Adarose Heydon was a no-frills kind of gal, whose gentle, fun-loving personality won her many friends throughout her lifetime. Determined and intensely spiritual, Adarose’s life encompassed both an incredible work ethic and an unconditional faith in the Lord. Her greatest joy and greatest pride in life was her family – her children and her grandchildren – and she devoted herself to their well-being. Adarose’s kind heart, artistic flair, and indomitable spirit will live on in the hearts and minds of all those who had the privilege of knowing her.
Adarose was born in Norway, MI on March 5, 1924, to delighted parents Joseph (Joe) Mills and Ada (Welch) Beach. She was the baby of the family, with an older brother, Mills, to look out for her. When Adarose was born, Mills, then four years old, was instructed to watch over his sister. He took to calling Adarose simply “sister,” which was the start of a lifelong family nickname. During the Great Depression, however, times were tough, and jobs were hard to find in a small city so Joe moved the family to Ironwood, Michigan, in search of new opportunities. Initially, Joe did odd jobs including selling insurance. During this time Joe began developing films and printing pictures in his basement for a hobby, and Ada taught school. Eventually, they started a photo business called Range Photo Service, and Ada quit her job as a teacher to help out at the business full-time. Adarose learned much from her family, including values of persistence and frugality which would allow her to survive any situation, no matter how difficult. Since her paternal grandfather was a Methodist minister, and her aunt was a missionary to India, Adarose grew up with a strong religious foundation as well.
School years for Adarose were some of her favorite memories in Ironwood. Bright and outgoing, Adarose loved her classes, and participated in music classes, drama, ballet, and skiing – and managed to stay on the honor roll the whole time! In one memorable incident, Adarose’s gym teacher asked her to demonstrate skiing down the snow-covered stadium bleachers. Unbeknownst to the teacher (and Adarose), the snow had already turned to ice, and despite her proficiency Adarose ended up with many bruises and a broken arm. After school let out in the afternoon, Adarose often helped out at the family business, located just across the street from their home. The bonds she formed with numerous classmates lasted through the years. Her classmates celebrated their 70th reunion this past summer.
After graduating from Luther L. Wright High School in 1942, Adarose went on to Albion College in southwest Michigan. Despite the fact that Adarose’s maternal grandparents hailed from Cornwall, England, Adarose’s dark hair and features (as well as the “Rose” in her name) led many people to assume she was Jewish or Italian. While at Albion, Adarose continued to be active in the church, as well as the college’s drama and music programs. One day, her drama coach asked her to assist a young man, Linus Heydon Jr., with a new dance routine. Adarose and Linus’ new friendship developed into romance, and they were married on August 24, 1952.
In 1950, Adarose graduated from Albion with a bachelor’s degree. She was accepted in a speech pathology master’s program at Michigan State University, but chose to drop out and help with the family business after her father suffered a heart attack. Adarose and Linus set up house in Ironwood, where they were blessed with the birth of their first child, whom they named Linus Heydon III. Later, they moved to St. Paul, Minnesota, which is where they welcomed their daughter, Susan, into the family. Eventually, the family settled down in Greendale, Wisconsin, where Adarose would live for over 40 years. In order to help out with the family finances, Adarose earned a teaching certificate at Alverno College and began working as a substitute teacher.
Adarose’s path became more difficult in the early 1970’s, when her marriage ended and she was left alone to raise the children. Just as it seemed that she would be overwhelmed, however, Adarose found strength and hope in a rediscovery of her religious faith. Encouraged by neighbors, she joined a young church at a nearby theater (which later became the Elmbrook church), and her childhood faith was renewed. Adarose quit substitute teaching (which she hated), and landed a job at the Women’s International Bowling Congress. The office was less than a mile from her home, and she worked in the Women’s Bowler magazine department. Adarose was a dedicated and loving mother, seeing her children through both joyous and trying times. Although gentle by nature, Adarose also possessed a quiet strength that was recognized by her children only after they started raising their own families.
After her children had married and moved out of the home, Adarose’s pets became her constant companions. She loved animals, and always had at least two pets around (at one point, she had 2 dogs and 4 cats!). In 1988, Adarose left the Midwest for the first time when she went on a trip with her daughter Sue and the Parkway Church to Israel. She loved the adventure, and went on to fly many more times to visit her son Linus and his family once they had moved to Texas.
In 1991, Adarose retired from the magazine and settled down to enjoy her golden years. She was blessed with seven grandchildren, whom she adored. She looked forward to family get-togethers, and loved chatting and reading with the grandkids. In her free time, Adarose was very artistic, with creations from her lovely rock garden to her craft projects made from odds and ends. She was also active in the community, and belonged to several Bible Study groups and the Cornish Society. At home, Adarose loved curling up with a good book, especially historical books, and enjoyed researching her own family tree. Her favorite TV series was the “All Creatures Great and Small” series, and on rainy days she liked to say: “God gave us a soft day to stay in, bake some bread and read a good book or rest. He knew we needed to slow down.”
In 2005, increasing health issues made it impossible for Adarose to remain in the home she loved in Greendale. She moved into an assisted living facility in Oak Creek near her daughter’s home which made visitation with her family just a stroll away! This became her new home, which she loved, decorated in family pictures and her favorite chair. The awesome Staff there became a second family for her and she enjoyed activities, church services, music and 3 square meals without having to do dishes.
Faithful and honest, gentle and fun-loving, Adarose was a devoted mother, a loving grandmother, and a loyal friend. She will be deeply missed and lovingly remembered by her many friends and family members.
Adarose Beach Heydon died on October 14, 2012, at the age of 88. Adarose’s family includes her children, Linus (Debbie) Heydon of Plano, TX, formerly of Racine, WI, and Susan (George) Szozda of Oak Creek, WI; her grandchildren, Nathan, Jonathan and Jenna Heydon, and Joseph, Olivia, Peter and John Szozda; and other relatives and friends. She was preceded in death by her parents, Joseph Mills and Ada Rose Beach (nee Welch); and her brother, Joseph Mills Beach, who operated Range Photo Service on Lake Street.
Family and friends will gather from 3 p.m. until the time of the Memorial Service at 4 p.m. on Saturday, November 3, at Parkway Apostolic Church, 10940 S. Nicholson Road Oak Creek, WI. Suminski Family Funeral Home is assisting the family. Please visit Adarose’s personal memory page at www.lifestorynet.com, where you can learn more about her life, share a favorite memory or photo, and sign the online guestbook.