Monday, June 06, 2011

Katharine "Patty" Lucas Adam, 1917- 2011

Libby's mother, Patty Adam, died June 3, 2011, in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She was born on November 23, 1917, to American parents then living in Anking, China. (As many friends know and in one of the coincidences too weird for fiction,she was raised with Betsy's oldest sister, Jane Huntington; they were the first two "Anglo" babies born in the province. We found this out after we had been seeing each other for a while, when Patty dug up a photo of them together in a carriage at about a week; we put them together for the first time in about 70 years! I wll try to get that photo...)

From her obit: "After the death of her mother in 1925, she and her father moved to Berkeley, California. Patty attended the Berkeley public schools and graduated from the Dominican Convent in San Rafael in 1934. She attended the University of California at Berkeley, graduating in 1938 with a major in English, and then took a fifth year to earn a teaching credential. After graduation, she taught high school for a year in Dorris, California, a town with one box mill, three lumber companies, one grocery store, and seven saloons. She remembered it as a wonderful place because the teachers got to dance every dance!"

She married Kenneth Dunstan Adam, an engineer from the U.C. Class of 1940 and pioneer climber on Yosemite's big walls (Jackson is 3rd gen climber on his mother's side-- she climbed too-- and second on his blood father's), settled in Berkeley, and raised four children. An accomplished outdoorswoman and lifelong member of the Sierra Club, she spent many summers with her four children at Echo Lake in the Sierra Nevada, in a cabin accessible only by boat, with no electricity or telephone. In 1972, she went with her husband on a 500-mile hiking trek in Nepal that reached the Mt. Everest Base Camp and continued east to Darjeeling, India. She and Ken moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1973, where he continued an active outdoor life until he died in 2006. You had to earn Ken and Patty's respect but when you did you knew it meant something. As editor Allen Jones said to me earlier this week, that is an epitaph worth having.

Patty died, not unexpectedly, in Santa Fe Friday night, in her sleep, bedridden but still lucid and calm and good humored to the end-- Jack and his wife Niki had visited just hours before. We had visited last weekend and Lib again on Wednesday.

Please forgive slow bloggage. The past week and a half has been utter chaos-- the past four days alone have also included a vet trip for Lashyn (30 miles, diabetes, manageable by diet we hope), my semiannual Parkinson's checkup (excellent but in Alb, 100 miles away!), a blown tire (don't ask), and, still needing negotiation but looking to be a done deal if for yet unknown money, a two- book contract including a "Sportsman's Library" and the finished Eagle's Shadow, which may allow me to get a leg up on my other projects as well...

Lib is back from Santa Fe and I am getting ready to go up there (150 miles) for services, which include a (dog) poem read by me- ! Patty always loved the pups. I am slightly "Parkied" by stress and with seven confused-- disrupted routines, aaaargh!-- dogs. Yikes. But I finally have an afternoon to catch up on blogging; will get through & be back by the middle of the week or sooner, and checking mail from up north...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Sportsman's Library" and the finished Eagle's Shadow

Any coment on what these are about? WH