March 29, 2023

John Adams


John Allan Adams, age 74, died March 7, 2023 at Methodist Medical Center from complications related to Covid.

John was born January 2, 1949 in Centerville, Iowa to Edra “Pauline” and John Albert Adams.  Larry James and Mary Jane, twins, joined him 6 years later. John grew up in Plano, Iowa where he attended the Plano Christian Church, was a member of 4-H and helped his father farm, milk a small Grade A dairy herd and raise Angus cattle. John developed his love of planes from his father who was a flying farmer in early years of aviation. His dad would take him to area fly-in breakfasts where they enjoyed various aircraft and fellow pilots. Over the years John enjoyed flying with an instructor. He would say that all the stressors of the mind would fade away when he was flying.

John graduated from Seymour Community High School where he met his wife, Carole Morgan. Three daughters, Natalie, Holly Noelle and Katie Jean were born to this union. John and Carole were active in the Seymour United Methodist Church and made lasting memories and life-long friendships holding Bible study in couples’ homes.

After graduating from Iowa State University, John worked at Kaiser Ag. Chemical in Seymour, up until The Farm Crisis when its doors would close.  He then gave support to farmers and their families while in some cases, their Century Farms went to auction. In the words of one of the families that he impacted, “We might not have saved the family farm, but with John’s help, we saved the family.”

On June 20, 2004, John married Ferne Lane. They made their home in Osceola, Iowa where in their 4-acre yard he planted and nurtured over 100 trees, shrubs and native grasses. He remarked that it was in these times of planting that he felt closest to his dad. John and Ferne enjoyed taking trips to Hannibal, Missouri, going on river boat rides on the Mississippi and traveling in the fall to take in the beauty of its colors.

In 1998, John began work at the Iowa Department of Human Services where he completed his career in 2012. His educational background was in agriculture and he had a deep love and knack for horticulture, however he was best known for his gentle way with words, whether it was preaching a sermon as a lay minister, providing counseling, or having a conversation with a loved one. In this way, he emulated his mother who said; (and embodied) “My job is to love”.

It was at his time at Iowa State that John became a diehard Cyclone. He was a 40-year football season ticket holder. Those and all games were best enjoyed with the late Pete Tayor and then John Walters on the call. John relished a life close to nature; one that included the writings of Thoreau. This appreciation may have taken root when without a single electric tool, he and his dad built a cabin in the timber on a piece of land that his parents owned, known as “The Other Place”. Many memories were made staying there. At the top of his list of ways to approach and enjoy life, were John’s grandchildren. He loved watching them grow into their interests and attending their events. He supported them in their ups and downs and cheered then on in all that they did.

John is survived by his wife, Ferne; children:  Holly Arnold and Katie Emerson; brother; Jim Adams; sister: Jane (Dan) Hutchings; grandchildren: Beau Smith, Morgan Arnold and Luke and Brielle Emerson. He was preceded in death by his infant daughter, Natalie, parents; John and Pauline Adams and son in-law, Brad Arnold.