Jean Adams

Published On: Feb 22 2013 05:03:37 PM CST
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New Glarus, WI/Madison, WI--Jean Ada Adams, age 83, passed away on Friday, February 22, 2013 at the New Glarus Home.  She was born Aug 27, 1929 in New Glarus, the daughter of Norma (Marty) and Wilbert Zweifel. She graduated from New Glarus High School and married Richard J. Retrum on May 1, 1949 and moved to Blanchardville and helped her husband farm and taught dancing in many communities including New Glarus, Mt Horeb, Darlington, Dodgeville, Janesville, Monroe and finally Madison and Sun Prairie.  Jean received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Wisconsin Dance Council.  She was very involved in the community and taught Sunday School, sang and directed the choir and Christmas programs and also directed and choreographed award winning 4-H musicals.  Jean loved to go boating with her family and was an accomplished water skier.  She was blessed with two children, Jo Jean of Madison and Richard Jr. (Sue) from Blanchardville.  She was also married to Gerald Adams of Monroe in August of 1970.

Jean is also survived by 7 grandchildren, Jorene Leonard  (Chris Grabowski)of Las Vegas and Joe Leonard of Wisconsin Rapids, Tonia and Corey Jorgenson of Wayzala MN, Jason and Jessica Retrum of Fitchburg, Rachel and Michael Droessler of Hazel Green, Natalie and Wade Wyse of Blanchardville, and Hans Retrum of Blanchardville.  Jean also had 8 great grandchildren, Jozlyn Jean Grabowski, Johanna and Georgia Jorgenson, Kyleigh Retrum, Isaac and Cora Droessler, Evelyn and William Wyse. She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister Elaine Barlow and LouAnn Christensen and her brother John Zweifel. 

Jean was a great teacher and taught thousands of children how to dance plus taught ballroom and country western dancing at Park Ponderosa Ballroom to thousands. She was proud that she could teach anyone how to dance.  Her daughter Jo Jean and her worked together to create the dance company Wisconsin Dance Ensemble and produced many beautiful Nutcrackers and other ballets.  Her costumes were spectacular.  She loved being with her family and especially enjoyed her trips to Hawaii and New York and her home country Switzerland.  She loved her grandchildren and great grandchildren as they were her inheritance, her pride and joy.  The show must go on.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Monday, February 25, 2013 at the Swiss United Church of Christ, 18 Fifth Ave., New Glarus, WI with the Rev. Todd Hackman officiating with burial in the Swiss Church Cemetery.

Relatives and friends may call from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 24, 2013 at the Zentner-Beal Funeral Home, 29 Sixth Ave., New Glarus, WI.

In lieu of flowers memorials are suggested to the Jean Adams Endowment Fund, Dance Wisconsin for her love of dance at 6332 Monona Dr., Monona, WI 53716.

An online memorial with guestbook is available at