John Adams ’56

Hampton – John J. Adams, 88, of Hampton, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, October 18, 2022.

He was born in Toledo Ohio on March 9, 1934 to Katherine and Frank Adams. His Father worked for General Motors in Toledo and was transferred to Saginaw, Michigan where John grew up. He attended Saginaw public schools.

John’s love for team sports began when he was very young. One team, in particular, the Detroit Tigers was a favorite and remained so his whole life. In 1945 when John was 11 years old, the Tigers were in the World Series and his Dad took him to one of the games which was a thrill for him.

In junior high school he had a coach who began teaching him a lot about playing football and basketball and he took much of what he learned to high school where he became a very good athlete.

In high school he participated in three sports (football, basketball and baseball). John received nine letters in high school. He was All Saginaw Valley in basketball – was elected to the All State Tournament first team and lost the state championship by 1 point. Also, John was elected President of the Student Council and received the prestigious Ippel Cup at graduation for outstanding leadership and service in a graduating class of 500.

Following high school he attended Hope College where he graduated in 1956. At Hope he received 12 letters (football, basketball and baseball) and made All Conference second team in basketball, and made All Conference first team as running back for 3 years. He was also on the Little All American First Team in 1954 and was co captain of the football team. He was also elected President of the Student Body and was a member of Blue Key Honor Society and was named to Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities. He also was elected as President of the Michigan Association of College Student Governments.

John met his wife Jane (Durman) in high school and they dated all through high school and the romance continued through college. After they both graduated from college, they were married in June of 1956. Following their marriage they went to Boston where John attended and graduated from Andover Newton Theological School, receiving a Master of Divinity degree in 1960. He was then ordained into the Christian Ministry in his home church of Saginaw, Michigan. While in Seminary, John was the Assistant Chaplain at Walpole State Prison. In his ministry of 40 years he served many churches beginning with Plymouth Church of Shaker Heights, Ohio; the First Congregational Church (Ypsilanti, Michigan) South Congregational Church in Pittsfield, Ma; Pilgrim Congregational Church in Toledo Ohio, The Congregational Church in Exeter, New Hampshire; Christ Church United in Lowell, MA and South Congregational Church in East Hartford, CT. John also was involved in helping to start shelters for the homeless in both Lowell, MA and East Hartford, CT. He also served 3 years as Director of the Big Brother, Big Sister Program in Cleveland, Ohio and then helped to start the Big Brother Big Sister Program of the Seacoast in New Hampshire.

John loved his home state of Michigan and our summers for many years while the children were growing up, were spent at the cottage on the shores of Lake Michigan in the Upper Peninsula and many good times were had with family and friends. John had no brothers or sisters and his in-laws were real family to him. He and his “brothers” had many fun fishing trips together and many good times at the cottage. He was also a big fan of the University of Michigan basketball and football teams and followed them with a passion.

John was active in Rotary International and had been in a club in each place he lived starting in 1960 in Cleveland Heights, Ohio. He was elected President of the Hampton, New Hampshire Rotary in 2003-2004. He was also awarded a Paul Harris Award for service to Rotary. For a few years in retirement he also worked at Barnes and Noble which he enjoyed. John loved reading, mostly history and had a special interest in the Civil War and read everything he could and also visited most of the battlefields.

John and Jane retired to the seacoast of New Hampshire and enjoyed all that the area had to offer. It was also close to their children, David and Elizabeth who live in Massachusetts.

John was predeceased by his parents, his in-laws Dr. Donald and Nora Durman, his brother and sister-in-law Pat and Tom Schwartz and Dr. Bud Parks.

John leaves his wife Jane, his children David and his partner Christine, Elizabeth and her husband Bill; sister-in -law Marian Parks, and many nieces and nephews, and special friends.

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