CHARLESTON, IL – H. Lee Adams, age 80 of Charleston, left his earthly body to be with his eternal God and Savior Jesus Christ on Wednesday, February 13, 2013 while at Hilltop Rehabilitation and Skilled Nursing Center. Visitation for family and friends will be held from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. today (Friday), February 15, 2013 at Adams Funeral Chapel in Charleston. Services honoring and celebrating his life will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 16, 2013 at the funeral chapel with Pastors Scott Sims, Ray Finney and Michael Stewart officiating. Interment with Military Honors conducted by the Honor Guard of the Charleston VFW Paul McVey Post 1592 will follow in Harmony Cemetery located in Cumberland County just North of Greenup. It is requested that memorial gifts in his honor be made to the Salisbury Church in Hutton or Teen Missions. Gifts may be left on the memorial table at the visitation or service, or mailed to Adams Funeral Chapel, 2330 Shawnee Drive, Charleston, IL 61920.
Lee was born at home in Hutton Township on June 2, 1932 to the late Hubert and Ruth (Phillips) Adams. He grew up a country boy near Fox-Ridge State Park and attended the Hanley Country School through the eighth grade and then, without studying, passed the GED. As a very young man, Lee worked on the family’s farm and for his father’s sawmill and lumberyard located near the historic Five Mile House. By the age of sixteen he was operating log-skidders, bulldozers and log trucks; and, was supervising the crew.
At eighteen, he enlisted with the US Navy and became a Quartermaster Second Class and piloted amphibious assault landing craft, landing troops on the beaches of Korea during the Korean Conflict. He served nearly his entire four year enlistment and met his Lord Jesus Christ while based in Yokosuka Japan. He returned home after his military service and picked up where he left off, running his father’s sawmill and lumberyard, and starting a family. In 1962 he left Illinois with his family and his parents to hunt and fish along the Oregon coast, where he worked a 40 acre farm and also worked as an original “Ax Men” felling and peeling Douglas Fir trees, working various construction jobs, and lastly he worked as the Building Superintendent for Concord Development Company in Albany, Oregon. Following the death of his father, he brought his mother and family home to Charleston and in 1972 founded Adams Construction Company and built custom homes in and around Charleston for the next 35 years. Lee was an honorable man with the highest personal integrity and had a reputation as an honest and hardworking man who would always accommodate the needs and desires of his customers, including making repairs to homes long after their warranties had expired. He always did his best to live a faultless Christian life.
Lee married his beloved wife and spiritual partner and travel companion Sandra (McKinney) Rigg on July 10, 1981. They have spent much of the past 31 years traveling to favorite places such as Branson, Missouri and wintering with church friends at Lake Okeechobee, Florida where Lee enjoyed spending the winter fishing. Lee has been a member and a broad pillar of support at the Salisbury Church for nearly the past 40 years and has maintained his lifelong passion for hunting, fishing and being in the great outdoors. His hunting and fishing excursions included marlin fishing in Acapulco; moose and/or elk hunting in Colorado, Alaska and British Columbia; wild boar hunting in Arkansas; and mule deer, blacktail deer and whitetail deer hunting all over the United States. He was most proud of his trophy whitetail buck that he took in Coles County in 2000, scoring 180 5/8 and earning him a spot in Boon and Crockett. He also spent every spring traipsing the backwoods of Coles County in search of morel mushrooms which he loved to hunt and especially eat.
In addition to his wife Sandra, Lee is survived by two children, Kathy Cain of Moffatt, Colorado and Navy Commander Alan Adams and wife Jennifer of Puyallup, Washington; two stepchildren, Antha Tate and John Rigg and wife Manjula, all of Springfield, Illinois; nine grandchildren, Jennifer Harrison of Charleston, Angela Horton and husband Steve and Thomas Robison, all of Greeley, Colorado, Ben Adams and Sarah Adams of Papillion, Nebraska, Alex, Megan, Nicolas and Tyler Adams, all of Puyallup; two step-grandchildren, Ian Tate and Zachary Rigg, both of Springfield; nine great-grandchildren, Monic (Mo), Alicia (Lilly) and Caitlin (Caty) Harrison, Anthony, Audric and McKenzie Horton and Coltan Deidrich and Dawson Robison; and his sister, Phyllis Rippetoe of Charleston. In addition to his beloved parents he was preceded in death by a brother, Dale “Red” Adams and a sister, Doris Adams.
Click here to view Lee's memorial video.