Ada's Story

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Ada Amelia Stokes was born to Carl "Spike" and Marie "Mame" (Wolter) Stokes on December 19, 1920, in Mankato, Minnesota. Ada earned her bachelor's degree from Valparaiso University in Indiana, and in 1942, she began teaching social studies in Mankato. She left teaching briefly to be an advertising copywriter for Green Giant in 1945-46, but re-entered the education field in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1946. She taught four years there, but resigned when it was announced the male teachers would be receiving raises, but the women would not. Ada then completed her master's degree in English at the University of Minnesota in 1950-51, where she met her future husband, Paul Jeppesen. Upon completing her master's, Ada accepted a teaching position at Pomona High School in Pomona, California, and married Paul in 1954. While at Pomona High School, Ada taught English and Latin, was the advisor to the school newspaper and served as head of the English department for many years. During her tenure, she was extremely popular and received many honors and awards, including election as President of the Greater Los Angeles Teachers Association. In addition, she was a charter member of the Pomona chapter of the League of Women Voters, served on the Pomona Valley Council of Churches' educational committee, and was active in other community and professional organizations.
Ada and her husband, Paul, also a high school teacher, spent the school year in Pomona and summers at her family's cottage on Lake Ballantyne near Madison Lake, Minnesota. Ada retired from high school teaching in 1983. After Paul died in 1997, Ada chose to return to the Midwest as she missed the rolling fields of corn, meadows with rolls of hay and the changing colors of the sunsets. She settled in Blair, Nebraska, which is home to many of her cousins and other friends. In 2004, at the request of President Janet Phillips at Dana College, Ada was asked once more to lend her skills to teach English to struggling students.
After a brief illness, Ada passed away on September 3. Surviving her are a niece, Lynda Jeppesen, of Oak Park, IL; many beloved cousins, including John and Liz Nielsen of Blair, Nebraska; plus special friends, Rhonda, Jill and Jayme Matney, also of Blair.
Throughout her life, Ada supported numerous worthy causes and charities. The family requests contributions in Ada's memory be made to the Blair (Nebraska) Fire and Rescue or Lutheran World Relief.
A memorial service will be held at First Lutheran Church, 2146 Wright Street, Blair, Nebraska, on Saturday, September 16 at 2:00 pm, with a short graveside service to follow at the Blair Cemetery.
Published on September 11, 2017
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