Devoted husband, father Adams volunteered with Scouts
By Denise Baran-Unland For The Herald-News April 8, 2012 6:08PM
Albert Adams. SUBMITTED PHOTO
Updated: May 10, 2012 8:07AM
For 12 years Albert Adams volunteered with Cub Scout and Boy Scout Troops 228, but Adams’ entire life personified the traits Scouting espouses.
“My father influenced my life in so many ways,” said Albert’s son, Gary Adams of Joliet. “He taught me honesty, how to face difficult times and how important family is. He was one of those ‘all or nothing’ kind of people. If he got involved in something, he took it all the way.”
Albert knew “difficult times” from his earliest years, but he did not allow them to defeat him. Growing up during the Depression, Albert was number 13 out of 14 children and lived in a small town, Virden, south of Springfield. When Albert was 7, two of his brothers drowned while sledding.
“He would have been with them,” Gary said, “but he had been home ill.”
As he grew, Albert worked to help support his family: selling popcorn for movie theaters, gardening for neighbors and cleaning coal cinder out of furnaces. He met his wife, Ruby (deceased), on a dare. In later years, Albert was Ruby’s caretaker until his Feb. 18 death at the age of 85.
“They were at a skating rink and his buddies bet him that he couldn’t get someone to skate with him,” Gary said. “He won the bet and that started his relationship with Ruby.”
Albert and Ruby were married July 7, 1946, and had two boys, Gary and Gerald (deceased). They began their life in another small Illinois town, Girard. Albert worked a variety of jobs, including the Pillsbury flourmill.
When jobs became scarce, Albert packed up to Wisconsin, stopping along the way to find a job. His journey ended in Joliet with a job at John Manville in Rockdale, where he worked for 25 years.
“He was a devoted husband and father who took on a second job as a security guard at Mobile Oil for a few years to help make ends meet,” Gary said, “and so Ruby could stay home with the boys.”
Albert had many hobbies: fishing, paint by number, crafting Christmas ornaments and baking, especially cookies, which he gave away in great numbers to family and friends. Most important, Albert, who had been a Scout when he was a boy, became involved in the organization when Gary, an Eagle Scout, first expressed interest.
Albert chaperoned hikes, camping events and jamborees. He was Cubmaster and later, as Gary advanced, assistant Scoutmaster. He shared his baking expertise during father/son cake auctions by creating cakes in the shape of Cub Scout hats.
“He had a lot of knowledge and was a counselor for several of the merit badges,” Gary said. “He encouraged me and helped me any way he could. If I didn’t understand something, he explained it to me or showed me where I could get the information so I could understand it.”
Contact Denise M. Baran-Unland at 815-467-5249 or email@example.com