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LTC DONALD L. ADAMS JR.

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Family-Placed Death Notice

ADAMS, LTC Donald LTC DONALD L. ADAMS, JR. LTC Donald Lewis Adams, Jr., US Army (Retired) passed away December 28, 2012, at Atlanta's Emory University Hospital at the age of 71. Don was predeceased by his parents, Col. Donald Lewis Adams, Sr., US Army (Retired) and Deane Hester Adams, and by his brother-in-law William T. Willoughby. Don is survived by his wife, Donna Lee Hankins Adams; two sisters, Donna Joy Willoughby and Carole Deane Adams; a daughter, Christine Kelly Adams; a son, Matthew Donald Adams; and a granddaughter, Grace Isabella Adams Ward. He is also survived by his beloved cousins, nieces and nephews, and their children. He was born on May 21, 1941, also at Emory University Hospital. He traveled throughout the world with his parents during his childhood. In 1959 he graduated from Druid Hills High School, Atlanta, Georgia where he was captain of the football team, played trumpet in the band, and was a member of the state championship wrestling team. During his high school days he played in The Night Shades, a local band. Don then attended The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina. He was a member of the football and wrestling teams. In 1963 Don graduated with a bachelor's degree in Electrical Engineering. During his time at The Citadel, he was sent to summer camp at Fort Benning, Georgia. There he met his future wife, Donna Lee Hankins, on a blind date. They were married on December 28, 1963. Don passed away on their 49th Anniversary. After graduation, he joined the Army as an Infantry Officer. A decorated officer, Don served in Vietnam for two tours of duty. He was wounded on two occasions. He was a part of the Ia Drang Valley battle in 1965 that was the basis for a book and a movie "We Were Soldiers Once ... and Young." He earned three Bronze Stars (with valor), two Purple Hearts, the Combat Infantryman Badge, and the Presidential Unit Citation among other medals. Don later joined the Army Signal Corps as an Engineer. Don earned an M.B.A. from the New York Institute of Technology in 1974. He completed additional postgraduate work at the Armed Forces Staff College, Norfolk, Virginia and at the Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia. After serving 20 years in the Army, he retired and moved to Atlanta where he joined the family business. His parents had started the Atlanta Advertiser in their retirement years. Don helped them to computerize that business and to run several other family businesses including rental property and a flower shop. Don's passion was football. He played, coached, was an avid fan, and even stopped for stadium tours as he traveled throughout the United States. However, his favorite team of all was Georgia Tech. He grew up cheering for Georgia Tech sports. It was always his favorite college. We will remember and forever cherish many things about Don: his infectious sense of humor, intelligence, kindness, and wisdom, his huge heart, his generous desire to help anyone in need, his sense of compassion and justice, and most of all his sense of honor and love for all family and friends around him. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations "In loving memory of Donald Lewis Adams, Jr." to either of his favorite charities: "The Donald Lewis Adams, Jr. Scholarship Fund" at the Georgia Institute of Technology (in care of the Georgia Tech Foundation Inc., 760 Spring Street NW, Suite 400, Atlanta, GA 30308) or the "Children of the Soldiers of the Ia Drang Valley Scholarship Fund" (1st Cavalry Division Association, 302 N. Main Street, Copperas Cove, TX 76522-1703 254-547-6537, firstcav@1cda.org, www.1cda.org). The family will receive friends Tuesday, January 8, 2013, 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm at A. S. Turner and Sons Funeral Home and Crematory in Decatur, Georgia. Services will be held at 3:00 pm Wednesday, January 9, 2013, at the Little Chapel of Glenn Memorial UMC. Interment will follow at Decatur Cemetery.
Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Jan. 6, 2013
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