May 6, 1944 - October 5, 2020
Beloit, WI - Judy Adams, longtime resident of Beloit, Wisconsin passed away the morning of October 5, 2020 at her home. Her passing ends a spirited fight with pancreatic cancer.
Judy was an extraordinarily kind and patient person. She spent her entire life placing the needs of others above her own. She made life easy for those she loved and was generous and compassionate to everyone, whether they were family, friends, or strangers.
Judy's lifework was connecting children with the magic and wonder of reading. Her professional training, vocation as a social worker and librarian, and joy of exploring other's interests layered together like a quilt that comforted many children in the love of the written word. Children she encountered were always encouraged and uplifted and were often left with the perfect book recommendation. Judy knew the peace, joy, and resilience-building qualities reading for enjoyment brought to children.
Judy was born in Racine on May 6, 1944 to Edward and Edith (Larsen) Sukus, a policeman and nurse. Together with her older brother Richard, Judy had a happy childhood with many adventures at the Lake Michigan shore and Racine Zoo. After graduating from Horlick High School, she attended and graduated from Carroll College in Waukesha. It was there that she met the love of her life and partner, Jeffrey Adams. After college, she worked as a caseworker for Milwaukee County's Child Welfare Division.
Judy and Jeff were wed on September 2, 1967. They moved to Pittsburgh, PA where they both attended graduate school and Judy obtained her Masters Degree in Social Work. After their scholarship was complete, Judy and Jeff began a journey pursuing his career in academia, first in Tivoli, NY, to Northfield, MN, to Madison, WI, and in 1982 to their final home in Beloit. At each stop, Judy carved her own career path as a clinical therapist and social worker. Along the way they had three sons whose rambunctiousness was often a mirror opposite of Judy's own serene demeanor.
Judy loved her adopted hometown of Beloit and formed many wonderful and deep friendships. For decades she woke before dawn to swim laps every morning at the YMCA pool before getting her sons ready for school. She was proud of her membership in the Y's 2000 Mile Club.
She was an active volunteer with Friends of the Riverfront and was ever present to help Music at Harry's Place and other events at Riverside Park. She relished writing biannual research papers for her fellow East End Club members where she mixed scholarship with a subtle sense of humor.
Professionally, Judy was a Certified Social Worker and helped countless individuals and families work through difficult times. She ended her career after twenty-five years at Family Services of Beloit. In addition, for two and a half decades she worked part-time as a librarian at the children's desk at the Beloit Public Library. There she organized many of the library's special programs including the Booklegger program and annual Battle of the Books competition for local school children. Her family has established the Judith H. Adams Fund at the Stateline Community Foundation to help continue Judy's work in sparking the joy of reading in Beloit-area children.
Later in life Judy became the grandmother to four grandchildren who she adored. One of her only regrets in leaving this world prematurely was the thought of being unable to spend more time with her grandchildren.
Judy was a patriot and loved her country. She and Jeff enjoyed exploring many areas of the U.S., including more than a dozen group trips with the Road Scholar organization. But, most of all, she loved experiencing the nature of the Beloit area, especially that found at the Nature at the Confluence urban environmental center, as a member of the Blooming Bunch, and in Jeff's large garden.
Judy is preceded in death by her parents, brother, sister-in-law Janice Sukus, brother-in-law Bryan Adams, and father-in-law Lavern Adams. She is survived by her husband, children Samuel and Molly (Putnam) Adams and their sons Jacob and Benjamin of Middleton, WI, Will Adams of Eureka, CA, and Daniel and Gabrielle (Baumann) Adams and their daughters Ingrid and Kay of Milwaukee, WI. She is also survived by her beloved nieces Jane (David) Foldy, JoAnne (Tyler) Horejsi, Jessica (Jason Roth) Schroeder, and Beth (Ryan) Moore, and nephew Peter Sukus, sisters-in-law Susan Schroeder and Mary Adams, and mother-in-law Martha Adams. And, so many cherished friends, too many to name here.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests your memories or stories of Judy be shared on the Daley Murphy Wisch Tribute Wall. The family is holding a private service with a later celebration of life to be held at a safe time.