My Mum, Bee Adams, passed away on Sunday after a short stay in hospital, and her funeral is tomorrow.
Olive Beatrice (Bee) Thompson was born in Larne in 1933, youngest of five children of Mary and William Thompson. They moved to Markethill (?late 1930s/early 1940s) where William was a police sergeant at Markethill RUC station. Bee always remembered her father sounding the air raid siren on top of the police station, and how Gosford was used to house German prisoners and American GIs.
Bee finished her schooling in Ballyclare, and enrolled as a trainee teacher in Stranmillis College. She met John Adams there, and they married in July 1958 and moved to Hamilton’s Bawn. She took up a teaching post at Salter’s Grange Primary School where John also worked. Bee spent most of her teaching life in Salter’s Grange, and saw several generations of children through their primary education. She retired in 1985 after approximately 30 years.
She had four sons. Unfortunately Derek (born 1964) had Downs Syndrome and sadly died at 18 months. This was a body-blow to Bee and John, a deep sadness that she never lost.
The Troubles also dominated Bee’s life, as John was a member of the Ulster Defence Regiment in a volatile part of Northern Ireland. Although many friends and colleagues were killed, the UDR also offered new horizons and opportunities, and the chance to meet many people from outside Northern Ireland. It is difficult to imagine the stress of those years, particularly for Bee who was affected by the uncertainty of waiting, wondering and worrying.
Unfortunately John died suddenly in 1997. Bee became ill in April 2004 and spent several months in hospital and Roxborough House, Moy. With the help of Premier Care, and particularly her carers Jennifer and Caroline, she was able to continue to live independently at home for over four years.