Leo N. Adams

May 10, 1924May 1, 2011

Leo Nelson Adams of Oregon City, Oregon passed away in his home from complications of leukemia, Sunday, May 1 just 9 days short of his 87th birthday.

Leo was born May 10, 1924 in Thatcher, Utah to Thomas Elias Adams and Edna Nelson Adams. He married Arva Blanche Green June 6, 1952. They were married for 40 years and then were separated by Arva’s death. Leo married Carol Louise Reed May 21, 1994.

He grew up in Thatcher Utah and graduated from Bear River High School in 1942. His young childhood years were idyllic. He rode his beloved buckskin pony, herded cows, and swam in the canal with his brothers. During high school he was a football star and enjoyed going to dances.

He served in the army during World War II under General Patton in the armored infantry from 1943-1945. He served in the European Theatre of Operations where he survived many battles. Private First Class Leo N. Adams was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for meritorious achievement in ground combat against the armed enemy. His experiences in the war had a tremendous impact on his life. He saw the horrors of war and came out with a greater compassion and love for all people. He is a true patriot. After his military service he managed a small airport and then he and his cousin ran a successful dairy business. His college career included attendance at the University of Utah, the University of Tulsa at Oklahoma as an aviation cadet, Utah State University, and Brigham Young University where he studied biology and chemistry, Oregon Health Sciences University where he studied dentistry.

He was a family man who adored his wife and children. He was loving, gentle, kind, and patient. He always had time to teach, help, and play. He is greatly loved by his family.

He enjoyed a long and successful career in the insurance business and owned and operated multiple apartment complexes and rental houses. His commitment to his clients and renters was at the heart of his business and he served with great passion.

He was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and devoted his life to service both in the church and in the community. He worked with refugees from Laos in the Portland area, helping them find jobs and get settled in the community. He served in many different capacities in his church including: primary teacher in his late seventies, bishopric for six years in a young adult ward, bishopric in a family ward, and boy scout leader. He traveled to many different high schools across Oregon to speak to the students as a WWII veteran. He had a positive effect on many people both young and old and helped to change many lives for the better.

Leo loved all people and treated everyone with respect, dignity, and tremendous unconditional love. He was a wonderful example to his family and friends of absolute faith, integrity, charity, service, and optimism. He was grateful for every day and had an incredible zest for life. Leo had many passions including his family, his God, and his country. He was an avid fisherman and a huge Trail Blazer basketball fan. He was passionate about vegetable gardening, growing roses, fruit trees, and berries, and flying as a private pilot especially doing aerobatics during his younger years. He enjoyed big band music and dancing, writing stories about his life and current events, hunting, skiing, camping, and sports. He had an incredible memory and could remember so many details of his life, subjects he had studied, and names of almost everyone he had ever associated with, even from first grade. He was loved and revered by all who had the privilege of knowing him. He made everyone feel like he or she was his very best friend.

His dear wife Carol has stood by his side for the past 17 years. She has loved him and taken care of his every need especially during his years of illness. She has served him tirelessly and with great compassion. The family is indebted to her and appreciates all she has done.

He is survived by his loving wife Carol, his children: Tyler Leo Adams of Palmer Alaska, Brian Edward Adams of Sherwood Oregon, Terese Riding of Troutdale Oregon, Diane Green of Portland Oregon, and Denise Knowles of South Jordan Utah, 5 step children: John Keller of Yakama Washington, Joelle Carter of Troutdale Oregon, Kim Moen of Montclair California, Cari Gunter of Philomath Oregon, Kellie Kramer of Clatskanie Oregon, 37 grandchildren, 26 great grandchildren, his siblings: Orin Adams of Sunnyvale California, Beverly Barrera of Centerville Utah, LaVere Adams of Pleasanton California, Paul Adams of Tremonton Utah, Carol Bosch of Draper Utah. He is preceded in death by his parents, his wife Arva and two brothers, Neal Adams and Arlo Adams.

A celebration of his life will be held May 7 at 11:00 am at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints located at 9901 Southeast Caruthers Street in Portland Oregon.

Arrangements under the direction of Lincoln Memorial Funeral Home, Portland, OR.


  • Celebration of Life Saturday, May 7, 2011

Leo N. Adams

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Stan & Judi Schoenfeld

May 7, 2011

Dear Adams family, We are so sorry for the loss of Leo. He was the most gentle man we know. We will be unable to attend the funeral but send our love to all of you.

Laurel Lee and Kent Pedersen

May 5, 2011

Dear Laraine and Brian, We are so sorry for your loss. We know how much you will miss gardening and fishing with your dad, Brian, and the great support he has always been to all your family.Wish we could be there to share your memories as you honor him Saturday. How wonderful that families are forever. We love you.