OBITUARY

Thomas Benjamin Adams

April 14, 1933May 30, 2019

Rev. Thomas Benjamin Adams, age 86, passed away at home on Thursday, May 30, 2019. A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Tuesday, June 18 at Community United Methodist Church in Columbia. Visitation will be from 1:30 p.m. until time of service the same day.

Tom was born Thomas Benjamin Ralston, Jr. on April 14, 1933 to parents Thomas Benjamin Ralston and Lillie Christine Spencer in Trenton, Missouri. After his father was killed in an industrial accident at the Missouri Public Service Company in 1934, he was adopted by his cousin Beulah Ralston Adams and her husband, John Raymond Adams. Tom graduated from Trenton High School and Trenton Junior College, before receiving his Bachelor’s degree from Central Methodist University in 1955. He married his wife, Luella Josephine Ratcliff, on June 5, 1955 in Saint Joseph, Missouri.

Together they moved to Dallas, Texas where Tom pursued a Master of Divinity at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. After graduating in 1958, they moved back to Missouri where Tom began his career in ministry. In his 63 years of ministry, Tom served many Methodist churches in Missouri: Chillicothe (Liberty Rural), Wilcox/Pickering, Wellsville/Middletown, Centralia, Eldon/Iberia, Mexico, Hannibal-Kirksville (as district superintendent), and three Columbia area churches (Community, Hallsville, and New Horizons, in succession). During his ministry, he led three major building projects, including the construction of two new church buildings.

Tom greatly valued building community and fostering relationships with people from all walks of life. And as any person who knew him will attest, the journey he walked with God was one he eagerly desired to share with friends and strangers alike.

He took great pride in his family and was consistently present in the lives of his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He delighted in sharing with them stories from his youth and passed down his love of music. He was preceded in death by both his birth and adoptive parents, and his siblings Marian, Raymond, and Sharon. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Luella; four children: Thomas Mark (husband to Leslie), John Christopher (husband to Carla), Charles Phillip, and James Andrew (husband to Heidi); grandchildren: Zach, Corey, Andrew, Haydan, Devyn, Emily, Parker, and Abby; and great-grandchildren: Kaius and Koah. Tom is also survived by his sister Marlene.

Donations in Tom's memory may be made to the Missouri United Methodist Foundation, 3601 Amron Ct #103, Columbia, MO 65202.

  • FAMILY

  • He is survived by his wife of 64 years, Luella; four children: Thomas Mark (husband to Leslie), John Christopher (husband to Carla), Charles Phillip, and James Andrew (husband to Heidi); grandchildren: Zach, Corey, Andrew, Haydan, Devyn, Emily, Parker, and Abby; and great-grandchildren: Kaius and Koah. Tom is also survived by his sister Marlene.
  • DONATIONS

  • Missouri United Methodist Foundation

Services

  • Visitation Tuesday, June 18, 2019
  • Funeral Service Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Memories

Thomas Benjamin Adams

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Corbin Adams

June 8, 2019

I will always remember the summers I spent with you picking blueberries, catching frogs, fishing at the lake house, playing board games, and listening to your stories. Thank you for your guidance, kindness, generosity, and patience. You practiced what you preached and that is a rare characteristic that I respect most highly. Eternal peace and rest to you, Granddad.

Sandy Thomas

June 6, 2019

Our family's sincere condolences for Luella and Pastor Tom Adams family at this time. Pastor Adams' kindness, expressions of concern for all, meaningful messages brought us to Hallsville United Methodist church. Our sincere appreciation of the example Pastor Adams and Luella displayed toward each in the congregation during many events such as disciple classes, Hefer project, children programs and consistently reach out to others in a welcoming manner made such a difference in our life. Thanks for your wonderful example and our prayers are with your family. Sandy Thomas and family

Carol Millspaugh

June 4, 2019

Luella - how sad to hear from Carol Oliver that Tom has died, yet also a blessing, as I know you, Luella, have cared for him so long, and it sounds like he was ready to leave here and begin a new and healed life in heaven. What a very special man Tom was, and what a blessing to me, to New Horizons, and to so many people whose lives he touched. He was a true pastor; loving, kind, caring, and supportive, and I will miss just knowing he is there when I think about Columbia. I remember his support to me when, as a new young pastor, I asked him at Ministers' School how did he possibly come up with material for preaching every week. He told me about several monthly resources he subscribed to for study, I ordered them, and they were a tremendous help, as well as a relief to know such things even existed! At New Horizons while I was there he was always so supportive and helpful to me personally, and later on as the pastor for a short term: I always knew the church was in good hands with his ministry. And then when you and Tom went to support Heather in the hospital, and visit Rick while he was seriously ill there, that again was a blessing and such a help to me being so far away. Thank you both, for so much! Dick and I send you our love and support, and may God bless and keep you. May your faith be a strength and a comfort for you in this challenging time. Much love, Carol Millspaugh

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY