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Effie Joe Adkins

December 19, 1917 ~ October 12, 2016 (age 98)

Effie Joe Adkins, 98, a tireless advocate for her community and South Texas, passed away Wednesday, Oct. 12, 2016. Effie Joe Holloway was born in Donna, Texas, Dec. 19, 1917, to Joseph and Effie Holloway and, after graduating from high school there, enrolled at the Texas State College for Women (now Texas Woman's University) in Denton, where she received a bachelor of science degree in vocational home economics in 1939. She came to Beeville to teach school that fall and after meeting Teal Adkins, married him on Dec. 1, 1939. The couple were blessed with three children, Scott, Tom and Joan. Mrs. Adkins had a long history of civic involvement, not only in promoting Beeville and Bee County, but also this region, including the designation of Padre Island National Seashore. In 1994, she was chosen by the Victoria Advocate as one of eight outstanding "South Texas Women." Mrs. Adkins was unaware that she had been nominated for the honor. Mrs. Adkins was active in numerous organizations benefiting the arts, environment and youth. As a member of the First Presbyterian Church, she was the chairman of the finance committee for the South Texas Presbytery in women's work and served two years as a chairman of World Missions. After teaching 12 years in the Beeville public schools, spending the last eight as head of the high school home economics department, she received a life membership from the Texas Congress of Parents and Teachers in recognition of her work as past president of the local Retired Teachers Association. Mrs. Adkins served as conservation chairman of both the Rosetta Club and the Texas Federation of Women's Clubs. Her work there led Gov. Price Daniel to appoint her to a Padre Island Study Commission, which eventually resulted in the establishment of Padre Island National Seashore in 1965. She was commended by U.S. Sen. Ralph Yarborough and Interior Secretary Steward Udall on her well-researched 18-page report, which was "largely responsible" for the successful conclusion to that effort. The Rosetta Club named her outstanding clubwoman in 1984 and she remained a lifetime honorary member. Mrs. Adkins' biggest achievement clearly was the Padre Island National Seashore. She stood up against big-shot politicians and argued for the park, resulting in a huge win for conservation. Her support for making it a national park was cited as vital in its establishment by Secretary Udall for her due diligence. She led successful membership campaigns with the Civic Music Association and its successor, the Community Concerts Association, bringing top performing classical musicians to Beeville. During her time organizing and serving as president of the United Clubs Youth Council, enough funds were raised to erect the Beeville Youth Center as a recreational facility for teens in 1948. Mrs. Adkins was also a member of the Bee County Historical Commission, to which she was appointed by the county judge, Bee County Historical Society (a charter member) and the Genealogical Society, in which she assisted in the work of preserving local, area and family history. As president of the Beeville Art Association for several years, Mrs. Adkins worked with Beeville native, Dr. Joe Barnhart of Houston, to secure a home for the Beeville Art Museum; after he purchased and turned over the former R.L. Hodges home built in 1910 to the art group, Mrs. Adkins worked to acquire an endowment fund of $100,000 to underwrite future expenses on the home (renamed the Esther Barnhart House) and another endowment fund to set up educational programs at the museum. She also initiated and chaired the annual Christmas Homes Tour for over 25 years, benefiting the work of the art association. In 2000, the old Terrell home in Berclair was offered to Mrs. Adkins for any nonprofit of her choosing. For this, she chose the Beeville Art Association. The Beeville Garden Club, Texas and International Palm Societies, North American Butterfly Association and Corpus Christi Botanical Society memberships reflected her interests in the birds, flowers and plants of this area. She was also a member of the Nature Conservancy, Audubon Society and Wildflower Nature Center. Mrs. Adkins was often lauded for her efforts in this community and elsewhere, as indicated by her inclusion in the biographical history, "Texas Women of Distinction." A Texas Ornithological Society charter member and founder, Mrs. Adkins continued the tradition of active birding, even into her ninth decade. At age 89, she went on a birding trip to Trinidad. Her life and story are an inspiration for Texas Ornithological Society members. Keenly interested in wildlife conservation, Mrs. Adkins was involved in efforts to save the Golden Eagle, Harris's hawk, Attwater prairie chicken and the Brown Pelican. Her greatest disappointment was the loss of Frandolig Island, a barrier island separating Rockport and Little Bay from the main Aransas Bay. She and John R. Beasley, a Beeville attorney, joined naturalist Connie Hagar in trying to save the birds on Frandolig Island, but developers turned it into Key Allegro, a mass of canals, homes and people. Mrs. Adkins has always dreamed of having Beeville recognized on our U.S. highways. Her work with the county judge's and mayor's advisory task force and the state highway department furnished the opportunity. Now the beautiful "Welcome to Beeville" signs on the entrances from the north and south on U.S. Highway 181 Bypass are adorned with the familiar county courthouse motif and many palm trees. In the Bee-Picayune's 50 year ago column, it has been noted that Mrs. Adkins, while helping her husband with the Bee County Centennial celebration in 1958, was in charge of bringing a wildlife exhibit from the Texas Game and Fish Commission to Beeville in October. Featured in the display were live mammals, fish, reptiles and birds. For the Centennial, Mrs. Adkins agreed to take over for the late Gail Blackmon to stage the successful Sesquicentennial style show for the Beeville Historical Society. She jokingly noted that working with wild animals was easier than hosting the style show. Mrs. Adkins is preceded in death by her parents, Joseph and Effie Holloway; her husband, Walter Teal Adkins; brother, Donald Scott Holloway; and son-in-law, Samuel David Reilly Sr. She is survived by her children, Joseph Scott Adkins Sr. and wife Dara, Thomas O'Teal Adkins and wife Tinka, and Joan Claire Adkins Reilly, widow of the late Sam Reilly; her grandchildren, Joseph Scott Adkins Jr. and wife Nicole, Austin Dean Adkins and wife Kaylie, Zachary O'Teal Adkins, Alexis Reilly Bledsoe and husband William Scott Bledsoe IV, Samuel David Reilly Jr. and wife Morgan, and Catherine Reilly Kulak and husband, John Joseph Kulak III; her great-grandchildren, Alaine Claire, Keegan Lane and Sarah Lucille Bledsoe, Quentin David and Gracen Teal Reilly, Collin Michael Staudt and John Joseph Kulak IV; as well as her sister, Mary Holloway Wood. Viewing for Mrs. Adkins will be held Sunday, Oct. 16, from 5-7 p.m. at Galloway & Sons Funeral Home, Beeville, Texas. Funeral services will be held Monday, Oct. 17, at 4 p.m., First Presbyterian Church, 908 N. Washington St., Beeville, Texas, followed by interment at Glenwood Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Tom Beasley, Edward Wicker, Jimmy Jackson, Ray Govella, Joseph Scott Adkins Jr., Austin Dean Adkins, Zachary O'Teal Adkins and Samuel David Reilly Jr. Honorary pallbearers will be John Joseph Kulak III, William Scott Bledsoe IV and John West. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to First Presbyterian Church, 908 N. Washington St., Beeville, Texas 78102; Beeville Art Association, P.O. Box 1466, Beeville, Texas 78102; or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis Tennessee 38105.


Funeral Service

First Presbyterian Church
908 N. Washington
Beeville, TX  78102
Monday, October 17, 2016
4:00 PM
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