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In Memoriam: Raymond K. Adams

Born in Denver, Colorado on April 23, 1928, Raymond Kenneth Adams was the 3rd child of Raymond Kedzie Adams and Crystal Grace (Hudson) Adams, who predeceased him. Mr. Adams was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Oak Ridge and Centenary Methodist Church in Erwin.

A “born engineer,” Ray attended Denver Public Schools and graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in Engineering Physics. After graduation in 1951, he went to work at the Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant in the Instrument Department of the Plant Engineering Division. In 1954, he transferred to Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he worked in the Instrumentation and Controls Division. In 1960, after returning to school for graduate studies in Engineering, Ray was awarded a Masters degree in Science from the University of Tennessee.

Ray married Helen O’Kane in Holly, Colorado in December, 1950. Their three children were all born in Oak Ridge. The oldest child, Paula, is a physician at Stanford University. The second child Julia is a real-estate agent in Elizabethton, TN and the third child, Roger, is an attorney in Denver, CO. His five grandchildren live in California and Colorado. He and Helen celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary in 2015, and together enjoyed travelling, and the pursuit of genealogy.

Mr. Adams took early retirement from ORNL in 1986, to teach at UT in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. He taught Electrical Engineering Circuits courses and worked with the Mechanical/Electrical Engineering Automotive Alternative Fuel Studies Program in which student teams from UT won several national championships. He retired from UT-Knoxville in 1984 and until 1997, was active in Intellectual Property consulting, primarily with the Pitts and Brittian Patent Attorney’s firm.

Upon first moving to Oak Ridge, Ray was an active member and choir director of the United Church, Chapel on the Hill. After about 10 years, Ray and Helen became members of the First United Methodist Church of Oak Ridge where Ray performed variously as soloist and choir member for over 40 years. In addition to these musical roles, Ray also served on a variety of church boards and committees.

After 65 years in Oak Ridge, Ray and Helen moved to Erwin, TN where they have lived since. In Erwin, Ray enjoyed exercise at the YMCA and participation at Centenary Methodist Church.

In professional life, Mr. Adams authored a number of technical papers on Measurements and Controls in addition to work on an Instrument Engineering Handbook. He also led a group of authors in publishing a history of Measurements and Controls at Oak Ridge National Laboratory from 1943 to 2001.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 65 years, their three children, five grandchildren, one great grandchild, and his sister, Sibyl Goerner of Longmont, CO.

Originally published in the Erwin Record.