Jane Adams, a former long-time resident of Burlington, Iowa, passed away quietly in her home in Littleton, Colorado on Friday, April 16, 2021. Jane was born on January 29, 1931 in Chicago, Illinois to Joseph and Neva McAdam. She graduated from high school in Whiting, Indiana in 1948 and went on to attend Iowa State University graduating in 1952 with a Bachelor of Science in Sociology. While attending Iowa State, she met her future husband James (Jim) Adams, and they married in Whiting, Indiana in January of 1953. She devoted her life to her family, her church, and her community. Her volunteer work became a way of life which she found challenging and worthwhile. In addition to raising a family and volunteer work, Jane loved reading, needlework, traveling, golfing and was a fabulous cook.
Jane was a member of First United Methodist Church and served as a teacher for Sunday School and Bible School. She was a member of the finance and stewardship committee, she provided leadership as president of the United Methodist Women, and chaired the Board of Trustees, the Worship Committee, and the Ruth Circle. She also served as chairperson for the First United Methodist Church Administrative Council from 1998 - 2002 and Caring Friends which provided bereavement support for families.
Jane had a long association with the Girl Scouts which began when she became a Brownie, then Girl Scout, then a camp counselor in college. As an adult, her involvement continued as she served in many capacities on the local, regional, and national levels. Her association with Girl Scouts Shining Trail Council began in the 1960s when her daughters became interested in Girl Scouting, becoming first an Assistant Leader and then a Leader. On the council level, she served as vice-president of the Board and two plus terms as president of the Board of Directors from 1969 to 1975. She served the council twice as Interim Executive Director - once as a volunteer and once as a paid staff person. She chaired the Iowa Girl Scout Legislative Task Group. From 1979 to 1981 she served as a member of the National Board of Directors of Girl Scouts of the United States and as vice chair to Region V. In 1987 she was elected as Region V Chair for Girl Scouts USA where she served as liaison between the National Board and all council presidents in 10 states. In 1990 she was reelected to the National Board of Directors as a member-at-large. Jane was a member of the Friends of Our Cabana, an international world center of the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts.
In March of 1993, Jane received the God and Service Award from the Commission for Church and Youth Relations in cooperation with First United Methodist Church and the Girl Scouts of Shining Trail Council on Girl Scout Sunday for leadership within the life of the church and for outstanding involvement in the Girl Scout organization.
Jane was recognized as the 2003 Woman of Distinction given to a member of the community who represents the ideals of Girl Scouting.
In 1988, Jane was the first woman appointed to chair the annual campaign of the Burlington/West Burlington Area United Way. She then went on to serve as the pace setter chairperson in 1989, and in 1990 became the first woman to serve as president of the United Way. Additionally, Jane was a commissioner of the Low Rent Housing Agency, a member of the Library Task Group and a member of Chapter HU of P.E.O.
Jane was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Jim, daughter Anne Hill and husband Roger Hill, and daughter-in-law Mary Adams. She is survived by her brother Gregor (Barbara) McAdam and family, and by son Mark Adams, daughters Sara (Steve) Olsen; Susan (Steve) Foss; Barb (Tim) Seavy; grandchildren Kimberley, Elizabeth, Kylie, Elyse and Eric and great-grandchildren Serenity and Ario.
Memorial gifts in Jane's name may be made to Girl Scouts Eastern Iowa Western Illinois (EIWI), Attn. Cheryl Noller, 1308 Broadway St., West Burlington, Iowa 52665.
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