Dierdra LaVerne Adams was born to the late T/SGT Daniel Sinclair Adams, Sr. and Mrs. Delilah Moore Adams on March 29, 1963, at Bentwaters Air Force Base Hospital in England. Born with Down Syndrome, Dierdra defied the doctor's grim outlook of merely an 18- year life span. Obviously, the doctors did not know God's plan nor the unwavering faith of Dierdra's entire family.
Her parents advocated for their precious daughter and boldly told the doctors, "Dierdra deserves a chance!" The doctor asked them what plans they had for her? They told him she already had a brother and a sister and we were taking her home to raise her with them.
Her father was on Active Duty in the U.S. Air Force, so she began her education in Denver Public Schools; transferred to Malmstrom Air Force Base in Montana; and then Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, Nebraska. Her teacher in Omaha taught her how to make Christmas Trees from TV. Guide’s and Reader's Digest Magazines.
When her father retired the family moved to Fayetteville, North Carolina, where she graduated from high school. She gained employment at the Cumberland County Sheltered Workshop. She was a hard worker and found great pride in being one of the top assembly line workers.
Dierdra was strong and optimistic and was an inspiration to everyone who had the opportunity to know her. She was a contributor of love and joy to her family, many friends, schoolmates, and churchmates. Dierdra took full advantage of the chance she had been given and lived a rich and extraordinary life of 60 years and 8 months surrounded by supportive family and friends. She was a pioneer in the successful pursuit of inclusion for mentally challenged students in public education. She continued to exceed the expectations of many and learned to read and write, and she always loved to count her money!
Dierdra loved to write letters to her family and friends. Her brother, Dan and sister-in-law Ellen loved her Christmas Wish List that grew longer and more extravagant each year. She asked for a house, a car, tickets to Los Angeles, California, etc. And, she celebrated her birthday everyday. Dierdra loved music, especially Michael Jackson, and she loved to dance. She loved food and the opportunity it gave her to interact with her loved ones. She lived each day to the fullest extent.
A woman of faith, Dierdra was Baptized at College Heights Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Her teacher, Mrs. Doris A. Shipman, encouraged her to join. She was under the Pastoral leadership of Rev. Garfield T. Warren, Jr. Dierdra was very active at the Church. Her favorite scripture is: "And you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free." John 8:32
Mrs. Warren who was one of her mentors organized a Summer Workshop where Dierdra learned to crochet. With the skills she learned in Omaha at the Summer Workshop in Fayetteville, Dierdra developed a desire to be an entrepreneur. She owned and operated two very successful businesses. She made Christmas Trees that were purchased and shipped world-wide; including to soldiers in Iraq. She also sold crocheted scarves and blankets. People, even today, can say they still enjoy her products.
Dierdra is survived by her devoted, mother, Delilah; her caremom, Renny Gosjen Assa; her brother & sister-in-law, Dan & Ellen Adams; sister and brother-in-law, Rita & Gehad Alwan; sister, Lisa Adams and a host of family and friends who loved and adored her.
Dierdra lived a good and full life and is finally free.