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Murphy Funeral Homes

OBITUARY

Thomas "Tom" H. Adams

May 17, 1945September 4, 2021

Thomas H. Adams a resident of Arlington, VA was born in Savannah GA to Parker and Beatrice Adams (both deceased). Tom was a resident of Vernonburg (also known as White Bluff) for most of his adolescent years in the Savannah area.

He graduated from Savannah High in 1964. He joined the US Navy in 1965 and was awarded his Navy enlisted Air Crew wings in 1967. Tom was introduced to his future wife Muriel Herrera by his mother and they married in 1970. As he always said “they had an arranged marriage” and if anything happened, she could visit his parents but he would be in the “doghouse”. He was affiliated with the U. S. Navy Aviation, serving in both Active and Reserve Patrol Squadrons at NAS (Naval Air Station) Jacksonville Florida and at NAS Patuxent River Maryland. Tom completed his term of service and received an Honorable Discharge in 1972.

He graduated from American University, Washington DC in 1976 with a degree in English Literature after which he began a lifelong career with major defense companies in support of the Department of Defense retiring as Director, Proposal Operations for DRS Service Company a Fortune 100 company.

As a youngster, he became an avid sailor, an avocation that he pursued throughout his life. His sailing experience ranged from racing small dinghies to ocean racing yachts. He and Muriel had many adventures sailboat racing on the Potomac River and sailing the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries. On one such adventure, they lost all power while approaching Knapps Narrows and it was his superior sailing skill which saved them from disaster. Tom had to bring them in under sail in a swift current to a “safe” landing while his wife was shouting to a small boat to move away as they could not maneuver in such a tight space. He also participated in sports car racing on a club and professional level and was a wicked bridge player in his younger years. He loved books from the classics to Tom Clancy.

His love of travel which began during his Navy days included vacations to Canada, Bermuda, Guadalupe, Dominican Republic, and Scotland to see Muriel’s grandparents for the first time.

Tom is survived by his loving wife Muriel of 51 years of marriage, sister Diane Ballinger, nieces Margaret Ballinger, Carlie McCarthy and nephews Patrick McCarthy, Albert and Parker Ballinger. Other survivors include his large extended families on the Adams and Herrera sides.

Services

  • Funeral Service

    Saturday, September 18, 2021

Memories

Thomas "Tom" H. Adams

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Cathie and Charlie Swisher

September 11, 2021

Muriel,
Charlie and I are both are grateful to have known you both for all these years. Tom will be greatly missed. We will always be here for you and know that you will always be welcomed in our home like family.
We had great conversations, plenty of analysis, lots of ribbing, and wonderful experiences of good food and music. We will miss Tom’s distinctive voice and his satirical charm. On a visit to DC in 2018, Tom gave us a great tour of DC and Georgetown which we had not seen in years. His love of history and sharing of interesting facts and points of view, always made it a delight to be with him.
We were fortunate to share some memorable trips in both Virginia and Tennessee. Our visits to the Adams house were always pleasant but far too short.
Muriel, you have been in our thoughts and prayers these last days and will be in the days to come.
Love,
Cathie and Charlie Swisher


Paige Taylor

September 9, 2021

Muriel and family, I am so saddened by Tom’s passing. I have thought so much about both of you ; all the fun times we have had together . I remember while Muriel was at work one day, Tom took me to the Washington zoo in the HEAT of August and the best thing he did was to buy 2 HUGE cups of COKE for us. He was always a wonderful host whenever I visited you all, and I am going to miss him so much. The obituary really captured the kind of person he was , to a “T”. I do remember his enjoying reading books and how he firmly told me the only way to read a book, was in a “hardback” format, instead of on a Kindle, or Ipad. Love you both. Hugs, Paige

Bill & Sandy Silzer

September 7, 2021

We will miss that wonderful Southern accent and great hug! Bill can attest to Tom's expert bridge-playing and bidding, which left Bill to play some challenging hands! We have so many great memories of Tom and Muriel, including wonderful Christmas Eves shared together. Tom would always delight me by playing the traditional Christmas music and the Christmas Eve services on the radio. We knew they were both experienced sailors and enjoyed reading that anecdote about Tom saving the day! Truly, Tom lived a life worth living and touched many lives, including ours. We are praying for Muriel and the rest of the family.