Adele L. Padden—Knox County VillageSoup
ROCKLAND — Adele Lorraine Ludwig Padden passed away peacefully in her Rockland home May 12, 2022, knowing she was well loved by her family and friends.
In recent years, Adele’s graceful navigation of Alzheimer’s disease allowed her to continue to enjoy socializing, even virtually, with her loved ones right up until the end of her life.
Born April 29, 1926, in Bethlehem, Penn., she was the third child of Forrest Ludwig and Florence Uhler Ludwig. Her family also lived on Waldheim Mountain, before moving to Wyandotte, Mich., in the 1930’s.
Adele served in the Nurse Cadet Corp during WWII while earning her RN degree from the four-year Nursing Program at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1947. She often said her favorite nursing during this time working as an RN in Ann Arbor was caring for the premature babies in the nursery, and she had the honor of caring for Dr. Strycker, who invented universal hospital beds, near the end of his life.
On May 15, 1952, Adele wed Robert Charles Padden, after a romance that started on a blind date while he was a visiting graduate student from the University of California, Santa Barbara and Duke University c.1950. Adele followed Robert to Las Vegas, where he worked summers to supplement his GI Bill for post-WWII college costs. She said, when asked, they chose to marry there rather than travel “back East.” Robert’s brother, Tom Sr., his wife, Janet, and their infant son, Robin, were present to bless the couple’s new journey. Throughout the 1950s, Adele worked as an RN, supporting Robert to earn his PhD in Latin American history from the University of California, Berkeley before starting a family.
Adele continued working as an RN at Herrick Hospital in Berkeley, Calif., stopping only for six months in 1960, to have her first child, Penelope. Working up to the time of daughter, Lorraine’s birth, she managed juggling family and employment until 1988, when she retired as head nurse from the Hattie Ide Chaffee Skilled Nursing Home in East Providence, RI
Adele was a “stay-at-home mom” while living in West De Pere, Wis., from 1964-1969. During this time, she gardened, practiced arts and crafts, and typed Robert’s manuscript of “The Hummingbird” and the “Hawk,” published in 1967. It was common while entering the Padden family home to hear classical music, unless she had her children on the couch, each with a Tootsie Pop, listening to one of their favorite 33 1/3 LP’s of “Peter and the Wolf,” “Pinocchio” or “Mary Poppins.” She read classics like “Bambi,” “Swiss Family Robinson” and “Willie Wonka” to her daughters at bedtime nightly.
While living in Barrington, RI, Adele nurtured her family’s love of the arts and music, taking her daughters to ballet and musical concerts in Providence, RI, as well as volunteering as an usher at the Providence Performing Arts Center. She was a willing driver, always in the audience of her girls’ wind ensemble, band and choral concerts, as well as ballet performances and art shows. She quietly modeled for her daughters how to manage life as a devoted RN, wife and mother while pursuing self-fulfillment as well.
Robert and Adele both retired in 1988, leaving Barrington, RI for Rockland where they built their home in 1984. She diligently cared for Robert who experienced chronic illness in his later years until his death in 2013.
Adele was a devoted neighbor and community member. In the 1990s, she joined the Zonta Club, volunteered at the Good Tern Coop and offered support to cancer survivors after her own diagnosis in 1993. Between 2000 and 2002, Adele worked as a “mail runner” part-time at the “old” nursing home where Quarry Hill is now. In recent years, Adele enjoyed fellowship at the Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Rockland and the United Christian Church in Lincolnville Center.
Adele became a member of the Lincolnville Women’s Club while living in Lincolnville from 2010 to 2013.
Adele is survived by daughters, Penelope Padden with Robbie Hinchey, Lorraine Padden Liebold and husband, Carl; nieces, Barbara Wiggs and husband, John, Sue Cox, Ellen Betts and husband, Steve; as well as her nephew-in-law, Robin Padden and wife, Debbie, their children and grandchildren.
A Celebration of Adele’s Life will be held at the United Christian Church in Lincolnville Center, Maine, on Sunday, July 10, 2022, at 2 pm, followed by a reception. The service will also be available on Zoom.
Donations in Adele’s memory may be made to the “Adele Ludwig Padden Memorial Fund” of the United Christian Church in Lincolnville Center. Send checks via USPS to: UCC Lincolnville, PO Box 288, Lincolnville Center, Maine, 04850
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at directcremationofmaine.com.