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James W. Adams

October 29, 1921 October 17, 2019
James W. Adams
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Obituary for James W. Adams

James W. Adams, 97, of Schofield, passed away on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, at the Marshfield Medical Center, after a brief illness surrounded by his family.

He was born in Schofield on Oct. 29, 1921, to the late Alfred and Pauline (Evertson) Adams, and grew up in Conover, Wisconsin, having attended Eagle River High School.

Jim was a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he graduated in 1943 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. His first job was at U.S. Rubber Corporation in West Virginia, where he worked on developing synthetic rubber to be used during World War II.

He came to the Wausau area working for Marathon Corporation in Rothschild (which became American Can Corp and Reed Lignin, Inc.). Jim retired from Reed Lignin in 1985. He was an author, co-author/inventor of over 20 patents and authored several publications in the rubber and wood products industries. He was a 75-year member of the American Chemical Society and was an active leader in the upper Midwest chapter of the ACS.

Jim was also very involved in local politics in Schofield. He was an alderman for over 16 years and was involved in much of the development of the city. He traveled to Europe in 1974 with other city leaders to study other governments.

He played a crucial role in the creation and development of the Nordic Section of the Nine-Mile Recreation Area and the local growth of Wausau Area Nordic Ski Club. For many years, Jim volunteered at Nine-Mile to clean trails, make signs and help people enjoy the area. He has a snowshoe trail named in his honor near the Chalet at Nine-Mile; and he was a recipient of the Otto Breitenbach Spirit of the Games Award for his involvement in the Badger State Games.

Jim had many other activities and hobbies. An avid outdoorsman, he walked daily and loved hunting, fishing, biking, gardening, snowshoeing, Nordic skiing and enjoyed the art of making jams, juices, maple syrup and wine/beer.

Survivors include his wife, Barbara A. Adams (married on April 4, 1987, in New Orleans, Louisina); son, Neal (Cheryl) Adams; son-in-law, Lee Swank; son, Forrest (Colleen) Sparke; daughter, Robin (Pat) McDonough; sister, Doris (Bruno) Schiffleger; grandchildren, Adam (Patti) Swank, Allison Adams (spouse Jason DiPiazza), Leigh Ann Adams, Megan (Sparke) Anderson (spouse Tyler Anderson), and Griffin Sparke; and numerous nieces and nephews. Jim was preceded in death by his daughter, Judy Swank; and brother, Lee Adams.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to: GHT-Conover/Phelps Biking and Hiking Trail (https://ghtrails.org/donate/) or Wausau Nordic Ski Club (http://wausaunordic.org/donate/).

Visitation will be from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday morning, Oct. 22, 2019, at the John J. Buettgen Funeral Home, 948 Grand Avenue in Schofield, followed by a brief memorial service beginning at 11:30. For online condolences, please visit www.HonorOne.com.


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