James R Adams

October 10, 1924 — September 26, 2016

James R Adams

Our beloved father, James R. Adams, passed away peacefully at his home in Vernal on Monday, September 26th. He was 91 years old. He was born on October 10, 1924 in Vernal, Utah to Lula (Trujillo) and David Jefferson Adams. The third of seven children. As a small boy he lived in Bingham Canyon where his father worked in the mine. At the age of 9 his father was killed in an accident at the mine and the family moved to Nebraska for a short time and then to Vernal where his mom was able to purchase a farm in Ashley Ward. He worked as a farm hand for other farmers until he was 16 1/2. He joined the Army Air Core using his older brother's name. He worked in the Armory teaching other soldiers the use and care of the Tommy sub-machine gun, pistols and chemical war fare. He led a precision marching Parade Unit as well. He became a Private First Class in the 784th Bombardment Squadron and was stationed in England. He was a tail gunner and fought in Normandy and Central Europe during World War II. He received an honorable discharge in 1945. After he got out of the service he returned to Vernal and began working in the gilsonite mines. He worked in Black Dragon, Rainbow, Watson, Big and Little Bonanza. He met the love of his life, Margaret Ann Bird of Bluebell, UT and they were married on July 18, 1953. They had 4 children, 3 girls and 1 boy. He got a job working on a road crew for the Dinosaur National Monument and from there began his career digging the famous dinosaur bones that are on display at the Dinosaur Natl. Monument Quarry in Jensen, UT. His most notable find was the rare discovery of a baby stegosaurus fossil. After which he was given the honor of speaking at the International Paleontologists convention in Toronto, Canada. He retired from the Park Service after 30 years of service. His picture is still on many of the postcards sold at the Quarry. He loved spending time with his family, grandchildren and great grandchildren camping and fishing. He tied flies, did oil paintings and loved building things in his wood shop. He was dearly loved by all who knew him and will be greatly missed. He is preceded in death by his parents, his wife: Margaret (Bird) Adams, three brothers: Stanley, Junior and George Adams, a sister: Sarah Crossly, two grandsons: Orval Smuin and Jason McDonald and a son in law: Terry Stephenson. He is survived by a brother: Alonzo Adams of Shertz, TX, a sister; Dorothy Adams of Vernal, UT, his children; Rose Ann (Val) Smuin of Lapoint, UT, B.J. Stephenson of Duchesne, UT, Lorraine McDonald of Vernal, UT and James D. (Jim) Adams of Vernal, UT, 9 grandchildren, 15 great grandchildren and 3 great-great grandchildren. Graveside services will be Wednesday, September 28, 2016 at 10:00 AM in the Lapoint Cemetery. A viewing for family and friends will be at the Blackburn Vernal Mortuary Tuesday evening from 6-7 PM. Military Honors will be provided by the American Legion and the Utah National Guard.
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