James Andrew "Andy" Adams, 87 years of age, died at Saint Mary’s Hospital in Jefferson City on July 24, 2023.
Andy was born on September 19, 1935, in Elkton, Kentucky.
In October 1952, at the age of seventeen, he joined the Air Force and served during the Korean War. In January 1962, an evaluation of his work at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Anchorage, Alaska, said: “Airman Adams has accepted trouble calls at all hours and has often worked extra hours without complaint. He always exerts extra effort…He has eagerly faced unusual or difficult problems and has solved them with a minimum of aid and supervision.” These words describe how Andy would go on to live the long life ahead of him.
He remained in the Air Force until May 1962 having earned the Korean Service Medal, Action Ribbon, United Nations Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award, National Defense Service Medal, Good Conduct Medal, and the Air Force Outstanding Unit Award.
Andy married the love of his life, Luella May Adams of Kirksville, Missouri, on March 2, 1957. They remained loving partners until her passing in October 2017.
From 1957 until the early 1960s, Andy worked in numerous positions in and around Kirksville, including at Sears and running his own repair business. He worked at the Kirksville Post Office from 1965 to 1975.
He rejoined the military in 1976 and relocated his family to Jefferson City to work for the Army National Guard and later the State Emergency Management Agency. Devoted throughout his life to learning and improving himself, he earned dozens of certificates for training courses in communications, mathematics, and electronics. He retired in September 1990.
His later years were filled with spending time with his devoted friends in the Mid-Missouri Amateur Radio Club (his call sign was WNØI), with children at Wonderland Camp, and pals at the junk yard and his fishing buddies. After retirement he hiked the Appalachian Trail and explored the Grand Canyon. Every day he spent a few moments with random strangers with whom he engaged in friendly conversation without a moment’s hesitation. Even at the end of his life, when his body was failing, his inexhaustible sense of humor remained intact, and his greatest desire was to make those around him smile.
Andy is survived by his two devoted children: Linda Bellinger of Jefferson City and Andrew Adams of Sylva, North Carolina. His loving family includes his son-in-law, Randy Bellinger, of Jefferson City, and his two grandsons, Matthew Bellinger and Brandon Bellinger, also of Jefferson City. Matthew and his wife Kaitlin are expecting Andy’s great grandson this fall.
Following Andy’s wishes, he will be cremated by Trimble Funeral Homes – Jefferson City. The family invites Andy’s many friends to a Celebration of Life on Saturday, September 16, at Trimble Funeral Homes beginning at 11 a.m.
A military honors ceremony will conclude the gathering at 1 p.m. Andy and May will be laid to rest together, beside other members of their family, at Highland Park Cemetery in Kirksville on Tuesday, September 19, at 2:00 p.m.
Memorials may be sent to the Mid-Missouri Amateur Radio Club or to Wonderland Camp at Lake of the Ozarks.
When Andy was four years old, The Wizard of Oz was released. At the end of the movie we learn, “A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others.” James Andrew Adams had an enormous heart and was greatly loved throughout his life by people too numerous to count from all walks of life. Although our hearts are broken, they will forever be filled with beautiful memories of this most beautiful human being.
Services entrusted to Trimble Funeral Homes – Jefferson City. trimblefunerals.com