On Friday, March 8, 2019, Robert “Bob” Stanley Adams Sr., husband of Eleanor “Ellie” Mary Adams, passed away at the age of 89. Retiring to Touchmark on Spokane’s South Hill with his wife Ellie, just over one year prior to his death, Bob passed peacefully in his sleep due to complications from heart failure.
Robert (Bob) was born on September 30, 1929 in Colfax, Washington, to Chester Vernon Adams and Esther Reda Carr. Before he was two years old, the family moved to Coeur d’ Alene, Idaho, where Chet became a resident engineer for the State of Idaho. His family called Coeur d’ Alene home until Chet’s career took him to Hanford, Washington during WWII.
Bob began his high school years at Hanford High School before the family moved to Spokane, at the end of the war. Bob went on to graduate from Lewis and Clark High School in 1947. After high school, Bob attended Washington State University, where he pledged Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity, studying Business and Civil Engineering.
With the advent of the Korean War, Bob enlisted in the United States Army. After completing his Basic Training at Camp Pendleton, California, and his Officer Candidate Schooling at Fort Bliss, El Paso, Texas, Bob was commissioned a Second Lieutenant, Artillery Officer, before being posted to the Anti- Aircraft Battery at Manchester, Washington.
At the conclusion of the Korean conflict, Bob returned to Spokane and following in the footsteps of his older brother Richard (Dick), he went to work for his father in the family business, Adams Engineering, a Civil Engineering and Land Surveying firm. Purchasing the engineering firm when their father retired in 1960, Dick and Bob were in partnership until 1978 when they expanded the business by incorporating with three associates.
When Dick retired in 1988, Bob moved on to his “second” career, as an Assistant Construction Engineer, for Spokane County. He loved his years with Spokane County; the people, the jobs, the responsibility and the constant challenge. He always spoke with great pride and appreciation for the opportunities he had with the county. This second career ended after ten and half years when Bob “retired” to spend more time with family.
At WSU, Bob met the love of his life, Eleanor Mary Mellish, of Tacoma, Washington. They were married July 19, 1952. As transplanted Spokanites, they embraced a full life in Spokane and raised four children; Robert Stanley, Jr, twins: Lois Kathleen and Mary Janine and Carrie Lynn.
Bob loved the Lord, his family, his work and travel. As Charter Members, Bob and Ellie have been active, dedicated members of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church since 1958. Bob served the church with a number of terms on the vestry, numerous building and planning committees, surveying work, Lay Reading for 45 years, and he and Ellie sang in the Chancel Choir for over 45 years.
Bob was a devoted and proud husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. Anyone who spent any time with Bob learned about the Adams clan. Bob’s “third” career was the last 20 years of his life, continuing to do surveying and consulting independently. With the support of several key professional associates, Bob was still finishing some final surveying projects, just months before his passing; he never really retired. He was an active member of the Washington State Land Surveyors Association, a licensed land surveyor for 59 years and the oldest still practicing surveyor in the state.
Bob and Ellie loved to travel and their travels took them to Hawaii, Mexico, the Caribbean, Europe, The Holy Land, Russia, China, Japan and New Zealand. Many of these trips were with their kids and grandkids, even more were with their dear traveling mates, John and Joanne Happy and Bill Tomlin. Hawaii was their “home away from home” for 45 years.
Bob is survived by his wife of 66 years, Ellie, of Spokane, WA; son, Robert Stanley Jr. “Bob” and his wife Nancy of Spokane, WA; daughters, Lois Kathleen “Kathy” and her husband Jim of Surprise, AZ; Mary Janine “Jannie” and her husband Steve of Redmond, WA; Carrie and husband Matt of Vancouver, WA; 9 grandchildren: Ryan (McKenna), Andrew (Chanel), Tyler (Gabby), Carolyn (Ryan), Joel (Kanani), Kelsey (Tanner), Meridith (Stephen), Nicholas and Rachel; 10 great grandchildren: Eleanor, Maya, Evelyn, Evan, Sawyer, Emory, Isaac, Alina, Ezra, and Gavin. He is also survived by his sisters, Joy Lovell (Jack) and Kay Leid, his sister-in-law, Patricia Adams, several cousins and numerous nieces and nephews. Bob was preceded in death by his father, Chester; his mother, Esther; his brother Richard; his sister-in-law, Doris Adams; and his brother-in-law, Harry Leid.
Special recognition and love to dear friends and world-wide travel companions, John and Joanne Happy and Bill Tomlin. Appreciation and gratitude to business associates Rudy Kitzen, Rich Shine and Rick Richards, for your support, encouragement and friendship to Bob, over the last 20 years of his “third career”. And to the incredible staff of Touchmark, thank you for loving Bob so well during his too brief time at Touchmark.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, March 30th, 2019 at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church, 5720 S. Perry Street, Spokane, WA 99223, at 11 AM.
In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to St. Stephen’s Outreach.
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