After her death last year, friends and colleagues of Lorraine Adkins considered how best to remember her.
She'd devoted much of her life to her husband, longtime Jefferson City head football coach Pete Adkins. In retirement, she'd thrown her support behind veterans and their issues. Her chief project was Wreaths for Heroes, a program in which volunteers place wreaths on each of the Jefferson City National Cemetery's 1,587 graves before Christmas. That program started in 2010.
After she died, organizers with Operation Bugle Boy — a nonprofit organization that honors soldiers, veterans and first responders — decided to upgrade the marker for Pete at Adkins Stadium, OBB President Chris Jarboe said.
"Because of her support for veterans, Lorraine was named the 'First Lady of Patriotism of Jefferson City,'" Jarboe said. "We will have a monument that not only honors Pete Adkins, but his beloved wife, Lorraine."
The monument's supporters originally asked federal authorities if they could install a plaque at the National Cemetery, but were turned down.
Phil Freeman of Freeman Mortuary then came up with a plan to replace the marker that honors Pete at the football stadium.
Early in the process, they planned to hold a ceremony June 11, Lorraine's birth date. But they moved the ceremony to June 14 so more people could attend. The event will kick off the weekend the annual Jay Football Foundation Golf Tournament is held.
The formal program will begin at 6 p.m. at the Keith Weber Athletic Field House. It will include a video tribute to Lorraine. After the tribute, those in attendance will walk over to the stadium where the monument will be unveiled.
"I appreciate them doing that for my wife," Pete Adkins said. "She tried to do so much for the school and the community. I think it's a great tribute to her."
Pete approved the plaque that is to be placed on granite at the site.
Pete said Lorraine might not have gotten the credit she deserved as he received recognition over the years. She did a lot to help him. She would bring him meals at night at the football stadium. Years later, players still talk about the couple eating together at night.
"I'd be up in the press box after practice watching junior high games," Pete said. "I'd watch how the younger kids were doing, how the younger coaches were coaching. I felt it was a necessity. She knew I would do that and would bring a meal out. We'd sit there in the press box and do that.
"I really miss her."