Chapel Hill Funeral Home & Crematory
901 S Minnesota Ave
Sioux Falls, SD 57104
(605) 335-2286
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Kenneth Adams Sr.

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Kenneth Adams Sr. Obituary
Kenneth Adams Sr.

Kenneth R. Adams, Sr., 91, passed away peacefully with his family at his side on Saturday, August 12, 2017, in Hospice Care at Southridge Healthcare in Sioux Falls, SD. Funeral services, including full military rites, will be held on Saturday, August 19, 2017, at 4pm at Chapel Hill Funeral Home located at 901 S. Minnesota Ave. in Sioux Falls, SD. There will also be an Open House/Celebration of Ken's life held on Friday , August 18, 2017, at the home of his son, Kenneth Adams, and wife, Janell's, residence in Homer, NE, from 4-9 pm.

Ken was born January 7, 1926, in Waterbury, NE, to Vern Ernest Adams and DollieMae (Woods) Adams. He grew up in Waterbury, NE, and after completing high school, he entered into the US Army on June 27, 1944. Ken completed basic training at Fort Leavenworth, KS, where he incurred a fairly severe arm injury due to a misfiring of a mortar shell while in training for anti-aircraft artillery and rifleman skills. After his injury he received a promotion and was then trained in light truck operations and clerk-typist skills.

Ken shipped overseas on October 10, 1944, where he served in the European Theater of Operations in France, Belgium and Germany where he worked in the personnel section of the 413th Infantry Regiment. He was then in battles in the Rhineland and Central Europe. He was involved in heavy military actions during the Battle of the Bulge (Dec. 16, 1944-Jan. 16, 1945) which was also known as the Ardennes Offense, which was the single largest battle fought on the Western European Front during WWII. Much of this military action was conducted in Belgium and Luxembourg. Since this battle was fought in the very coldest of months, many soldiers, Including Ken, endured frostbite and cold-induced asthma illnesses. Ken suffered with the cold-weather induced asthma the rest of his life, as well as, extreme sensitivities to cold, especially in his feet and hands.

Just a couple of months after the Battle of the Bulge, Ken was involved in an heroic event which earned him the Bronze Star Medal Citation. On March 28, 1945, with a small reconnaissance patrol that Ken was a member of , made their way on a vital mission deep into enemy territory and Private Adams assisted in taking prisoner 100 armed enemy troops. One of the other patrol members spoke fluent German and luckily was able to convince these 100 enemy troops that they were completely surrounded by "hundreds" of American troops. Realizing that due to darkness they could not possibly return with all of those prisoners, PFC Adams and his comrades made their way into a town not even yet cleared of enemy forces and took a significant part in the establishment of defenses, using volunteer slave laborers as their security system. At dawn, PFC Adams and his fellow soldiers crossed 23 miles of enemy territory before contacting their own outposts and successfully completing a 44 hour patrol. PFC Adams courageous actions exemplified the finest traditions of the American combat soldier.

Shortly after this mission, Ken was in a platoon that was captured and held as a POW's by the Germans, where they were held for several weeks in a church in either France or Belgium. After being rescued and freed by his fellow American soldiers, Ken was honorably discharged and sent home to Fort Leavenworth, KS, on April 20, 1946. In total, Ken received the European Theater Service Ribbon with 2 battle stars for the Rhineland and Central European campaigns, the American Theater Service Ribbon, Combat Infantryman's Badge, Good Conduct Medal and the WWII Victory Medal. These were all in addition to the Bronze Star Medal.

During a leave of absence , Ken was united in marriage to Audrey Grille in Sioux City, IA, in 1945, where they made their home and raised their family: son, Kenneth R. Adams, Jr., and 2 daughters, Jeannie and Connie. During this time, Ken worked for the US Postal Service from 1949-1984. Sadly, Audrey passed away in January of 1983.

Ken later met and married Marilee (Lee) Katasabek on June 1, 1985. They enjoyed an eight week honeymoon through the northwestern United States, Canada and Alaska (including booking the Inside Passage of Alaska) along with their very best friends, John & Lavonne (Toots) Pittman. This beautiful and fun-filled excursion was just the beginning of many great trips and adventures: camping, going on Casino tours, visiting family & friends in so many parts of the country...but, they were able to enjoy 16 memorable trips to Harlingen, TX, where they were "snowbirds" for the winter months. They had a darling, homey trailer in Emerald Grove RV Park and made even more friends from all over the Midwest & Canada. They had their "winter Texan friends" and then would come back home to Sioux City, IA, and enjoy golfing, dancing and more camping and fishing with their "Sioux City friends", besides maintaining a huge vegetable & flower garden in their beautiful backyard . While in Texas, they enjoyed having lots of family & friends come to visit.

Ken was a lifelong member of the VFW, DAV, and the American Legion. He also belonged to a group called the "Boys of "68" and he'd enjoy their monthly meetings, streak frys and conversations.

Ken is survived by his spouse of 32 years, Marilee (Lee) Adams of Sioux Falls, SD; son, Kenneth Adams, Jr. (Janell) of Homer, NE; daughter, Jeannie Francis of Sioux Ciy, IA; daughter, Connie (Bob) Bock of Glendale, AZ; Lee's daughter, Kathy (Dale) Peterson of Sioux Falls, SD; sister, Verna Burcham of Raymond, NE; and several grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great, great-grandchildren, special friend Lavonne (Toots) Pittman, and many, many dear friends from so many places: Sioux City, IA; Sioux Falls, SD; and The Winter Texan gang.

Ken was preceded in death by his parents; 1st wife, Audrey; brother, Russ Adams; special friend, John Pittman; and several other dear family members and friends.

Ken will always be remembered for his kindness and generosity to all, his keen sense of humor, his love and enjoyment of his family and friends, and his "twinkling blue eyes" and very handsome head of beautiful wavy white hair and "yummy" sideburns (so named by his wife, Lee)!

Any family condolences may be addressed to the family % Chapel Hill Funeral Home, 901 S. Minnesota Ave., Sioux Falls, SD, 57104. Donations to any military organization in lieu of flowers would be preferred and very appreciated.
Published in The Argus Leader on Aug. 17, 2017
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