Nancy Jane Adams


Posted: Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Juneau resident Nancy Jane Adams died June 19, 2007, in Juneau. She was 70.

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She was born Feb. 6, 1937, in Medina, N.Y., the third of four children to Harry and Margaret Adams. She lost her father in 1951 and her mother in 1954.

After graduating from Medina High School in 1954, she attended Cortland State Teachers College, studying therapeutic recreation. Leaving school after three years, she traveled from New York to Mexico via scooter, then worked for a year in an Israeli kibbutz. She returned to New York, where she worked temporary jobs, including clerical work at the United Nations.

She moved to California, where she met her husband, Ernie Krumm. They had two sons, John and Chris.

She often talked about how happy she was to have had six years as a stay-at-home mom, spending hours at play with her boys in the Central Valley of California. While there, she also organized a massive cleanup of the nearby San Joaquin River, her proudest achievement.

Never tiring of adventure, she rode her Norton motorcycle on an epic cross-country trip with her family. She eventually resumed college and graduated with a masters in social work from the University of California, Fresno in 1976.

After graduating, she took a job as director of a day-treatment center in Great Falls, Mont., moving her family with her. There she began her career working with the seriously mentally ill, which she passionately enjoyed, according to her family.

She also worked in Butte, Mont., and then Helena, Mont., helping develop the Fountainhouse model of work-oriented day programs for persons with mental illness.

In 1987, she moved with her son, John and his future wife, Mary, to Anchorage, where she helped the Anchorage Community Health Center develop another day-treatment center.

She came to Juneau in 1989 as director for the Juneau Alliance for the Mentally Ill. Here she redeveloped and expanded the Green Door day-treatment program.

While in Juneau she was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease and in 1994 returned to Helena to begin hemodialysis treatment. She continued to work part-time as a private therapist and a mental health consultant for the city of Helena.

She was happy to be closer to her son, Chris, and his wife, Anna, whom she visited regularly in nearby Missoula. In 2005, she returned to Juneau to live with her son, John, and his family.

Family members said she was very expressive, never failing to speak her mind or offer up a story. Her family and friends will miss her laughter, nonjudgmental nature, capacity for love, "sick" humor, shameless re-gifting, raucousness and incredible spirit.

She is survived by her sons, John Krumm and his wife, Mary Owen, and Chris Krumm and his wife, Anna Marshall; granddaughter Elia Krumm; grandson, Tristian Marshall Krumm and brother John Adams.

A memorial will be held in Helena at a later date.

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