John Henry Adams

ISHPEMING — John Henry Adams, 85, of 124 North Camp Road, Ishpeming, passed away peacefully at his home early Sunday, February 4, 2018. He was, as always, surrounded by his family and their love.

John was born on January 22, 1933, in Highland Park, to Lempi Pauline (Parkkila) Adams (later Kemppainen) and Clayton Henry Adams (died 1947). John attended schools in Hazel Park, Centerline, Alston, Baraga and Marquette, before graduating with the Class of 1951 from Graveraet High School.

In August of 1951 he joined the U.S. Navy and went to boot camp at Great Lakes, Illinois, where he was named Honor Man of Company 684. While in the Navy, John went to Aviation Electronics School in Millington, Tennessee, after which he spent 25 months at Hickam AFB on Oahu, Hawaii, with Naval Military Air Transport Service Squadron VR8 (MATS). He ended his Navy career with Navy Squadron VC-35 at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, California, and he was discharged at the tender age of 22 in August of 1955 after a 4-year hitch, with the rating of Aviation Electronics Technician First Class (AT6).

On August 27, 1955, John married the love of his life, Lorraine Alice (Wirtala) Adams, a registered nurse whom he had met and fallen for just before Christmas in 1951 on the 400 train running from Chicago to Marquette. They wed in Bethel Lutheran Church in Ishpeming, had four children together, and spent their lives in a marriage filled with love and learning and laughter. Just after their wedding, John began attending Michigan Technological University, and graduated in June of 1959 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.

His first job after college was with General Electric in Utica, New York. Assignments within GE included stops in, Caribou, Maine, at Loring AFB; Sunnyvale, California, at the Lockheed factory; and Utica, New York, doing test equipment engineering. Next John worked at Celotex in L’Anse, before moving on to CCI in Ishpeming, and then moving on once again to Pan American World Airways at Cape Canaveral, Florida, and from there to the Bendix Corporation at the Kennedy Space Center. After the Apollo/Saturn 5 program ended, John returned to CCI for the remainder of his career, working in Project Engineering, in Cliffs Electric Service Company, and also as an electrical engineer at the Tilden Mine. He retired in 1995 as a Senior Electrical Engineer.

John was a past member of the IEEE Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, a life member of the BPOE of Ishpeming, and an active member of the Pioneer Kiwanis Club of Ishpeming where he was happily and productively involved with a good group of people in fundraising and hundreds of ramp-building projects. Along with his wife Lorraine, John was also a member of the Bethel Lutheran Church in Ishpeming, where he served as a council member.

He was an especially energetic, creative and constructive person, with projects including houses, saunas, electronics, landscaping, drafting and computing, as well as custom-made greeting cards and beautiful photography, all done with a gifted eye for balance and detail. John enjoyed his Finnish heritage and had a remarkable memory for connections between what seemed like the majority of people in the Upper Peninsula. He was fond of recalling family, friends and humorous stories from the old days. An industrious man of quiet integrity, John was a loving and protective father and a sincerely devoted husband.

John was preceded in death by his wife, Lorraine in late December; by his parents and his stepfather, Lauri Kemppainen; by a brother, Clayton Samuel Adams; and a sister, Nancy Christine Adams Neuman Palmer.

He is survived by his son, John D. (Patty) Adams, of Alexandria, Virginia; his daughters, Betty (Jim Dalgleish) Adams, of Kalamazoo, Kristine (Raymond) Pogliano, of Kalamazoo, and Paula Adams; by his grandchildren, Nate (Jess) Jeffery, Neil Jeffery, Austin (Zoe) Jeffery, Gabriel Pogliano, Ethan Pogliano and Leah Lorraine Pogliano; by his brother, Paul Franklin Adams of Baraga; sister-in-law, Ruth Doney of Ishpeming; and brother-in-law, Peter (Susan) Wirtala of Green Bay; and by many nieces, nephews and cousins.

The family will welcome relatives and friends at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 10, 2018, at Bethel Lutheran Church, 333 E Ridge Street, Ishpeming. At 11 a.m. Pastor Lauri Maki will officiate at a memorial service; military honors will be accorded by the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter #380 at the conclusion of the service; and a luncheon will follow.

John’s ashes will be inurned at a later date at both the Ishpeming Cemetery and the Pelkie Cemetery, along with his wife’s.

John’s family would like to thank Lake Superior Life Care & Hospice and U.P. Home Health & Hospice for their compassionate care.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the Bethel Lutheran Church (333 E Ridge Street, Ishpeming, MI, 49849), or the Ishpeming Pioneer Kiwanis Club (P.O. Box 604, Ishpeming, MI 49849).

John’s obituary may be viewed at where relatives and friends may leave notes of remembrance.