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ADAMS, WILLIAM HEWITT July 20, 1920 to Nov. 5, 2009 Master Chief Gunners Mate, William H. Adams passed away peacefully at home with his wife, Stella F. Adams, at his side. He was born and grew up in Kiowa, Oklahoma. He was the son of Willie and Edna Adams. His mother was one-half Choctaw Indian and he was always very proud of his Choctaw heritage. William was preceded in death by his parents, his sister, Faye, and his brother, Jim. He joined the Navy a week after Pearl Harbor, serving on destroyers and the cruiser USS St. Paul during World War II and the Korean War. He was Battery Commander for the five inch mounts on the Battleship Wisconsin until it was decom-missioned. He then helped commission the guided missile cruiser USS Galveston. He retired at the Naval Station, San Diego after twenty-two years of active service. His family was especially proud of the fact that he was one of four Gunners Mates selected for the rank of Master Chief (E-9) when (E-8) and (E-9) ranks were added to the enlisted ranks. He led by example and was a respected teacher by his fellow shipmates. He stayed physically fit throughout his life through hard work and walking five to eight miles each day. He never wanted to be very far from the smell of the ocean and his wife's cooking. He was a proud member of the Norview Masonic Lodge in Norfolk, VA. He also was a member of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry and was elevated to a 32nd Degree Mason in this charitable and honorable institution. William is survived by his wife and sweetheart of 63 years, Fern; his daughter Judy and husband Marv; his son Jim and wife Galyna; his grandchildren Rebecca, David, Kalin and Lauren; his sister Betty; cousin Mary and many other beloved family members and friends.

Published in The San Diego Union Tribune on Nov. 15, 2009
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