James (Jim) Adamson, 88, beloved husband, father, grandfather, and uncle passed away January 1, 2023, at Island Hospital in Anacortes. Jim was born at home April 16, 1934, in Oak Harbor, Washington, where his parents, Edwin and Reka Adamson, owned a chicken farm. Jim and his siblings grew up working on the farm that supplied eggs to most of Whidbey Island for over 40 years.
Shortly after graduating from Oak Harbor High School in 1952 Jim and his best friend, Wayne Fox, “borrowed” one of Jim’s father’s cars and went on a joy ride visiting friends in various states. They ended up in Texas where they decided to enlist in the U.S. Air Force.
In 1953 Jim married his high school sweetheart, JoAnn Manley, and they weathered the peaks and valleys of 70 years of marriage through their love for each other. As a veteran of the Korean, Vietnam, Peacetime and Gulf War eras, the U.S. Air Force played a significant role in Jim’s life starting in 1952. In fact, he was in the Korean theater when JoAnn delivered their first son, John, at the Whidbey Island Naval hospital in Oak Harbor. Upon returning from Korea, Jim and JoAnn were assigned to Cheyenne, Wyoming where their second son, Dan, was born. The Air Force then sent the young family north to Fairbanks, Alaska (while it was still a U.S. Territory) where they finished their clan with the birth of their daughter, Cindy. Jim completed his distinguished military career while in Alaska.
After leaving active service, he moved his family to Anchorage and joined the National Guard as an Air Force Master Sergeant, where he served until 1991. He loved Alaska and continued serving the Anchorage supply-chain by becoming a district manager for a
local petroleum distribution business. His devotion to Anchorage was immediately taxed the day following the 1964 Great Alaskan Earthquake, when he worked three days nonstop to repair fuel lines, restoring heat and cooking to countless Anchorage residents during that severely cold March winter. Like most Alaskans, Jim and JoAnn loved to recreate in the great state of Alaska. They were avid snow machine enthusiasts in the winter, and loved camping and hiking during the summer. Other adventures included
traveling to far-off countries such as Arabia, Australia, Africa, and Europe. When Alaska became too cold for their bones, Jim and JoAnn returned to their roots in the Oak Harbor area.
Jim left a long trail of friendships and experiences along his life’s path and will be missed by many. He will always be remembered as a devoted husband to JoAnn, loving father, hard worker, and enthusiastic adventurer. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Ed and Reka Adamson. He is survived by his wife of 70 years, JoAnn Adamson, and children, John (Jean) Adamson, Cindy Adamson, and Dan Adamson, as well as numerous grandchildren and great grandchildren. He is also survived by his siblings, Edwin (Shirley) Adamson, Susan (Ski) Piotrkowski, and Linda Boatman.
A “Joy of Life” celebration for family and friends will be held in the spring. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Blinded Veterans Association (bva.org).