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Mary Adams

Obituary Condolences

Mary Adams Obituary

Mary Durham Adams, 90, of Fort Smith, Ark., completed her journey of life Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013.

She is survived by the immeasurable love of her three sons, Maurice of Haddam, Conn., Donald of West Jordan, Utah, and Douglas of Midlothian, Va.; seven grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

Mary, so much more a verb than a noun, celebrated her 90th birthday Aug. 18, 2013, at her home with 45 of her friends, hosted by her three sons.

She was provided great end-of-life care at Methodist Health and Rehab. Within her first month there, she was being referred to as "Mayor." Mary was the daughter of Frank and Grace Durham and had one brother, Robert, who preceded her in death. She was born in Hartshorne, Okla., grew up in Fort Smith, Ark., was a beauty queen and attended college at the University of Arkansas and Sophie Newcomb in New Orleans. She would also later obtain a degree in economics from Hunter College in New York City.

While a young, adventurous woman, she took flying lessons and would have had a pilot's license had she not said "no!" to spinning out of control in a biplane.

She met her husband, Maurice, at Fort Chaffee. Maurice served in World War II and was a highly decorated lieutenant colonel. Maurice's brothers and sisters lured them to Idaho. They settled in Idaho Falls, where they raised their three boys.

Mary practiced law, served as an assistant prosecuting attorney in Idaho Falls and four terms as the probate and juvenile judge of Bonneville County. Her authority and demeanor enabled her to keep her sons on the straight and narrow. She was also admitted to practice law before the U.S. Supreme Court. After Maurice died from cancer in 1967, Mary ran for, and lost, a very narrow primary race for the U.S. House of Representatives.

She moved to Jackson Hole, Wyo., and helped establish Jackson Hole Cable as a public stock company. Later, she ventured to New York City and worked for a Fortune 500 company. When her mother was failing, she moved back to Fort Smith and worked as a trust officer for Fort Smith National Bank.

Mary was a woman of character (very strong, as her sons would say); a woman of deep and abiding faith, full of kindness and charity; a woman of substance; compassionate, resolute, strong, smart, accomplished, forthright and honest. She had innumerable friends, loved bridge, had personality and lived a beautiful, vibrant life to its fullest.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, Oct. 28, at the Roebuck Chapel at First United Methodist Church, 200 N. 15th in Fort Smith, Ark. The family will visit with friends after the service and Mary will be reunited with her husband, Maurice, at 1 p.m. at Fort Smith National Cemetery. Funeral arrangements are under the care of Fentress Mortuary.

In lieu of flowers, a charitable donation may be made to the .

Condolences may be sent to the family online at www.fentressmortuary.com.

Published in Post Register on Oct. 27, 2013
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