70's she was active in canvassing for kindergarten education being included in public schools. Due to the hard work of many people including Regina, kindergarten is now a part of the public school curriculum in Idaho.
In the mid 70's, Regina founded Small Wonder Preschool and Daycare in Boise. This was a perfect opportunity for her to satisfy her teaching passion during morning preschool classes and provide childcare for the area residents in the afternoon. The preschool operated for over 25 years. After retiring from Small Wonder, Regina continued to teach pre-reading skills at Parkside School in Boise, and then at Bronco Elite, in Boise. She finally completely retired from teaching in her early 80's.
In addition to teaching, Regina loved gardening and cooking traditional German dishes handed down from family in South Dakota. Over the past few years, many of her recipes (written and unwritten) were handed over to daughter Tami during Friday afternoon cooking adventures. Favorite dishes included dumplings, chicken and noodles, halupsi (cabbage rolls), borscht, kuchen, and cinnamon rolls. She grew her own rhubarb and made a delicious rhubarb pie…she liked it tart! Over the years, many summer Sundays were spent on mountain drives, harvesting chokecherries or elderberries to be made into jam. She supported Bronco football and listened to games on the radio before they became watchable on TV. She loved all animals, especially cats and is survived by her dear old friend, Kitten.
Throughout her life, Regina lived with a fiery German spirit that made her seem invincible to obstacles. She found it very hard to slow down when congestive heart failure was diagnosed last summer. She was lucky to have her son, Paul during this past year, to provide company and care during days of declining health. Her last day on earth was a day of sunshine and laughter spent with son Gary and daughter, Linda on a fun outing in McCall. Though our hearts are broken from losing her, we are comforted knowing that hers was truly a life well lived.
Regina was preceded in death by her husband Elmer, parents Rose and Fred Heupel, four brothers and one sister. She is survived by her children, Gary Adam, Paul Adam, Tami Campbell and Linda Sawdey; grandchildren, Paul and Chris Adam; and great-grandchildren, Baily and Bodhi Adam.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Idaho Humane Society.
Funeral Services will be held at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Friday, July 18, at 10:00 a.m. Interment will follow at Dry Creek Cemetery.
Published in Idaho Statesman on July 15, 2014