DR. ARTHUR LLOYD ADAMS
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March 11, 1922 - July 25, 2012
Born in Los Angeles, Art Adams served in the US Army Air Force during WW II, then graduated Cum Laude from the University of
Southern California and earned his Doctorate at Brigham Young University.
In WW II, as a B-17 pilot in the 8th Air Force, 22 year-old Art Adams completed 35 missions over Germany and occupied territory and was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with 4 oak leaf clusters, a Presidential Unit Citation and the European African Middle Eastern Service Medal with 4 bronze stars. His most memorable mission, called "Frantic II", was a disastrous mission which included the bombing of an oil refinery in Poland on the way to Poltava, Russia. Over 100 aircraft were destroyed or damaged when enemy aircraft bombed the airfield. Adams recounted this mission and his adventure of "hitchhiking" his way back to his airbase in England in his book, "My Frantic II Adventure in WW II" published by Lulu.com. In the 1980's he traveled to Russia and was honored by the Russian Ambassador with the Russian Commemorative Medal in recognition for his courage and personal contribution to the Allied support of Russia.
He was the consummate educator, beginning his career with Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) in 1950. He was an Elementary School Teacher at Lemay St. School. His innovative talent of teaching art and science to children led to his being asked to develop and host an educational arts/science/crafts children's show. "The Playcrafters Club" ran on KTTV for 5 years in the early 1950's. He also created the summer and after school craft and art program for LAUSD. He later became the principal of two Valley elementary schools, Melvin Avenue and Hamlin Street and also 102nd Street located in Watts. While a principal at Melvin Ave. he was elected to a term as president of the Los Angeles Association of Elementary School Administrators. Dr. Adams was instrumental in developing the first off-campus Doctorate program for LAUSD elementary school principals at Brigham Young University. He retired from LAUSD in 1982.
Dr. Adams became an Associate Professor of Education at Pepperdine University where he developed a Master's degree program in Urban School teaching (MUST.) Dr. Adams was a beloved teacher of future school administrators. His students will remember sayings such as "a blinding glimpse of the obvious." In 1990 he was the first recipient of the Harriet and Charles Luckman Distinguished Teaching Fellow Award which was established to recognize and reward outstanding teaching at Pepperdine University. Dr. Adams retired from Pepperdine in 1992.
Dr. Art Adams is survived by his wife of 68 years, Bonnie Adams; three children, Thomas and Susan Adams, Wendy Fletcher and her companion, Michael Hoyle. Art's youngest daughter, Peggy Adams, passed away in 2002. Dr. Adams also leaves four grandchildren, Elizabeth and Bonnie Snyder, David and Danny Adams; one great-granddaughter, Isabel Ramirez; two nieces, Connie Adams and Faith Donovan and her husband, Dick; nephew, Richard Hillman; and sister-in-law, Joan Coats.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m., August 22, 2012, at Bastian & Perrott, Oswald Mortuary, 18728 Parthenia St., Northridge, CA 91324. Phone number: 818 886-8600.
Donations may be made to "The Nature Conservancy" in the name of Dr. Arthur L. Adams.
Published in Los Angeles Daily News on Aug. 12, 2012