George Elmer Adams, 88, passed away at his home in Columbia, Missouri on Tuesday, January 28, 2020. The eighth of ten children of Phillip Marion and Millie Neleta, nee Kimberlin, Adams, was born October 21, 1931 on the farm homesteaded by his grandfather.
George attended Long Ridge rural school through eighth grade and graduated from Steelville High School in 1949. He then earned his B.S. in Vocational Agricultural Education from the University of Missouri and taught at Galt, Missouri. In 1956, the interstate highway system started work on I-70 and George began work in October 1956 for the Missouri Highway Department (now MODOT) in Columbia on one of the first sections to be built. He completed more than thirty-seven years and retired in February 1993.
In October 1957, Janet Marsh arranged a blind date for George with Sharon Thomas, a freshman at the University, and “the rest is history.” They were married in 1963, built a home near Columbia where they lived for forty-three years and were blessed with two sons. George and Sharon returned to the farm in 2006 to care for his brother, Henry and sister, Pauline and were the last of the four generations of the Adams family in Crawford County when they moved back to Columbia in 2017.
Family was very important to George throughout his life and he always enjoyed being able to help his relatives and friends in any way he could. Skills he developed in working with engines, equipment, appliances and construction were shared with family, neighbors, co-workers and friends. He took pride in being able to do things for himself. His interest in family and community history plus a challenge from his college English teacher led him to begin thirty years later to write a book about the Adams family and Long Ridge Community. He wrote long hand in spiral notebooks over almost a decade and completed a 363 page book. His plan was to have enough copies made for family members and a few community members to document the family history that was known up to the 1980’s.
George and Sharon enjoyed spending time with their sons on camping vacations and visited many parks and historic sites in forty-nine states. Water skiing was a favorite activity for summer weekends while the boys were growing up. Much time was spent building or repairing things while teaching skills to his sons and others. He was a scout leader for several years. When he retired from MODOT, the only item on his bucket list was to drive the Alcan Highway (1,523 miles through Canada and Alaska) and he did that in 1993.
He was active in church throughout his life and was a member of the Steelville Presbyterian Church at the time of his death. One of his volunteer activities when he was a member of the Community United Methodist Church in Columbia was welding parts for building the P.E.T. (the Personal Energy Transportation hand cranked mobility device for leg handicapped persons throughout the world).
He was preceded in death by one brother, Henry; eight sisters and seven brothers-in-law, Neola McKay and husband Mac, Pauline Adams, Ava Comfort and husband Glen, Betty Ferrell and husband Lewis, Opal Comfort and husband Louis, Anna Marie Horn and husband Robert, Dorothy Weber and husband Bob, Neleta Maloney and husband Bryce; one niece, Janet (Ferrell) Parrett.
He is survived by wife, Sharon of Columbia; sons, Phillip Marion Adams of O’Fallon, MO and Michael Thomas Adams of Kansas City, MO; grandson, Dustin Michael Adams of Lee’s Summit, MO; two brothers-in-law, Leon and Lynn Thomas; fourteen nieces and four nephews, Marian (John) Roberts, Ray Comfort, Phyllis (Wally) Burr, Charles (Wands) Ferrell, Eddie (Val) Ferrell, Linda (Ray) Kendrick, Shirley Comfort, Gale (Ralph) Teasley, Kim (Keith) Busche, Todd Horn, Lisa (Carey) Hollander, Rebecca (Bruce) Fleahmann, Leslie Trossett, Cindy (Steve) Jackson, Julie (Chuck) Murray, Debbie (Joe) Juntti, Diane (Mike) O’Rourke, Becky (John) Imes; twenty-seven great-nieces and nephews; cousins and many friends.
The Family received friends from 11:00 a.m. until service time on Saturday, February 1, 2020 at the Britton-Bennett Funeral Home in Steelville, MO.
Funeral services were held at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, February 1, 2020 with Rev. Mike Reno officiating. Special music of "Precious Memories", "He'll Understand" and "On the Other Side" was played. Memories were shared by his son, Mike.
Committal prayer and interment were in the Pleasant Point Cemetery, Steelville, MO.
Honored to be casket bearers were Ralph Teasley, Nick Lukefahr, Keith Busche, Mike O'Rourke, Rodney Weaver and Jared Parrett.
The Family was served by the Britton-Bennett Funeral Home of Steelville, MO.
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Pleasant Point Cemetery
57 Highway U, Steelville MO 65565