Suellen S. Adams

Suellen S Adams

MADISON – Suellen S. Adams, age 66, of Madison, passed away on Tuesday, Nov. 1, 2022, after a ten-month battle with liver cancer (cholangiocarcinoma). She was a joyful, compassionate, strong and creative wife and mother. Her ability to find a way to celebrate life’s small moments inspired both friends and family throughout her life.

Suellen was born on Sept. 25, 1956, in Waterloo, Iowa, the daughter of Stuart and Jeanne (Swartz) Sears.

Suellen graduated from West High School in Waterloo, Iowa. She received her bachelor’s degree from Upper Iowa University, master’s degree from University of Wisconsin in Madison and doctorate degree from the University of Texas in Austin. She married Glenda Adams in Austin, Texas in 1997.

Suellen taught for many years at Madison Business College. After receiving her doctorate, she began her career at the University of Rhode Island and then the University of Southern Mississippi where she taught Library and Information Studies, with an emphasis on Research and study of Adult Recreation. In 2014, Suellen returned to Madison and continued her teaching career through online programs.

In 2021, Suellen retired after 30 years of teaching. She truly loved bringing out the fun in everyone. Suellen became focused on her health in her early 50s and started running, often with family and friends. She was known for running races in costumes she sewed, which brought so much joy to everyone around her. Suellen was able to run races in all 50 states and Washington D.C., from 5Ks up to a marathon.

Suellen was a proud member of South West Popular/American Culture Association SWPACA, Riff Raff Running group in Austin, Texas and the Fleet Feet Running group in Madison, Wis.

Suellen is survived by her spouse, Glenda; son, Joshua (Aurora) Holder; daughter, Melanie Holder; grandchildren, Maeve and Ellowyn Holder; mother, Jeanne Sears; brother, Jeff (Beverly) Sears; mother-in-law, Janice Adams; and sister-in-law, Jessica (Kevin) Black. She was preceded in death by father, Stuart Sears; and father-in-law, Robert Adams.

A celebration of life will be held at GUNDERSON EAST FUNERAL AND CREMATION CARE, 5203 Monona Drive, Madison at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022. Family and friends who wish to view services via LIVE STREAM may visit Suellen’s obituary page and click on the Live Webcast link at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022. A visitation will continue at the funeral home from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday.

Memorials may be gifted in Suellen’s name to the Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation at

Online condolences may be made at