Claude James “Jim” Adams Jr., 83, of Elkhart, passed away early Thursday morning at Elkhart General Hospital after a sudden illness. Jim was born on July 28, 1936 in Elkhart to the late Claude J. and Vivian (VanHuffel) Adams Sr. In addition to his parents, two sisters, Marilyn Bryant and Sally (Kreighbaum) Pickrell preceded him in death.
Jim married his true love and best friend Charlotte Jean Dick on March 15, 1957 at the former Albright United Brethren Church. Jean survives, as well their three children; Michael J.(Trish) Adams, Gary L. Adams and Julie D. Adams; 2 grandchildren, Blake (Elisibeth) Adams and Zoie (Nolan) Williams, 5 step grandchildren, Jesse Pifer, Nick Pifer, Stacey (David) Pifer, Rachelle (Jimmy) Freeman, and Randy (Meggan) Pifer; 1 great grandchild Evelyn Williams and 9 step great-grandchildren, Sierra, Dallas, Ethan,Tessa, Lukas, Xander, Ryder, Warren, and Aniyah. Also surviving are his Sister-in-laws: Joyce Casselman, Nancy (John) Neff, Barbara Van Ooteghem and numerous nieces and nephews.
Jim worked for many years as a polisher in the band instrument manufacturing industry. He started at Buescher Band Instrument Company, which was later sold to Conn/Selmer in 1963, from which he retired after 48 years of service. He was a UAW treasurer for Vincent Bach.
Jim was a charter member of New Hope United Methodist in Elkhart, he helped with the construction of the church. He was an usher, greeter, and member of the "Young at Heart" club. He was very involved with the Osolo Little League, as team manager/scorekeeper. He and Jean hosted many families over the years that were attending tournaments there. He bowled for many years on a team. He was an avid Notre Dame Football Fan.
Jim served 11 years in the Army National Guard. He served proudly in the Indiana Army National Guard as a Sgt. and was awarded a Volunteer Service Commendation for the Palm Sunday Tornado. He was a member of the DAV and a former member of the Moose. He was also a first response team member of the American Red Cross, and a volunteer for USMC Toys for Tots. Jim served as a Boy Scout/ Troop Leader/ Treasurer for 50+ years. He enjoyed hunting squirrels in Nebraska and fishing.
His hobbies were reading, solving puzzles, gardening, and bird/squirrel/deer watching. He was an avid card player and enjoyed a good game of Euchre. He loved anything related to John Wayne and bull riding.
In keeping with the family’s wishes, cremation was chosen. Burial will be at Prairie Street Cemetery and services celebrating Jim’s life will be held at a future date. Check the funeral home website for announcements.
Arrangements for Jim are under the care of Billings Funeral Home, Elkhart, where condolences, photos and memories may be shared with his family. Donations may be given to New Hope United Methodist Church, D.A.V., and USMC Toys for Tots Elkhart, or any charity you choose.
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