Daniel Ward Adams
Daniel Ward Adams died Wednesday, Dec. 16, 2020, peacefully at his home in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with his wife Beverly at his side. He was 77.
No funeral services are planned. A celebration of his life will be held during the summer of 2021.
Dan was born in Nebraska on Feb. 18, 1943, to H. Ward and Myrtle (Whitehill) Adams. He grew up in the southwest Iowa town of Shenandoah, graduated from Iowa State University in Ames, and moved to Cedar Rapids in 1968 to begin his career at Collins Radio Co. He spent nearly 40 years at Collins and Rockwell Collins as a software engineer, working on projects such as the company's global positioning system technology for commercial and military avionics.
He stayed close with his Rockwell Collins friends in retirement. Five of them had a standing lunch excursion each month with the rules that they avoid chain restaurants and that they never hit the same restaurant twice. In the lunch group was William J. Smith, whose half century of friendship with Dan started soon after the two of them began working at Collins and ended with a visit the afternoon of Dan's death.
Throughout his life, Dan was the ultimate do-it-yourselfer, from building his own computers to managing the design and construction and doing much of the labor on his home in Northeast Cedar Rapids. He was an avid photographer who loved playing chess, listening to KCCK jazz radio, watching Iowa State football, visiting Rocky Mountain and other national parks, and organizing family reunions for the descendants of H. Ward and Myrtle Adams.
He married Beverly in 1995 after proposing to her on Cedar Bridge, one of the famed covered bridges of Madison County, Iowa. The two of them traveled the globe. A world map on their wall at home is filled with pushpins to locales in North and South America, Europe and Asia they had visited. A pin in Sydney, Australia, he said recently, was "aspirational" a place he hadn't quite gotten to yet.
Most years since 1984, he had done RAGBRAI, the week-long bike ride across Iowa. He was on the ride in 2016 when he felt the first symptoms of what would eventually be diagnosed as Hodgkin's lymphoma. He joined an experimental clinical trial at the Mayo Clinic, putting that cancer into remission. But other serious health issues and surgeries followed in 2018 and 2019, leading to repeated hospitalizations and other complications that led to his death.
In addition to wife, Beverly Grindeman-Adams, he is survived by two sons from a previous marriage: Timothy Ward Adams and his wife, Deborah Lewin of Catonsville, Md.; and Christopher Adams and his wife, Caralee Adams of Bethesda, Md. He is also survived by five grandchildren, Sophia Lewin Adams of Chicago, Maxwell Ward Adams and his wife, Courtney Adams of Catonsville, Md., Nicholas Adams of Brooklyn, N.Y., Spencer Adams of Berkeley, Calif., and Holly Adams of Bethesda, Md.
Also surviving are sister, Patricia Webb and her husband, Clinton Webb of Des Moines, Wash.; sister, Mary Elizabeth Anderson of Lincoln, Neb.; brother-in-law, Dann Grindeman and his partner, Anthony Smith of Los Angeles; sister-in-law, Sally LaPorte and her husband, John LaPorte of Milwaukee; sister-in-law, Cindy Grindeman and her partner, Tim Tuttle of Madison, Wis.; six nieces and nephews; eight great-nieces and nephews; many friends; and Randy Peterson, of Cedar Rapids, who had been a "little brother" to Dan in the Big Brothers Big Sisters of America program 35 years ago and been a part of his life ever since.
Dan was preceded in death by his parents and by brother-in-law, Donald Anderson of Lincoln, Neb.
Memorials can be directed to the Meals on Wheels program in Cedar Rapids, operated by Horizons Family Services. Dan was a longtime volunteer for the nonprofit organization, running a meal-delivery route one day a week for more than 35 years. Donation information can be found at horizonsfamily.org/meals-on-wheels/#donate.
Online condolences can be left at www.cedarmemorial.com under obituaries.