Eleanor (Beebe) Adams was born in Trenton, New Jersey, on April 5th, 1943. Eleanor was born to Laura (Fisher) and Ira Gwynn Beebe. Eleanor has a sister, Jill, who is seven years older. Laura and Ira got married when they were 22 years old. Before they were married, the couple saved enough money to build and furnish a house; they did not owe any money on the house when they moved into it. Laura worked for a doctor’s office and Ira worked for a plumbing supply company. The Great Depression hit and Laura lost her job. Ira found out that he was working for a dishonest man and quit his job. This was a difficult time for Eleanor’s parents since they both lost their jobs; they ended up selling their home and moving in with Laura’s parents. Ira started his own plumbing supply company during the Great Depression and things started to improve financially for the family.

Ira and Laura Beebe in 1955.

The family built a two story building in which Ira’s plumbing supply company, Ira G. Beebe, Inc., was located on the first floor and the family lived on the second floor. Sometime after the shop and home had been built, Eleanor was born.

Photo on the left is of Ira holding Eleanor in 1943. Photo on the right is of her childhood home.

Eleanor was very close to her parents growing up. Eleanor’s parents were influential in who Eleanor is today. Her parents taught her to live beneath your means, honesty is very important, serve the community, and trust God in all things. Eleanor describes her mother as a cheerful person who lived life to the fullest; she describes her father as a man who was hard-working, very wise, and an honest, decent man. Please watch the video below to hear Eleanor tell one of her favorite stories about her father.

Eleanor last saw her father, Ira, on Thanksgiving of 1992. She woke up that morning and felt the need to write and deliver a prayer at Thanksgiving dinner. Please read the prayer below.

“First, I want to thank God for my father, Ira Beebe, through whom God has given more to all of us than we can ever begin to imagine. Your love, your daily devotion in prayer on behalf of each of us, and your hard work and generosity have had a profound impact on this family. Your unselfishness and wisdom have been steadfastly with us throughout the years. 

Thanks for never being too busy to take time for a little girl who needed her daddy’s love. Thanks for flying kites instead of fishing and for taking me so many interesting places while you worked and for singing to me and for praying with me and for helping me know God. Thanks. 

And now, in your twilight years, we pray that you will have peace and joy, knowing that you have fought the good fight and have stayed devoted to God through all the hardships and prosperity. Peace and joy and continued steadfastness – these are our prayers for you.

Secondly, I want to thank God for my mother. You have been an ever present helpmate to Dad, enabling him to do so much good for others. You have been at home providing comfort, sustenance, and encouragement. It was you who helped to give him the courage to go into business for himself. It was you who helped in the business, did all the bookkeeping, kept the household running smoothly, and took care of the needs of Jill and me, your parents, and your husband. Thanks for all the delicious meals, for the love of nature, and music and beauty. Thanks for taking the time to share a flower or a poem or a camping trip. Thanks for being a teacher and a nurse to us. 

And so I pray that you will know the love of God and the peace only He can give both now and in the years to come. 

Please pray with me now. God, thank you for each one of us gathered here today.   Thank you for our families and loved ones. Thank you for the many blessings you bring us daily. Help us to take time to reflect upon the love you have given us and the love we receive from each other. No matter what life brings, good and bad, help our love to be ever steadfast and help us never to take for granted any of our many blessings. Most of all help us to be mindful that your love is the greatest love of all and that although we are not perfect, you are. 

Thank you, God, for loving each of us as we are, and please help us to grow more pleasing to you each day. AMEN!” 

Eleanor is glad that she was able to deliver this prayer and is thankful for all of the memories with her incredible parents.

Photo from Thanksgiving 1992. Starting at the left back row: Jill Beebe, Jim, Mark, Kimberly, and Scott Adams. Starting at the left front row: Laura and Ira Beebe, and Eleanor Adams holding grandson, James Adams.

All photos courtesy of Eleanor Adams.