Indian Time - A Voice from the Eastern Door



AKWESASNE – Joellene M. Adams, 76, River Road, Tsi Snaihne, passed away Wednesday morning, June 2, 2021 at Cornwall Community Hospital after a lengthy illness.

Joellene was born on April 10, 1945 at home in Akwesasne, the daughter of the late Mary Mitchell and Louis LaFrance, Sr. She attended Chenail School, graduated from St. Lawrence High School and attended St. Lawrence College. On September 15, 1962, she married the love of her life, Roy Adams ,at St. Regis Catholic Church.

Joellene worked for 34 years in the Social Services field both for her community and surrounding communities. With her natural leadership capabilities and passion to help children, she managed and shaped the Child Protective Services. She was one of the co-founding board members of the SD&G and Akwesasne Children's Treatment Services. After the 1990 conflict, she was recruited to develop and manage the first of its kind, the Skennenkowa Peacemaking and Mediation Center. She was a lifelong communicant of St. Regis Catholic Church. Her greatest joy and passion was her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, each one of them became the love of her life. She literally lived life for them. She was great at anything she did, but she mastered the art of cooking. She had a flare for turning mundane suppers into masterpieces, wanting you to come back for more and people always did. This passion of hers turned into a lucrative cake decorating career. In the 1980's or so, she created an array of wedding cakes for a good majority of the population and every cake was specifically designed for that couple who had the good fortune of contracting her services. When she wasn't busy expressing her creativity in cooking or interior decorating, she loved to visit with family and friends. Her circle of friends were her family and her family were her circle of friends. She was the stronghold and her shoes cannot be filled.

Joellene is survived by her devoted husband of 59 years, Roy; her only daughter, Della ; her grandchildren, Travis, Justin, Kwinon, Johnny, Jayhawk, Chad, Ashton, Aubrey, River, Layla "Bugz" and Arrow; her great grandchildren, Jaileigh, Draiden, Aivah, Maison, Lainee, Kassius, Kanen, Karonhiahawe, Rarahtentha, Scarlit, Royal, Raelee, Aryanna, and Teegan; her chosen grandchildren Chase and Krista; her godchildren, Elaine Thompson, Tina Sunday, Corrina David, Tricia Smiddy, Rhonda Mitchell, Karri Benedict, Jordan "Wishe" Semple and Rarahtentha.

She is also survived by her sisters, Delinda and Donnie Comins, Lynne and Ernie Thompson, Shelley and Judgie Rourke; her aunt Florine Morgan, her dear friend, Rosalie Herne; and many dear and close friends, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

In addition to her parents, she was sadly predeceased by her sons, Richard and Tracy Adams; her sister, Betty Sunday; her brothers, Alex "Homer", Louie Jr. "Boo" and Wade LaFrance.

Friends may call at the Donaldson Funeral Home in Massena on Tuesday 12-6:00 PM. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday at 11:00 AM at the Church of the Sacred Heart, 212 Main Street, Massena, with Rev. Jerome Pastores celebrating.

Memorial contributions may be made in her memory to the SD&G Children's Treatment Center or St. Jude's Children's Hospital.

Friends are encouraged to share memories and offer condolences online at


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