Elizabeth Clark Adams, affectionately known as Bobbi, was born October 27, 1927, in Chicago, Illinois to Marjorie and Daniel Clark. As a young child, Bobbi’s days were filled with playing and mischief along with her big sister Marian. After the passing of her mother, Marjorie, Daniel married Icema Tyndall. Finally, Bobbi got her wish to be a big sister as Danielle Clark was born. Though almost 10 years apart in age, the three girls enjoyed a close sisterly relationship. Bobbi attended Morgan Park High School and graduated in 1945. Soon after graduation, Bobbi met and married Richard Van Adams. They had two girls, Lynne and Jennifer. They were the light of Bobbi’s life. The family lived on the Southside of Chicago, in a house filled with warmth, laughter, and love. Initially, a homemaker, Bobbi took pride in home-cooked meals, frilly outfits for the girls and even assisting in soul-food catering from time to time. Later, Bobbi would take a job as a nursery school teacher. She worked with her dear friend and school director Leona Watkins at Altgeld Nursery School until she moved to the west coast.
It was Van’s health that compelled the family to move to San Diego or “The Big S.D” as Bobbi affectionately called it. “The Big S.D.” checked all boxes including a warmer climate and Van’s lifelong dream of living by the beach. So, in 1978, Bobbi, Van, her daughter Jennifer and sister Marian left Chicago. Here, Bobbi would embark upon rich and robust adventures such as serving God at Pacific Beach Prebysterian Church and working with children with special needs at Springall Academy.
Once they were settled in San Diego, the warm hospitality traditions that were established in Chicago continued. Everyone was welcome in Bobbi’s home; church members, community members, friends, and especially family. There was always something wonderful cooking on the stove - homemade chicken soup; cornbread; lamb shank or a huge pot of greens. No matter what was prepared, it was all served with a side of wisdom, laughter, and most of all - love. San Diego soon became Chicago West as Bobbi’s daughter Lynne, and granddaughter Singleton were all living in San Diego. Bobbi’s grandson, Van, was even born there. Throughout the years, Marian’s daughters Julanne, Yasmin, and Leigh have also lived in “The Big S.D.” Surrounded by family, Bobbi knew that San Diego was truly home. Marian and Bobbi continued their close sisterly relationship, spending time together, in person, or during multiple daily telephone chats.
Those who enjoyed Bobbi’s reminiscing know that she had a loving relationship with her father Dan Clark and more importantly her Heavenly Father. Bobbi leaned close into the Grace and Strength of God as she endured outliving many of her loved ones; her husband of many years, Van; and her daughters Lynne and Jennifer. Bobbi often said that her strength was gathered from the Lord and that He sustained her each day as she tried to make sense of not only her life, but the complexities of life. Bobbi started a new chapter in her life when her granddaughter Singleton welcomed her into her home in New Jersey. There Bobbi found new friends and a welcoming church. When Bobbi was no longer able to attend church, she found comfort in watching sermons on television or dialing in for nightly prayer, something she did every weeknight during the pandemic.
A natural storyteller and great listener, Bobbi would begin with, “Now Baby, come on in here and tell me about…” you knew a fond memory or an instructive one was bound to follow. You couldn't just tell a story, Bobbi needed details - what did you wear, what did you eat, what time was it. She re-lived our stories through the details. These stories typically ended with a warm, wonderful hug and a joyous laugh.
Bobbi’s love for children and hope for the next generation was found not only in her care for her grandchildren, nieces, great-grands, and “adopted” children who were fortunate enough to say they knew her and were loved by her. Bobbi could always add a very relevant and timely piece of pop-culture into her conversations with the next generation. She definitely kept up with the times.
On Monday, July 12, 2021, Bobbi was called home. Bobbi was predeceased by her parents, husband Richard Van Adams, sister Danielle Icema Gibbs, and daughters Lynne Adams-Wright and Jennifer Adams-Brooks. She is survived by her sister Marian Clark Tyler; grandchildren Singleton Elizabeth (Marino) Beato, Van Glover (Eleanor); nieces, Julanne, Yasmin, Leigh, Icema III (Kiecey), Icema IV, a host of cousins, extended family members, and friends.
All that knew Bobbi, loved her. We are blessed that the Lord’s Holy Spirit leaves us a rich legacy of wisdom, love, kindness, and hospitality through the life lived by Elizabeth Adams.
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