Thomas Curtis Adams died at home on December 6, 2022 at the age of 88. He was born to William Curtis Adams and Beatrice Adelaide (Fulford) Adams in Spokane, Washington, on December 1, 1934. Tom started school in Fairbanks, Alaska, and then attended Maple Leaf Grade School, Roosevelt High School, and the University of Washington in Seattle. After graduating from the UW, Tom received his commission as an Ensign in the United States Navy. He entered flight training in Pensacola, Florida, and received his Wings of Gold after advanced training in Hutchinson, Kansas. Tom enjoyed a full career as a Naval Officer, attaining the rank of CAPT.
CAPT Adams started his Navy flying career with Airborne Early Warning Squadron VW-3 on Guam. He often described the thrills of hurricane hunting in Lockheed Constellation “Willy
Victor” radar aircraft. After Guam, he enjoyed two years with Patrol Squadron VP-1 at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island flying Lockheed Neptune P2V-7 aircraft, which had two jet engines as well as two reciprocating engines. While stationed in Oak Harbor, Tom and Julia purchased their future home acreage on West Beach Road. From Whidbey Island, Tom attended the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. He found time to finish a course in Russian at the Army Language School, also in Monterey. From California, CAPT Adams spent two years with Patrol Squadron VP-10 in Brunswick, Maine, flying Lockheed P3V turboprop aircraft. Tom and Julia enjoyed living in a beautiful house at the very top of Crawl Hill in Bermuda during a Squadron deployment to the Bermuda Islands.
Tom changed his Navy career somewhat after Maine, obtaining an advanced degree in Physics from the University of New Mexico. He spent five wonderfully happy years as a Staff Physicist at the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory. From LASL, Tom moved on to two years designing, launching, and operating satellites at the Naval Research Laboratory in Anacostia, Maryland. He then became Commanding Officer of the Naval Space Surveillance System at the Naval Weapons Laboratory in Dahlgren, Virginia, where he and Julia enjoyed living in one of the marvelous old Navy Houses built in the 1920s. Their house was on the water, with 5 acres of landscaped grounds and two tennis courts. After Dahlgren, Tom was assigned to the Pentagon. He quickly chose to retire and to return to beautiful Whidbey Island.
In 2017 Tom and Julia moved from their waterfront home on West Beach to the Regency Retirement Community, Oak Harbor, where they enjoyed a lovely cottage and marvelous care. Thomas Adams married Julia Detrick at the First Methodist Church in La Grande, Oregon, on June 29, 1957. They have two wonderful children, Andrea Adams Wade, PhD, in Apalachin, New York, and Curtis Adams (Teresa) in Oak Harbor. They are blessed with three granddaughters, Emily Cirillo (Michael), Julia Grace Fronda (Vince) and Charlotte Wade; one grandson, Phillip Adams; and four great grandchildren, Joshua Cirillo, Leah Cirillo, David Cirillo,
and Oliver Fronda. CAPT Adams is survived by his wife Julia, his children and grandchildren, by his sister, Joyce Schwartz, Cincinnati, Ohio, and by many nieces and nephews. After retirement from the Navy, Tom achieved his life’s ambition – – He became a full-time beachcomber.
The family thanks WhidbeyHealth Hospice for their excellent care. At Tom’s request, there will be no memorial service. Instead, he asked that friends and loved ones raise a glass and toast his memory.