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123 North Jackson Street
Cuba City, WI 53807
Phone: 608-744-2714
Fax: 608-744-3212
Jack Adams

Jack W. Adams

Sunday, November 15th, 1959 - Saturday, March 9th, 2019
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Jack W. Adams, 59, of Saline, Michigan, formerly of Benton, Wisconsin, died Saturday March 9th, 2019, at Arbor Hospice in Saline. A Service of Christian Burial will be held at 10am on Monday, March 18th, 2019, at the United Methodist Church in Benton with Pastor Bruce Bennett officiating. Burial will be in the church cemetery. Friends may call from 3-5pm Sunday, March 17th at Casey Funeral Home & Cremation Services in Benton. Jack is survived by his wife, Ann (Kieler) Adams, and son, James, both of Saline, Michigan, and his mother-in-law, Rita Kieler, of Platteville.

Jack was born on November 15, 1959, in Dubuque, Iowa, the son of Jack S. and Audrey H. (Watson) Adams. He married Ann M. Kieler on February 3, 1990, at Holy Ghost Church in Dickeyville. The couple resided in Belleville, Michigan, until after the birth of their son, James W. Adams, when they moved to Saline, Michigan.

Jack spent his childhood in Benton, WI playing outdoors with friends and cousins. In high school, Jack was active in sports, music, and student government. He excelled academically, was on the national honor roll, and upon graduation in 1978 earned numerous scholarships.

Jack worked for Ford Motor Company for 31 years, starting in the Ford College Graduate Program in 1986 after completing his master’s degree at the University of Wisconsin’s Engine Research Center. Jack’s master’s thesis advisor was the world-renowned Professor Phil Meyers, past president of the Society of Automotive Engineers.

At Ford, Jack worked primarily on engine research and advanced powertrains, working on a variety of projects. Jack worked on the famous Ford 4.9l (300 cubic inch) straight 6 engine used in Ford pickup trucks for many years. He also worked on a second concept engine that met all of its targets but did not ultimately go to production.

Jack had an obsession with two stroke engines, collecting several motorcycles that used them as well as a rare and unique vintage Goliath car made by a German company that went out of business in 1961. His interest also led to a project at Ford that took him to Perth, Australia, to work with a specialty fuel injection company called Orbital that developed an air-assisted injector technology especially well-suited for 2-stroke engines.

His numerous motorcycle trips were a testament to his love of adventure. Every year he set out, camping along the way, for a week or more seeing where the road would take him. His destinations included Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, Smokey Mountain National Park, Tail of the Dragon, much of the Southwest US, New Zealand, and many more.

This adventurous spirit is what first attracted Ann to Jack. One of their early dates was skydiving, a first for both of them. During their many years of marriage, they shared a love of being out in the world. Some of their adventures included hiking the Grand Canyon, visiting rural Scotland, Ireland, and the Isle of Man, and rafting both the lower Youghiogheny River and the Upper and Lower Gauley Rivers. For the turning of the new millennium, they toured New Zealand on a motorcycle before taking a boat over the International Date Line to celebrate the new year twice! Interspersed between these grand adventures were frequent RV and camping trips through Michigan, Canada, and out east.

On February 7, 2006, Jack fell in love all over again, this time with his new born son, James Watson. Jack could often be found holding James and singing “Silver Bells”, with James cooing back at him. Weekend mornings, they would sit side-by-side on the couch for a little TV and breakfast. Jack wanted to introduce James to everything he found interesting in the world. He took his son to see helicopters and race cars, on camping trips, and much more. When James was five, they built a “visible engine” together.

Being an ardent Bears fan all his life, his wife, Ann, surprised him with season tickets as a Christmas present. He made as many games as possible over the years, often accompanied by Ann. When he was unable to attend, he never missed a game on TV. As a UW-Madison alum, he was forever a Badgers fan as well.

As his mother-in-law, Rita Kieler, would frequently say, Jack was “a good provider”. Throughout his adult life, Jack always saw to the care of his family. This ranged from building Ann a coop for her chickens, to taking Audrey on trips that were of interest to her. Jack was the apple of Audrey’s eye and he always made sure she was taken care of.

Jack will be greatly missed by all who knew him. His sharp mind and adventurous spirit will never be replaced.

Memorials may be given in Jack's name to:
ALS of Michigan, Inc.
24359 Northwestern Highway, Suite 100
Southfield, MI 48075
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Sunday, March 17th, 2019 | 3:00pm - 5:00pm
    Sunday, March 17th, 2019 3:00pm - 5:00pm
    Casey Funeral Home-Benton
    225 Railroad Avenue
    BENTON, WI 53803
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Monday, March 18th, 2019 | 10:00am
    Monday, March 18th, 2019 10:00am
    United Methodist Church-Benton
    172 Main St.
    BENTON, WI 53803
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Pastor Bruce Bennett
  • Interment

    United Methodist Cemetery-Benton
    172 Main
    BENTON, WI 53803
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Private Condolence

Ford Motor Company, Analytics Services

Posted at 11:50am
Please accept our most heartfelt sympathies for your loss. Our thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time. Jack will be missed.
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Ford Motor Company, Analytics Services purchased the Blooming Garden Basket for the family of Jack Adams. Send Flowers


Ron Smaldone

Posted at 10:16am
My sincerest sympathy's to the Adams family. I worked with Jack on that famous 4.9L engine project in advanced engine. We learned a lot doing that project. Jack was always enthusiastic what ever the project we worked on. When I transferred to forward model Jack made me feel I had a good friend to contact if needed in Advanced Engine. Rest in Peace Jack, forever your friend and colleague Ron Smaldone.

Laura Hughes

Posted at 10:14am
Jack was a good friend, one of the smartest people I have ever known, and very kind. When my life hit a low point and I was alone, Jack would always quietly check out my car and inflate the tires to be sure it was safe whenever I was visiting and my car was in his driveway. An expert golfer, even went so far as to, ever so patiently, try to fix my horrid golf swing.
He was passionate and knowledgeable about his many hobbies and interests. A wonderful friend, husband, and father - he will be always be lovingly remembered.

Brandon Minniear

Posted at 09:43am
Jack, I wish you and I had met earlier in our lives and that we would have been able to spend more time together. I am thankful for the hours we had talking about and working on your motorcycles together. You enlightened me about your love for Yamahas and two-stroke engines, and I told you about the intricacies of the desmodromic valve actuation that my Ducatis use. Even though you're not with us anymore, I'm sure that you still have a few things that you can teach me. Time and distance separated us in life, but in the few times I was able to be there, I am happy that I could help you and your family in your time of need.

Greg and Bridget Ziegler

Posted at 08:16am
Ann, you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. With our deepest sympathy.
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Greg and Bridget Ziegler purchased flowers for the family of Jack Adams. Send Flowers


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