How do you express a lifetime of memories in one missive? How do you share that the very last living family member of a generation has passed?
As the next generation of the Adams family, we are sharing the bittersweet loss of our gracious, generous, and ever resilient father, Francis McKee Adams, or “Mac” to his family and friends. On the last day of his 94th year, July 23rd, 2021, Dad passed into the next life to be with his forever love, our mother, Ann. He was ready to walk again, laugh again, live again, dance again, and play golf again with Mom.
Mac and Ann met in 1954, married shortly thereafter, and for nearly 61 years they lived the best of lives traveling the world and sharing their lives and love with one another.
We four children were the product of their love. During six duty assignments and six new homes, we experienced the privileged life of a military officer’s family. We learned the power of love and family in a very close unit as we journeyed through new homes, neighborhoods, friends, and lives and a succession of loyal terriers by Dad’s side. Throughout it all, always having the family unit as our security.
Dad was born in Shanghai, China, on July 24, 1927. He and his mother followed his father, a Captain in the Navy, around the world to various duty assignments, from Shanghai and the Philippines to San Diego and Seattle. He claimed to have lived in 36 different homes before he graduated high school. Following in his father’s footsteps he was a US Naval Academy graduate in the class of 1949, an Officer and a Gentleman, and a Naval Aviator. After naval flight school in Pensacola, Dad started out flying F4U Corsairs and hopped through several different planes before finishing his career flying A-6 Intruders out of NAS Whidbey.
After serving 20 years in the Navy including service in the Korean and Vietnam wars, he retired and returned to school where he earned a master’s degree in physics. From there he went on to open the first Naval Junior ROTC pro- gram at Issaquah High School where he also taught Math and Physics. He successfully established a model ROTC program that graduated students into the Naval Academy and other collegiate ROTC programs.
In 1973, Dad tried to convince Mom that he could work in Issaquah and commute to Whidbey Island, but Mom insisted that we move to the Seattle area. She was having none of that commuter lifestyle. Instead, she found Dad his first real forever home on Mercer Island. He promised that he would never move again. And for nearly 50 years he never did.
Dad was always there for us kids. He was our baseball coach, hiking companion and camping guide. He and Mom shared with us their love of skiing back in the era of lace up boots and frozen fingers and that propelled us to continue this passion well into our adult lives. He taught us to play golf, and cards especially his favorite, bridge. Dad was an excellent bridge player and he and mom played competitively for many years. He was tough to beat at Hearts too. As a high school teacher, he was always there to help us with daunting calculus problems, challenging physics concepts and much more. His nurturing attitude, consistent patience and insightful guidance were instrumental in helping us to become the adults we are today.
As just one of their many passions, Dad and Mom were master entertainers. Always aiming to explore new cultures and foods, Dad helped build the Northwest Eno- logical Society where he skillfully organized many events featuring chefs not just from the Seattle area but from around the world. Because of their constant drive towards exploration, Mom and Dad became gourmet chefs and loved sharing their culinary passions both in our home and throughout our community.
When he began to manage Mom’s care, he discovered a fantastic woman who became his assistant, Mom’s caregiver, and eventually his own caregiver. In his declining years, her daughters stayed with Dad, providing the quality of life that made it possible for him to continue to stay at home. In the last six years since Mom died, Dad lived as he had always planned, enjoying festive holidays and countless celebratory BBQs and Oyster Festivals with his close family and friends, fulfilling his dream of living out his life in his home.
He is survived by his four children, Lisa Goldsmith (Mark), Laurie Adams (John), Tom Adams (Pam), and Judd Adams (Ann) and his six grandchildren, Travis, David, Elise, Ben, Samantha, and Max and two great-grandchildren. We are forever grateful for the lives that Dad (and Mom) created for us. And to all the family, friends, and neighbors who have loved and supported them.