Global Ministries is saddened to learn of the death of Marian Louise Duncan Adams

Global Ministries is saddened to learn of the death of Marian Louise Duncan Adams

Marian Louise Duncan Adams
April 14, 1927 – December 27, 2015

Born of U.S. missionaries Kate Louise and Herbert Duncan, who had been sent by a Disciples of Christ mission board which was a predecessor of Global Ministries, to serve in Batang,Tibet, Marian Louise Duncan started life in a foreign land with two brothers, John Kenneth Duncan and  Robert Malcolm.  After returning to the states at age five, Marian was very much a tom-boy until younger sister, Esther, came along to play house with.

Marian went to high school in Bellefontaine, Ohio where she was involved in Girl Guides and Glee Club.  While Marian was still in high school, the family moved to Alexandria, Virginia, where Marian participated in theater, debate club, and Girl Scouts.  After completing high school a year early after 11th grade, Marian went to college at Lynchburg College, Lynchburg, Virginia, where she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Religion and Social Work.

Married on the day they graduated in June 1949, Marian and her husband, Raymond Walter Adams, Jr., continued preparation classes for missionary work. In 1951, after completing classes at Cornell, the College of the Bible in Lexington, Kentucky, and the Kennedy School of Missions in Hartford, Connecticut; after participating in workshops at Berea College in Kentucky, Crossville, Tennessee, and the rural center of Scarrit College; completing some extension work from the University of Arkansas; and one summer in the Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina, they were commissioned as missionaries to India by what today is the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

During their term in India from 1951 until 1957, the Adams had a daughter, Suzanna Louise.  They worked diligently as staff at the Woodstock School, where Marian taught home economics and general science. They then went to Bilaspur where they wrote, [t]he opportunities are stretching out before us unlimited and we pray God that we may make the most of them.

Upon returning to states, Marian had a son, Raja David, and lectured around the country regarding their missionary experiences.  While raising the two children, Marian continued to study and received her master’s degrees.  She returned to work when children were 10 and 13, largely in social services in Hagerstown Maryland until her retirement in 1995. She and Raymond were divorced in later years; however they remained friends until his death in 2007.

Marian wrote two books, A Flame of the Fire: The Batang Tibetan Mission of the Disciples of Christ Missions (1999); the second still is on her daughter’s computer. She also was interviewed by Global Ministries Area Executive for East Asia and the Pacific, Reverend Dr. Xiaoling Zhu, as he and Aidong Zhao wrote Far, Far Away in Remote Eastern Tibet, The Story of the American Doctor Albert Shelton and His Colleagues from the Disciples of Christ, 1903-1950 (2014). 

Marian Adams is survived by her son, Raja, and his wife Amy; her daughter, Suzanna; seven grandchildren; six great grandchildren; her sister, Esther, and her family; and her brother, John, and his family; along with an almost infinite number of extended family members and friends.

Marian’s remains will be buried in Salem, VA where her ex-husband and his parents are buried.  Memorial gifts may be made in Marian’s honor to Global Ministries at P.O. Box 1986, Indianapolis, IN 46206-1986 or online at  Condolences may be sent to the family in care of Marian’s daughter, Suzanna Cantley, 2810 Broach Spur, Monroe, GA 30656-4271, or you may make an entry online in Marian’s Guestbook at the website of Purdy & Walters at Floral Hills, Lynnwood, WA.