In Memoriam: James W. Adams, October 29, 1921–October 17, 2019
James W. Adams, 97, of Schofield, passed away on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, at the Marshfield Medical Center, after a brief illness surrounded by his family.
He was born in Schofield on Oct. 29, 1921, to the late Alfred and Pauline (Evertson) Adams, and grew up in Conover, Wisconsin, having attended Eagle River High School.
Jim was a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he graduated in 1943 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. His first job was at U.S. Rubber Corporation in West Virginia, where he worked on developing synthetic rubber to be used during World War II.
He came to the Wausau area working for Marathon Corporation in Rothschild (which became American Can Corp and Reed Lignin, Inc.). Jim retired from Reed Lignin in 1985. He was an author, co-author/inventor of over 20 patents and authored several publications in the rubber and wood products industries. He was a 75-year member of the American Chemical Society and was an active leader in the upper Midwest chapter of the ACS.
Jim was also very involved in local politics in Schofield. He was an alderman for over 16 years and was involved in much of the development of the city. He traveled to Europe in 1974 with other city leaders to study other governments.
He played a crucial role in the creation and development of the Nordic Section of the Nine-Mile Recreation Area and the local growth of Wausau Area Nordic Ski Club. For many years, Jim volunteered at Nine-Mile to clean trails, make signs and help people enjoy the area. He has a snowshoe trail named in his honor near the Chalet at Nine-Mile; and he was a recipient of the Otto Breitenbach Spirit of the Games Award for his involvement in the Badger State Games.
Jim had many other activities and hobbies. An avid outdoorsman, he walked daily and loved hunting, fishing, biking, gardening, snowshoeing, Nordic skiing and enjoyed the art of making jams, juices, maple syrup and wine/beer. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends, as well as the communities he impacted with his generous and hardworking spirit.
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Leah Hunter ’05 has joined the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as associate commissioner for external affairs, where she oversees agency-wide communications activities regarding the FDA’s public health and regulatory activities.