Alan Aage Adamson

January 6, 1949October 31, 2012

ADAMSON, Alan Aage

Died suddenly at home in Toronto, October 31, 2012. Loving husband of Melitta, son of Rigmore and cherished oldest brother of Rondi (Patrick), Daniel (Mei), Virginia (Patricia), Kristen (John), Martin (Lesley), and Joseph (Susan). Uncle of Ai Lyn, Cait Lyn, Aidan, Sidonie, Robert, Daniel, Bonnie, Lois and Murray, and much loved cousin, nephew, and in-law to many. Preceded in death by his father, Robert. Born January 6, 1949, Alan had a PhD in mathematics from Berkeley, and was a teacher, track coach, IBM-er and happy traveler for SPEC. Appreciated by myriad students, colleagues, friends, neighbours and family, his wit, intellect and kindness will be sorely missed. Alan was open to the world around him and as such, had diverse interests and passions – music, sports, movies, politics, history, languages and travel. He was also a lifelong lover of nature and animals. Above all, he enjoyed spending time with his wife, especially for walks and bird-watching at Ashbridge’s Bay. A private cremation will take place and a memorial for friends and family will be held at a later date. Condolences may be sent to .In lieu of flowers, you may donate to The Living City Foundation (


Sullivan Ballou was a major in the United States Army. He died in the First Battle of Bull Run. A week before his death he composed this letter to his wife, Sara. It was a letter that Alan loved and which never failed to move him to tears. The you tube link is The text of the letter follows below.

July 14, 1861

Camp Clark, Washington

My Very Dear Sarah:

The indications are very strong that we will move in a few days - perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write you again, I feel impelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more.

Our movement may be one of a few days duration and full of pleasure – or it may be one of severe conflict and death to me. “Not my will, but thine, O God, be done.” If it is necessary that I should fall on the battlefield for my country, I am ready. I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in, the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans on the triumph of the government, and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and suffering of the Revolution. And I am willing - perfectly willing - to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this government, and to pay that debt.

But, my dear wife, when I know that with my own joys I lay down nearly all of yours, and replace them in this life with cares and sorrows – when, after having eaten for long years the bitter fruit of orphanage myself, I must offer it as their only sustenance to my dear little children – is it weak or dishonorable, while the banner of my purpose floats calmly and proudly in the breeze, that my unbounded love for you, my darling wife and children, should struggle in fierce, though useless, contest with my love of country?

I cannot describe to you my feelings on this calm summer night, when two thousand men are sleeping around me, many of them enjoying the last, perhaps, before that of death – and I, suspicious that Death is creeping behind me with his fatal dart, am communing with God, my country, and thee.

I have sought most closely and diligently, and often in my breast, for a wrong motive in thus hazarding the happiness of those I loved, and I could not find one. A pure love of my country and the principles I have often advocated before the people and “the name of honor that I love more than I fear death” have called upon me, and I have obeyed.

Sarah, my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me to you with mighty cables that nothing but Omnipotence could break; and yet my love of Country comes over me like a strong wind and bears me irresistibly on, with all these chains, to the battlefield.

The memories of the blissful moments I have spent with you come creeping over me, and I feel most gratified to God, and to you, that I have enjoyed them so long. And hard for me it is to give them up and burn to ashes the hopes of future years when, God willing, we might still have lived and loved together, and seen our sons grow up to honorable manhood around us. I have, I know, but few and small claims upon Divine Providence, but something whispers to me – perhaps it is the wafted prayer of my little Edgar - that I shall return to my loved ones unharmed. If I do not my dear Sarah, never forget how much I love you, and when my last breath escapes me on the battlefield, it will whisper your name.

Forgive my many faults, and the many pains I have caused you. How thoughtless and foolish I have often times been! How gladly would I wash out with my tears every little spot upon your happiness, and struggle with all the misfortune of this world, to shield you and my children from harm. But I cannot. I must watch you from the spirit land and hover near you, while you buffet the storms with your precious little freight, and wait with sad patience till we meet to part no more.

But, oh Sarah! If the dead can come back to this earth and flit unseen around those they loved, I shall always be near you; in the garish day and in the darkest night – amidst your happiest scenes and gloomiest hours - always, always; and if there be a soft breeze upon your cheek, it shall be my breath; or the cool air fans your throbbing temple, it shall be my spirit passing by.

Sarah, do not mourn me dead; think I am gone and wait for thee, for we shall meet again.

As for my little boys, they will grow as I have done, and never know a father’s love and care. Little Willie is too young to remember me long, and my blue-eyed Edgar will keep my frolics with him among the dimmest memories of his childhood. Sarah, I have unlimited confidence in your maternal care and your development of their characters. Tell our mothers I call God’s blessing upon them.

O Sarah, I wait for you there! Come to me, and lead thither my children.

- Sullivan


Alan Aage Adamson

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Freddie Sr. Aran

January 22, 2013

JoAnne Garries

January 6, 2013

So sorry for your loss. I worked at Alan's local for several years and always enjoyed his company. Always cheerful and full of laughter. He will be sorrily missed.

Gabe Czobel

November 20, 2012

I was shocked and saddened to discover via Alan's blog that he had suddenly passed away, the more so because we were near in age. He was my second line manager at IBM and was always ready with a sincere, cheerful greeting. My condolences to the family.

Janice Zehentbauer

November 19, 2012

Dear Melitta - I am so sorry to hear about your loss. My thoughts are with you and your family.

Joanna Ng

November 16, 2012

To the family of Dr. Alan Adamson,
As Alan's colleague at IBM, Alan was dedicated, thorough and resourceful. You must be very proud of who he was and what he had accomplished. I am very sorry for your loss. May God bless you and comfort you.

Jim Isenberg

November 15, 2012

I met Alan (and Louise) 34 years ago when I showed up as a postdoc at the U of Waterloo and they befriended me as a fellow runner and fellow math enthusiast. We had wonderful conversations about almost everything. Alan was one of the few people who was able to convince me that there is math worth thinking about that does not involve differential equations, and that there is running worth doing that does not involve a marathon. All the best to his family

Eleanor Aass

November 14, 2012

Rigmor and family,I am still shocked by our loss. Alan was a very dear part of our wonderful years in Manotick when our families joined to-gether for festive days and holidays. Rigmor, Joe, Martin, Kris, Virginia, Danny and Rondi my thoughts are with you all. Eleanor

Ven Seshadri

November 13, 2012

My condolences to the Adamson family. Alan hired me into IBM many years ago and he was a good friend, golfing buddy and drinking companion (sometimes all at the same time!). I'm very saddened to hear of his loss.

Jason Vincent

November 9, 2012

Mrs. Rigmor Adamson and family,

Our deepest sympathies to you and your family. Please remember your Hunt Club Manor Extended family is there for you anytime.

Thinking of you,

Goli Khorsandian

November 9, 2012

Dear Melitta,

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. I'm am here for you if you need anything.

My condolences