WEYMOUTH — Vera Adams was remembered by family and friends Monday as a quiet, private person who enjoyed reading mystery books while sipping coffee on the sun porch of her home here.
Adams, 77, was on her porch Sunday morning when she was fatally shot through a sliding-glass door, authorities said. The accused gunman, Emanuel Lopes, 20, had allegedly just killed Michael Chesna, a Weymouth police officer, shooting him about 10 times with the officer’s gun.
Adams, a widow for 25 years who had no children, had a circle of dear friends and maintained relationships with relatives of her late husband, family and friends said.
Sandra Boucher, 76, was the sister of Adams’s husband, Donald Adams. She said Adams had remained single since his death in 1993.
“She always said, ‘When I find the perfect man, I won’t have another one.’ I guess she thought my brother was it,” she said.
Adams was a modest, retiring person who loved to read, she said.
“She had many friends, but she really kind of kept to herself most of the time,” she said.
Adams’s violent death has stunned those close to her, Boucher said.
“I haven’t comprehended it,” she said, adding that her children were also deeply upset.
“They were constantly doing things for her,” she said.
Beatriz Sheridan and her daughter, Arlene Vieira, who live in Hanson, visited Adams’s home Monday, before her identity had been made public, to verify that she had been killed. Sheridan said she had known Adams for more than 35 years.
Adams’s aunt is the godmother of another of Sheridan’s daughters, and although that connection may seem remote, they became close friends, she said.
Sheridan had known Adams’s late husband, and she said the two were very much in love until his death from cancer. Adams had worked at an insurance company and retired several years ago, Vieira said.
Vieira had a sinking feeling Sunday night when she heard of the shootings in Weymouth, she said. When she saw Adams’s house on the news, she feared the worst. On Monday morning, Sheridan tried calling several times but didn’t get an answer, so she and Vieira decided to drive over.
“She was such a kind person,” Vieira said. “She didn’t deserve this.”
Cynthia MacDonald, 76, said Adams had been her best friend for many years. They had last spoken Saturday night, when Adams called to congratulate her and her husband on their wedding anniversary, she said.
They spoke by phone almost every day, sometimes two or three times, she said, and they saw each other often.
“It’s terrible,” she said. “I interacted with her every day. It’s going to be a big loss. Even the kids, it’s going to be a big loss for them, and the grandchildren.”
MacDonald’s two children — now in their mid-40s — grew up calling Adams “Auntie Vera,” and their children also think of her as a relative, she said.
“Our family was her family, and my grandchildren were her grandchildren,” MacDonald said. “She celebrated everything with us, and she was never alone, even though she lived alone.”
MacDonald had tried to call Adams on Sunday morning, she said. About an hour later, Adams’s next-door neighbor called and gave her the terrible news. MacDonald, who lives about a half-mile from Adams’s house, had heard helicopters overhead Sunday morning but never imagined that they could be circling her friend’s home.
“It seems unbelievable,” she said.
MacDonald said she and Adams met when they were about 20, through two sisters of MacDonald’s future husband, who were both friends with Adams. Adams was a newlywed then, but her first marriage lasted less than a decade, MacDonald said.
After the divorce, Adams was single for many years until she met Donald Adams. They were married in a small, informal wedding at a since-closed restaurant on the Hingham-Norwell line, MacDonald said.
MacDonald said Adams enjoyed mysteries and crime stories, adding that it was a cruel irony that she had died in such a violent, public way.
“She was not a person who would want any kind of attention like this,” MacDonald said.
Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.