Passed away in Petaluma on January, 3, 2014 at the age of 85. Cherished and survived by his two children: Dana Adkins of Palm Springs, and Clay Adkins of West Hollywood, as well as his former wife and advocate caregiver, Gwen Adkins of Santa Rosa.
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Ted was born in Greeneville, Mississippi on February 19, 1928, but grew up in the Lumber Mill community of Tuolumne, CA, where he was a star athlete, earning him a full athletic scholarship to the College of the Pacific in Stockton (now U.O.P.). During his college career, he excelled in football, basketball & boxing, however, his favorite sport was baseball, and was chosen captain of the California All Star Team. Later, he was inducted into their Baseball "Hall of Fame". He also developed lifetime friendships with his Rho Lambda Phi (Rhizomia) Fraternity Brothers.
After graduating with a BA Degree in 1951, he signed with the Pittsburg Pirates, as one of the few left handed first basemen in professional baseball, and at one time had a better batting average than Mickey Mantle. This was interrupted by his military commitment, but luckily while serving as a Lieutenant, he had the opportunity to play and manage their baseball team, which included some of America's best ball players. Ted also assisted the team doctor, finding it extremely interesting and enjoyable to help his teammates recover from injuries. The doctor eventually encouraged him to consider the field of physical therapy.
Upon being discharged, he resumed his career with the Pirates, but after a few years, when they wanted him to move and manage the "Hollywood Stars", he wondered if it was time to "hang 'em up", even though his friend and teammate, Chuck Conners, assured him that they would get into the movies. As we all know, that did happen for Chuck, but in spite of a few regrets, Ted decided to go back to school, and entered the Physical Therapy Program at UC Medical Center.
After completion, he moved to Santa Rosa to work for Welch & Techmeyer, and in 1958 married one of his college "Sweethearts", Gwen Shepherd. While living in Santa Rosa, they had two children, Dana and Clay, but moved to Petaluma in 1966, where Ted established his own private Physical Therapy Practice which lasted almost 40 years. In 1970, Gwen designed a "landmark" home around a rock quarry in West Petaluma, which the family loved and enjoyed for many years.
Ted was always active in his community, serving as Presidents of the 20/30 Club in Santa Rosa and the Petaluma Rotary Club. He was a member of the Elks Club, Masonic Lodge, Santa Rosa Scottish Rite, and SIRS, with whom he enjoyed many trips. He was an assistant coach for his daughter's Softball and his son's Little League Teams, and having been born with a great tenor voice, he performed in several of the Harmoneer's and Harmonette's Musicals. An avid sportsman, Ted enjoyed fishing, hunting, golfing, tennis, boating and skiing. He also enjoyed traveling the world, attending many medical conferences to constantly educate himself, both personally and professionally.and for a time, he enjoyed being a Dance Escort on cruise ships.
Ted was easy on the eyes, with a fun loving and dynamic personality. This father and friend will be truly missed.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, January 11, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. at PARENT-SORENSEN MORTUARY & CREMATORY, 850 Keokuk St., Petaluma, CA. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Petaluma, 416 Payran St., Petaluma, CA 94952.
Published in Petaluma Argus-Courier from Jan. 9 to Feb. 8, 2014