Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Our friend Adrianne

Death is a subject I don't like to discuss. If you'll endulge me, I'll talk about it now.

While on vacation, we received news of the death of our friend Adrianne Fenton. She was found in her home by a friend on New Years day. She died way too young, leaving behind a son, Truman, age 6. I've searched the internet for an obituary or news story of any kind. I cannot find one, so I will endeavor to pay my own tribute.

I met Adrianne back in the mid 90's, when she became an employee of the radio station where I worked. She was a native of St. Louis, but had been in Los Angeles for a while and had only a few friends here. We became friends, and I helped her with the job of scheduling guests for the radio station's morning show she produced. She was a hard worker and perfectionist, and I admired her work and personal ethic. She ended up staying in St. Louis for only a short time, choosing to move back to Los Angeles for a job with Disney. She stayed in touch, and eventually became good friends with my wife as well.

Adrianne was an incredible person. She also held within her a simmering turmoil and sadness nobody could fix. I always wondered which life experiences left her with such heartache. She never really offered an explanation... in fact, she did her best to hide her problems. She never wanted to trouble friends. That's part of why she had such an infectious laugh and warm smile.

Adrianne's relationships with parents and grandparents were a little rocky, although she worked hard to improve them. She would travel back to St. Louis every 4 to 6 months, but her visits were never happy and always short.

She had friends, but essentially she and her son Truman were alone in California. Truman was her life. She took great care to make sure his school was top notch, that he had everything he needed, and that he knew how to celebrate life. Every birthday was a party, every holiday a celebration. She would send me pictures of their trips to the park, Disneyland, the beach - she really loved being a Mom.

I pray Truman wasn't there when she died, although I have a feeling he probably was. If so, I hope the memory of that day fades quickly. I wonder what will become of him - his father wasn't an active part of his life.

Our friend Adrianne Fenton was only in her mid 30's - but she seemed to have an older soul. I pray she passed easily - and I hope against hope that she is finally able to soften her melancholy and find some contentment.

And, that Truman remembers what a good Mom he had.

Adrianne & Truman, Christmas 2001


Anonymous said...

I want to thank you for putting this tribute to ADrianne on your web page. Adrianne worked for me at DIsney for about a year recently. SHe was experiencing black outs but i found out long after they had been happening because of course she did not want to burden us or not perform well at her job. She absolutely loved her son and being a mom. I am terribly troubled by the fact that he is now alone. A scholarship fund has been started through his school, Kids Klub Pasadena. You may reach me at if you want to be kept up to date with other information. ALl of us from ABC Family CHannel are terribly upset by this and want to do as much as we can for her. She was a wonderful person and a wonderful inspiration to me as a new mom. ADrianne, rest in peace.

Anonymous said...

A college fund for Truman has been set up should anyone like to contribute. Please make the checks out to Golden State Scholar Share Trust and mail them to Truman’s Day Care: Kids Klub: 380 S. Raymond Ave. Pasadena, CA. 91105.

A funeral for Adrianne will be held in St. Louis, where her parents reside. A memorial will be held at Lake Avenue Church in Pasadena tentatively on Wednesday, January 19th at 10:00A. I will be sure to keep those interested informed.

Anonymous said...

I too worked with Adrianne at ABC Family. It was a horrible shock to hear of her passing. In fact, for 5 minutes the person couldn't penetrate it into my head. As if I just didn't want to believe what I was hearing. I haven't been able to stop crying since. I worry for Truman, but am hopeful those around him will do all possible to help him thru this and give him new reasons to laugh out loud again. I hope that he will not be allowed to forget what an extraordinary mom he had. She took being a selfless mom to a whole different level. She was sweet and sometimes didn't know how to deal with the cruelty of others. But it didn't change her. She remained sweet and never lost focus of what was important, Truman. May God bless you (Adrianne) and Truman.

Anonymous said...

I was fortunate enough to know Adrianne at Disney as I began as a temp and she had just changed over to a new job within the company. In fact, I was asked to fill in for her in the last few months as she dealt with her medical problems.

I never had a problem smiling at work because part of filling in for Adrianne was sitting at her desk, surrounded by pictures of her son Trumann. I could feel how much she loved him when i saw his face on a picture everywhere I looked.

But as I sit at the same desk today, I am faced with the task of taking those pictures, and buttons and silly mementos down so we can return them to her friends/family. I hope I do a good job, and that I don't ever lose the smile that sitting at this desk has brought me.

Anonymous said...

I am a friend of Adrianne's from high school. If anyone knows what happened to her, please post the information so I will know. Also, if you have more pictures of Adrianne and/or Truman, please post them.

I hadn't talked to her in some time. That is the way it is with life. However, I thought of her often.


Anonymous said...

I didn't personally know Adrianne, but I remember her as a producer with the Steve and DC Show many years ago. I often wondered how she turned out after leaving that show which was so cruel to her after she left. It was obvious Adrianne had a personality conflict with an intern either Steve or DC was sleeping with, I can't quite remember now which it was. Steve and DC were so small in the ways of human resources they couldn't seem to handle to obvious work place friction such an affair causes. The really sick aspect of the ordeal was how they were too cowardly to address the problem while Adrianne was there, but rather chose to bash her with jingles after she left. Quite the grade school approach.

Well, I often hoped Adrianne made it through those days with a smile. And now I hope she wears that smile on her journey across the universe. I cam only hope Steve and DC are cursed to walk the earth for eternity thinking about how they treatd Adrianne. I hope their cute little Brady Bunch jingle about Adrianne constantly plays in the background while they make thier journey.

Sincerely, one who would have been proud to be Adrianne's friend.

Anonymous said...

I knew Adrianne from high school but hadn't seen or heard from her since I graduated. We were never close, I was friends with some of her friends mostly but I always thought she seemed like a sweet girl. The only obituary I found was on WGEL's web site, which is how I found out she had passed. For those that would like to read it

Anonymous said...

I am a friend of Adrianne's. Although contact was somewhat sporadic, we kept in touch several times a year. Of course, she did not tell me that she was having seizures, only that she had surgery and was doing fine. I truly believe that she was a great mommy to Truman and I am just heartsick at the thought that he is without her now. I hope that all of the scrapbooks and pictures that Adrianne took great care to make are a source of comfort for him. I always loved seeing the pictures and the portrait on your website is one of my favorites. I hope that she finds peace now as I'm not sure that was always possible in life except with Truman. I think that is why she was never truly able to make the leap to come back to southern Illinois and the St. Louis area where her family is. God bless, sweet girl, and to Truman, lots of prayers and hugs. I will be at the funeral tonight to pay my respects to a good person.

Dave Morris said...

Thanks for the comments - as long as my blog exists, they will remain as a tribute to her. I was at the funeral tonight and am still looking for adequate closure.

Lisa said...

I knew Adrianne when we were adolescents and teenagers. A crazy time for anyone. I remember the first day I saw her, the first day of school. We were a small school where everyone knew everyone else, so I'm sure it was daunting to show up. She was gregarious, redheaded and beautiful. She was also clearly a mess (which most of us were, granted). She lived with her Grandparents and it wasn't even really clear who or where her parents were.

Looking back, it was a very sad situation and it sounds like it continued into her adulthood. I'm glad her son brought her happiness, but so sorry to know that he lost his Mom.

Anonymous said...

I grew up with Adrianne in that small town at that small high school where everyone knew everyone. We went to church together and spent a lot of time together. Adrianne had some tough times, between fighting with her grandparents to finding respect from guys in our class. However, we did have a ton of fun, sometimes at her expense, but she always laughed and made the best of each situation. When we graduated from high school most took a different path. We also grew up and I got to really know Adrianne for who she was: A very strong individual with a big heart. Adrianne knew how to sincerely care about people and understand their problems. She would listen for hours as I babbled about this or that, and regardless of what was going on in her life, she was more interested in helping others with their lives.
When Adrianne moved to California we stayed in touch through emails and the phone. She seemed happy and enjoyed the fast pace of the West coast. She made sure we knew it was her legs playing the part in a mini series about OJ Simpson and Nicole Simpson. She left acting and began working for Disney.
Truman was definitley her life. I can't tell you how many times she crashed my computer sending me countless pictures of him through email! But there was no question, Adrianne had found the love of her life that she had so desperatly been searching for.
Her death is so sad. She didn't deserve to go when she was finally putting the pieces together. I do believe she passed while on top of the mountain, instead of in a valley, and I guess for that we can all be grateful. God knows what He is doing, although we most times do not understand. I know she is smiling down on us with her BIG smile now, and God will also take care of her one true love, Truman.

Alex Bodo said...

I was browsing google and found your posting about Adrianne. I worked with her in the early 90's at Lynn Dickey's at Union Station. We were involved for a short time and after hearing this news, I can say I am without words to explain what a great person she was and how terribly missed she will be

Alex Bodo

Dave Morris said...

It's almost five years later, and Adrianne's big boy, Truman, is doing well. I get an occasional picture in my email box. He's quite a little man.

And I still miss Ade.

juliecaniff said...

Adrianne was one of my dearest friends. I think of her often, especially during this time of year. Today has been especially heartwarming and I thought I would share. Ten years ago a group of us all got together on New Years Eve with our kids for the big celebration in to the year 2000. One of the things we did was to write a letter to our family..what we were all doing at that time, what we were interested in...and what we thought our life would be like in ten years.. our hopes, our dreams for our family. We sealed these letters and handed them over to the most responsible friend. Today, ten years later, that friend brought me two letters to my work. I totally forgot that we had even written these letters. I looked at the first letter and immediately recognized my handwriting, glanced at the second letter and i froze. It was Adrianne's handwriting. Adrianne had flown out during the holidays and spent that New Year's with us. That year she had given birth to her pride and joy, Truman. This letter is written to him..her son, her one true love. I already had plans to see Truman this year on New Years Day. I am beyond excited to be able to give this letter to his Aunt. We will read and cry together and decide whether to give to him now or wait a little later when he's older. I can only imagine the words she has shared to him. The love that will pour from those words. To have this letter, in her handwriting, what an incredible gift.
I sat down tonight in front of this computer and I have no idea why, but i 'googled' Adrianne Fenton and this blog appeared. I read each letter and cried as if I just received the news of her passing. I miss her terribly. I treasure the times I am able to see her son (twice a year) and hug him extra hard for her.

Dave Morris said...

Thanks for sharing, Julie. I truly believe, although I haven't been keeping my blog up-to-date lately, that if it's only simply a place-keeper to remind the occasional visitor of the life of my friend Adrianne Fenton, it will have served its purpose.

Please, if you feel it can be done without violating Truman's relationship with his mother, send me a copy of the letter you're referring to. It will do me good to hear her words again, and I promise not to share it publicly. My personal email address is

Happy New Year. And Adrianne, we love you... and I continue to hold a place in my heart for your memory and legacy of wonderful motherhood.

Truman Thomas Alvey Fenton (Wood-Sasseville) said...

Hi this is Truman Fenton. Yes Adrianne's son. I was looking up my mom for a project. This page came up. I had also read this a few years ago. I am 12 years old now. I'm doing awesome. Thank you all. :)

Dave Morris said...

Truman, thanks for posting! I was thrilled to read your words. I'm so happy you're doing well! Please send me an email soon and tell me how you're liking school, life and stuff.

Dave Morris said...

Seven years later, and at this time of year I always think of Adrianne and hope that wherever she is, she's smiling.