Samuel H. Adams Jr., electrician, all-city athlete

November 16, 2008|By David Kohn | David Kohn,

Samuel H. Adams Jr., a former all-city halfback and an electrician who returned to college in his 50s, died of heart failure Tuesday. He was 84.

Mr. Adams, of Ellicott City, was born in 1924 in Baltimore. He attended Polytechnic Institute and was named an all-city football player. After high school, he joined the Army Air Corps. He served as a second lieutenant and was a navigator aboard a B-17 bomber from 1943 to 1946.

After getting out of the service, he attended the University of Maryland and played on the football team for several years. He did not graduate. According to his son, Samuel H. "Butch" Adams III of Westminster, his father was due to sign with the Baltimore Colts but decided against it because he realized he could make more money as an electrician.

He worked as an electrician for three decades and started a company, Columbia Electric. In the early 1970s, Mr. Adams returned to the University of Maryland to get his degree. He graduated in 1976.

He became director of plant operations at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and at what is today the Community College of Baltimore County's Dundalk campus.

He loved sports, and was a big Orioles fan. He also coached football, basketball and baseball at St. Mark's Catholic School in Catonsville.

During the holidays, he often dressed up as Santa Claus for stores and community events.

His hobbies included gardening and coin collecting.

Services were held Friday.

He is survived by three other sons, Bruce C. Adams of Salisbury, Michael J. Adams of Elkridge and Thomas F. Adams of Bath, Maine; four daughters, Carol L. Warner of Ellicott City, Patricia A. Cavey of Woodlawn, Nancy C. Hannon of East Berlin, Pa., and Maryanne E. Holman of Taneytown; a brother, Charles Adams of Fort Myers, Fla.; a sister, Lorraine Boyle of Dundalk; 25 grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.

His wife, June S. Adams, predeceased him. He was also predeceased by a son, Joseph, a daughter, Mary, and a great-grandson, Gabriel Adams.

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