Dorothy O. McAdams, 72, of Maple Park, passed away peacefully at home, surrounded by the love and prayers of her family on Tuesday, March 22.
Dorothy was born March 7, 1939, in DeKalb, the daughter of Marcus and Audrey (Keefe) Olsen. Dorothy grew up on the family farm on Thatcher Road in Maple Park.
She attended local schools and she was united in marriage to Lloyd McAdams on Jan. 3, 1956.
Dorothy continued her farming heritage, working side by side with Lloyd for many years. Aside from tending the fields and animals, Dorothy made their house a home, raising three children. In 1969, the family moved to Alabama for several years. When the children were grown with Steve attending a local college and Cindy and Julie migrating back to Illinois, Dorothy followed suit, returning to her Maple Park roots in 1986.
Over the years, Dorothy shared her kind, gentle hands and a huge heart while caring for the elderly or anyone that was in need of some extra help.
Dorothy’s hobby was cooking. In reality, she did more than just “cook,” she catered to your body and soul. Her chicken soup had almost miraculous curative powers. Whether you were sick or not, it just made you feel good.
Her home was a destination every Halloween for her famous popcorn balls. Her famous “party mix” was a staple at every gathering and was also mailed to family across the globe. It was not unusual either for friends and neighbors to request her special chicken salad for them to bring to their own family functions.
She inherited a set of Franciscan dishes from an aunt that became more than just decor, it became an extension of her, proudly set on the table a full day before any holiday. Holiday menus contained the main dish and specific pie for each person’s taste. Enough food for an army, there were always leftovers that were given to friends and family throughout the community.
Dorothy was a woman on a mission each spring, making sure she had the right food for the right migration. She loved birds and enjoyed the many hours she spent watching them through her window and making sure the feeders were always full.
Dorothy’s grandchildren were the love of her life and in later years formed a special bond with her great-grandson, Nolan. They quickly became “best friends,” making new memories with every smile. She was more than a grandma, she was a woman who was loved by all and will be dearly missed.
She is survived by her three children, Cindy Heyob of DeKalb, Julie (Randy) Little of Maple Park, Steve (Amy) McAdams of Swaziland, Africa; six grandchildren, Audrey Heyob, Dan Heyob, Mackeinze Little, Katie McAdams, Maggie McAdams and Ellie McAdams; one great-grandson, Nolan Green; six siblings and two sisters-in-law, Patricia (Al) Homan of West Palm Beach, Fla.; sister-in-law, Helen Olsen of Maple Park, Mark (Jackie) Olsen of Withee, Wis., Nancy Olsen of Maple Park, sister-in-law, Sharon Olsen of Big Rock, Caryl (Jerry) Schrader of Maple Park, Bill (Sue) Olsen of Maple Park, and Mel (Fred) Needham of Maple Park; and many nieces and nephews and a community of friends.
She is preceded in death by her parents, Mark and Audrey; her brothers, Albert Richard “Dick” and Thomas Michael “Mike” Olsen; and her son-in-law, Joe Heyob.
Visitation was from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday, March 27, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, IL 60119. A funeral service to celebrate her life began at 10 a.m. Monday, March 28, at the funeral home. Rev. Michael Massey, pastor of Glad Tidings Assembly of God Church, DeKalb, officiated, and interment followed at Gardner Cemetery in Maple Park.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in her name to benefit her favorite charities, including DeKalb Hospice. Checks may be made to the “Dorothy McAdams Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes and memories may also be forwarded to the family at the same address or through www.conleycare.com, where a full life story can be found.