Mary Adams

last updated 5/10/2018

Mary Lu Adams

Commodity Manager at Eaton Corporation

Eaton House 30 Pembroke Road, Dublin, Ireland

General Information


Senior Sourcing Specialist - Topco Associates LLC

Counselor - Coon Rapids ,

Adviser - National Honor Society

Office Assistant - Bethany College

PLC Sourcing Supervisor - Woodward, Inc.



doctorate - Sociology , University of Minnesota

nursing degreeJohns Hopkins University


Resident Advisor - West Virginia Governor's Honor's Academy

Recent News  

Past Winners - South Dakota Department of Tourism

Mary Adams
Photo of Mary Adams and Governor Janklow. Mary Adams received the 2001Ben Black Elk Award from Governor One of three siblings, Adams headed off to college, urged on by parents who valued education at the expense of their own comforts. In fact, all three children attended the University of South Dakota at a time when work often took the place of higher education for most young adults. Loosing a brother in World War II left Adams and her sister as sole heirs to the family farm, which was still actively farmed by their parents. Adams left South Dakota for the East Coast, earning a nursing degree at Johns Hopkins University and a Masters from Columbia, before working in New York as a nurse. She then earned a doctorate in Sociology from the University of Minnesota and switched her nursing career to nursing education. She held professorships in Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois, Ohio and Oklahoma. Each position brought additional education and gained her national recognition as a leader in gerontological nursing. It wasn't until 1990 that Adams returned home permanently. She was appointed acting dean of the College of Nursing at South Dakota State University and cared for her ailing sister.

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Mary Adams among flowers likely planted by her late sister Maud.
Mary Adams among flowers likely planted by her late sister Maud. Here's the story behind its creation from Mary Adams, who died in 2009. A dream Mary Adams shared with her sister Maud is developing right before her eyes on the family homestead near McCook Lake in the southeastern corner of South Dakota. Deciding what to do with the land took some thought, Mary said. "At the time the land value was extremely high," Mary said. "They didn't have a clue of what we were talking about," Mary said. She said they talked in general about the land back then. Neither she nor the state really knew what the site would become. "Then the little girl found a tree branch that had fallen and was at just the right angle she could jump over it," Mary said. The girl shouted, "Daddy, watch me again" over and over. "I thought, well that's the purpose of the park. They were here a very short time and they had fun and they learned from the earth, the sky and what's between," she said. "It's a house of two houses," Mary said. The front part of the house - the front room and two upstairs bedrooms - is the old Shay house. "It sat about where the Dunes country club is," Mary said. "The old Missouri River was about to cut the old Shay house into the river so my dad put it up on dollies and brought it here," she said. He added the back part later. Mary grew up in the Shay-Adams house and Maud grew up in the old red farmhouse. Later when Maud became ill, Mary, who was serving as acting dean of the College of Nursing at South Dakota State University, returned to the homestead to care for her. It was her idea to call it a place for inner renewal, Mary said, and it's very fitting of her and the place. An old barn, a Union County country schoolhouse and an old rural church from the Platte area, which the sisters moved to the place, remain and have been restored. They are situated on the 13 acres and will comprise the homestead feature of the area. Mary has learned a lot since returning to the homestead. The first was that there were no closets in the downstairs of Shay-Adams house. More importantly, she has learned just how much the place meant to the family and how much of them still remains. "I don't know how my father and mother held onto this place during the Depression," she said. The family lost a lot of land to foreclosure during those years. "They put three of us through college and two through professional training or professional preparation. I never appreciated what they did until this year," Mary said, acknowledging it required a lot of sacrifice. "But they believed in education and were great believers in the land and how it could be enjoyed." One of her mother's favorite books was Sea of Grass. "The idea that you could go out and listen to the wheat and listen to cattails in the wind and hear waves," she said. "Mom's family came from Norway so that part gave her a closeness to family," Mary said, with tears forming in her eyes. "When I was acting dean I traveled a lot in South Dakota and I loved to see the wheat fields from Onida down through Winner," she said. And they loved to water," Mary said. Though it would take some work to get it established, a century garden representing the plants grown from the 1870s to 1990s would be fitting, she thinks. As she prepares to settle into the family's 1880s farmhouse, she busies herself inside the Shay-Adams house packing memories and uncovering family papers no one else was intended to find. Though she's finding it to be a difficult, task, Mary remains comfortable with their decision to share the land. She said she has studied the meaning of altruism or selfless regard for the well being of others. It was a gift of love, as she puts it. But that doesn't make parting with it any less emotional. "When you give a gift it's not yours anymore," she said, fighting back tears. "I hope the people of South Dakota enjoy it and keep it up. There are a lot of feelings ... here. She takes comfort in believing her deceased family members would also approve. "I think that the positive spirits of my mother, my dad, his parents and my brother and sister are here," Mary said. "I don't think there would be an incompatible voice." Mary will continue to watch as the dream she shared with Maud develops into a place to be shared. She's also looking forward to the peace and tranquility her family loved about the place. All she needs is a little time off. "I retired," Mary said.

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Mary Adams

Mary Adams
Mary Adams Mary Adams Mary Adams Council of Governors I was employed as a nurse in the NHS for 38 enjoyable years.

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