Daniela "Denny" Adams

Thursday, May 10, 2012 - 08:58

Former Eagle River resident Daniela “Denny” Adams died at her home in Wasilla from cancer on April 4, 2012. She was 89.

She was born on Oct. 22, 1922 in Gorizia, Italy to Giuseppe and Giuseppina Scapin.

A funeral Mass was held on April 12 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Wasilla. Interment services will be in June at Valley Memorial Park Cemetery in Palmer.

Daniela worked for the State of Alaska at Eagle River Elementary, as well as at Chugiak High School and McLaughlin Youth Center until her retirement.

Daniela met Frank Adams in 1946, and in 1948 Frank moved his wife and two young sons from Italy to Montana, where Daniela taught herself English and how to endure rural ranch life with a growing young family. In the early 1950s, Frank and Daniela moved to Alaska with their six young children. With a very young family, she and her husband built a home in Eagle River and homesteaded in Chickaloon. In 1963, Daniela stated her food service career with the State of Alaska at the “new” Eagle River Elementary School, worked there until Chugiak High School opened, then transferred to Chugiak. In conjunction with raising a family and splitting time between her Eagle River home and Chickaloon homestead, she also volunteered time as a Girl Scout Leader and Boy Scout Den Mother to Eagle River Troops. She also helped at the schools with special projects and graduations. A devout Catholic, she also helped establish St. Anthony’s Catholic Church and with the help of her husband aided in the construction of the church’s first building (basement) in Eagle River.

After her husband passed away and her children were grown, and after many years of living in Eagle River, Daniela moved to Anchorage to be closer to her work. A few years after she retired she moved to Wasilla.

“She made the most out of life by doing what was needed to be done and giving of her time freely to others,” her family said. “Mom was a true pioneer Alaskan woman who was very strong, loved life, her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and was a woman of unwavering faith. She cared deeply for those who touched her life in a positive way and was forever grateful for her longstanding friendships. She spent her later years traveling, gardening, reading, crocheting, and sewing; her family was her life and she was a true Italian mother and grandmother in every sense of the word. She will be deeply missed by her family and friends.”

She is survived by her children and their spouses, Claude and Retha Adams of Maricopa, Ariz.; John and Carmen Russo Adams of McCarthy; and Frank and Anna Adams, Mary and Doug Wilber and Betty Adams, all of Wasilla; and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband Frank Adams; son, Patrick Adams; and her three grandsons, “Little Pat,” Jamie, and Jesse; along with her parents and sister, Giuseppina Scapin.

Bereavement gifts may be made in Daniela’s name to her charities of choice: American Cancer Society, American Heart and Lung Association or to Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Wasilla.

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