Elaine Adams

PAYNESVILLE, Minn. – Elaine M. Adams, 98, of Paynesville formerly of Willmar, Minn., died Wednesday morning, Jan. 15, 2014, at the Koronis Manor in Paynesville.

Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29, at the Church of St. Mary in Willmar. Friends may call from 9:30 a.m. until the time of service at the church. A Daughters of Isabella Rosary will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the church. Interment will be in the church cemetery.

Arrangements are with Peterson Brothers Funeral Home in Willmar, www.petersonbrothers.com.

Elaine Marion Adams was born on Sept. 16, 1915, in Norway, the daughter of Barbara Margaret (Spaniol) and Urban Alexander. She grew up in that area and moved with her family to Iron Mountain in 1925. There she completed her education and graduated valedictorian from Iron Mountain High School in 1932. She continued her education at the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth, Minn., and graduated cum laude in 1936.

On June 8, 1940, she married Harry Raymond “Ray” Adams. They made their home in Willmar, where Ray was an employee of the Great Northern Railroad. Ray died in 1968 in a railroad accident.

Elaine taught all levels of mathematics for more than 50 years, teaching in Kerkhoven, Minn., Clara City, Minn., and most of her teaching years in Willmar, retiring in 1979. She earned a master’s degree in mathematics from St. Cloud State University and had taken additional classes towards her doctorate degree.

On Jan. 6, 2001, she married Eldred “Al” Beckman and they spent summers in Minnesota and winters in Florida. In 2006 they moved to Paynesville and she moved into Koronis Manor in Paynesville in 2013, where she lived the remainder of her life.

She was a member of the Daughters of Isabella in Willmar, the Senior Citizens and Retired Teachers Association. Elaine was a generous supporter of Willmar High School, Ridgewater College, St. Scholastica College in Duluth, Willmar Women’s Fund, Willmar Community Foundation and numerous other charities.

She is survived by several cousins and three stepsons, Bruce Beckman of Edgewater, Fla., Robert (and Cynthia) Beckman of Knoxville, Tenn., and Donald Beckman of Brooklyn, N.Y.

Also surviving are four step-grandchildren; and one step-great-granddaughter; and many other relatives and friends.

Elaine was preceded in death by her parents; both husbands (Ray in 1968 and Al in 2008); and two sisters, Barbara Ann Alexander and Junetta DerYuen.