During her nearly 64 years of parenting and volunteering, Jeanne Shropshire Adams dispensed advice liberally. Her children would agree that it was her favorite thing to do. One bit of wisdom she lived was: “To have friends, you have to be a friend.” She embraced that spirit throughout her life.
And so on Nov. 9, Newton County lost one of its most active and devoted volunteers when Mrs. Adams died peacefully at age 90 after a brief stay at Abbey Hospice.
Mrs. Adams was born April 10, 1930, in Rutledge, Ga., the fourth of William Henry and Lottie Mae Shropshire’s seven children. Her father was a farmer and her mother ran the home and, among other things, raised chickens and sold the eggs to the old Covington Hotel. Mrs. Shropshire later went to work at Bibb Manufacturing in Porterdale to support the war effort after her oldest son, Glenn, joined the Marines and left to fight in the Pacific.
Mrs. Adams was educated at Jersey Elementary school. In junior high, a fire badly damaged the school and students were sent to study with local families. Mrs. Adams did well enough that her family sponsored her attendance at Monroe High School, where she graduated at the top of her class. She left home immediately after graduation and moved to Covington with a friend, Bess Rodgers, and took a position with Dietz’s Department store on the Covington square.
She and Mrs. Rodgers traveled extensively, eventually visiting all 48 of the mainland United States. It was before their final trip that Mrs. Adams told her then-boyfriend that if he was serious about their relationship, he should greet her when the train returned to Covington. As you might have guessed, Paul Adams did, indeed, greet her and they spent nearly 55 years together.
It was during this time that Mrs. Adams became deeply involved in the community. As a member of the Covington Women’s Club she served two terms as president, 20 years apart.
She served three years as president of the Pilot Club, leading an effort to obtain a grant for Palmer Stone School in Oxford and, later, leading the effort to install handicapped parking on the Covington Square.
Mrs. Adams also was a member of the Covington Service Guild, the Cotton Bowl Quilters (she was president in 1986 and 1987) and the Mansfield Garden Club (president in 1991).
She was a regular on the society pages of the Covington News as she hosted showers and special parties for her many friends and relatives.
Through all this she held a full-time job, most notably for 25 years as the office manager of Banks Insurance Agency in downtown Covington. At Banks Insurance, she also maintained an active life insurance practice and, for a while, even managed the life insurance program for the Covington Fire Department.
As a club member, businesswoman and 73-year member of the Covington United Methodist Church, Mrs. Adams built a wide circle of friends, most of whom she maintained long after retirement. It was not uncommon for her to fill her calendar with lunch plans and afternoon visits.
Mrs. Adams is survived by two sons, Christopher Paul (Tina-Marie) of Chicago, Ill., and Timothy Michael (Shelley) of Covington and daughter Paula Jeanne (Brian) of Cape Coral, Fla. She has seven grandchildren: Anderson (Emily) of Peachtree Corners, Ga.; Susan Scullion (Dan) of Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia; Creighton of Philadelphia, Pa.; Waverly and Kaline of Chicago; Taylar Gay (Marshall) of Rex, Ga.; and Chelsea Gomer (Nathan) of Cape Coral, Fla.; and two great-grandchildren: Aria and Owen of Peachtree Corners. Two sisters – Sue Freeman and Lottie Portwood, both of Newton County – also survive.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Paul (2011), and a son, Gregory Joseph (1959).
In lieu of flowers, Mrs. Adams asked that donations be made to the First United Methodist Church of Covington (1113 Conyers St.; Covington, Ga. 30014) and/or Abbey Hospice (215 Azelea Court; Social Circle, Ga. 30025).
This obituary was prepared with love and affection by Mrs. Adam’s family.
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