March 29, 1933 - November 21, 2015
Elaine Keith Adams passed away and joined her Lord on Saturday, November 21, 2015. She is survived by her husband of 61 years, 7 months and 11 days, Gil Adams; her daughter, Kimberley Adams McDarty, and her son-in-law, Les McDarty, of Wichita KS; her daughter, Sheri Adams, of McKinney, TX; granddaughters Leah McDarty and Hannah McDarty, of Wichita, KS; and various cousins and other family members including Gene and Kathleen Walker, of Fort Worth, TX, and their children and grandchildren; Mary Blaha, of Fort Worth, TX, Marvin and Amy Adams and children of Weatherford, TX; Pat and Harold Leverett of Keller, TX, and their children and grandchildren, Letha and Paul Strain of Long Beach, California, and their children and grandchildren, Nan Stephens of Jacksonville, TX, and Mary Wilder of North Carolina. She will also be missed by various other special friends and relations throughout the world.
Elaine was born on March 29, 1933, in Georgetown, Texas, the only child of Lenita Fay Walker and Edgar White Keith, two educators who instilled in Elaine a life-long love of learning and traveling. She, in turn, passed that love along to her daughters and granddaughters, and took her husband, Gil, on that journey as well. She was a Texan to the bone, being the progeny of generations of Texans — the Keiths from East Texas, and the Walkers and Campbells from around Weatherford where a farm/ranch is still owned by a cousin, Gene Walker, which is where one daughter was married.
Elaine met the love of her life, Gil, on a blind date while she was attending Southwestern University where she later received a bachelor’s degree in education. She, at first, walked away from Gil because he had said he was from Massachusetts. He coaxed her into giving him another chance by telling her that he was just a Texas boy at heart and had only gone to high school in Massachusetts. They fell in love, were married on April 10, 1954, when Elaine was 21 years old and had the tiniest waist imaginable! The next 61 years, 7 months and 11 days were filled with joy, laughter, love, heartache, companionship, friendship, loyalty and many incredible adventures.
While Gil was in the Air Force, they traveled, seeing sites near where they were stationed around the country and having fun with other similar couples. Once Gil joined the work force, they began their family, but continued to travel and learn about history and culture in many different locales throughout the world.
New Orleans is where Elaine enjoyed Creole food, antebellum culture, plantations, history and art. Family time was always important to her, so she encouraged Gil to purchase a boat for “family activities.” She was one determined lady! She spent long hours learning how to water ski and one long afternoon, after numerous attempts, she got up on skis! Success! Lesson to her daughters who were waiting on shore: Don’t give up and keep working at whatever you want to succeed!
London is where she became a life-long Anglophile. She tasted delectable food from all over the world, engulfed herself in history and theater and immersed herself in art. It wasn’t exactly paradise, as she was alone with two children in a foreign country, but she learned to adapt. She encouraged her girls to try new experiences and foods (stinky cheese & escargot). She also learned to love wine then. She spearheaded a family Christmas road trip across Europe with stops in Paris, Dijon, Florence, Venice, Oberammergau (Germany- returned there years later with Gil to see the Passion Play!). Of course, stopping at historical sites, history and art museums and cathedrals along the way.
She and the girls visited Gil in The Middle East, where she soaked up the ancient cultures, religions, food, new friends and art. They visited old friends and made new ones in Tripoli, Libya, Teheran, Iran, Beirut, Lebanon and Kuwait. Elaine always wanted to visit the Holy Land but violence there prevented a planned trip. (Always wanting to do & experience more!)
Elaine valued striving to do your best in all endeavors. Keep studying. Keep practicing: whether the obligatory piano lessons, art or dance. Keep painting. Keep getting better. Reading was a way of life! She read to learn, to explore different times and lives and belief systems, to escape and to do things not always possible in “real life”!
Her Faith was her rock. She read and prayed every morning (usually the Covenant Prayer). She also learned from different faith backgrounds, hence she enrolled the girls in a Lutheran grade school, Methodist church & Sunday School, Baptist Vacation Bible School at her father’s home church. Visiting cathedrals (repeated theme here!) to learn stories from carvings, stained glass windows and other pieces of art. She was a longtime member of the Pathfinders Sunday School Class at First United Methodist Church of Richardson. In Pathfinders she had a group of Christian friends, a support system, a social network (before Facebook), a lot of fun and a place to learn more about her faith. Because of her faith, she showed kindness to others, in her own backyard and around the globe.
Elaine was full of love and pride for her two precious granddaughters, Leah & Hannah. While awaiting the arrival of her fiery (auto-correct but true!) first grandchild from China, she painted a nursery mural on the walls and ceiling (even in the closet) of Pooh’s Hundred Acre Woods! She was unable to be as active with granddaughters, but read to them, played games with them, especially board games, instilled a love of Disney and later Harry Potter, drawing & art, lavishing love as only a grandmother can! Her last art work was a gift for her Leah, a shirt that she had painted with an anime character.
Elaine expanded her heart to include her son-in-law, Les McDarty: the son she and Gil never had.
But above all, Elaine was truly “Born to Paint.” After God and family, her passion was art. It was Elaine’s life’s motto because she always wanted to pursue and develop her artistic talents. She began making “art” at the age of three or four by cutting out her own unique paper dolls. Now, more than seven decades later, she was a serious painter.
She began her art education with a life drawing class at Tulane University in New Orleans, La. Since then she has taken classes or workshops from some world renowned artists such as Violet Moulin, Laos Marcos, Bud Biggs, Bill Zaner, Edgar Whitney and Lap Ngo. Elaine uses watercolor and oil, mainly, but has had her eyes opened in recent years to new styles, new media and new techniques – for example, Flemish style oil, egg tempera, portraiture, palate knife, and so much more.
Over the years, she has entered numerous art shows, including the State Fair of Texas. In addition, she displays her artwork in galleries, restaurants, sidewalk art shows, and had several acclaimed one-person shows.
Elaine peacefully in her sleep on Saturday, November 21, 2015, surrounded by love, prayers (prayer blanket provided by First United Methodist Church f Richardson), and family. Elaine will be missed by family, friends, church and community. She’s now painting in the Great Artist Studio in Heaven!! God bless!!
Arrangements are under the direction of
ARIA Cremation Service and Funeral Home
19310 Preston Road
Dallas, Texas 75252
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