Jay Adams Obituary (2022) – Napa, CA


Jay A. Adams

1938 – 2022

Jay A. Adams passed away peacefully in the loving arms of God, surrounded by his family and holding his wife’s hand on Friday, January 21 in Napa, following complications from Parkinson’s disease and pneumonia.

While he spent most of his life in California, Jay was a proud Texan, born in Amarillo, Texas on May 18, 1938. Raised in a military family, Jay lived in many places in the United States throughout his childhood and adulthood.

His formative years were spent in Texas, Oregon, Washington, and New Mexico, where he attended high school. At 17, he enlisted in the Air Force. His career took him to many duty stations including Texas, Spain, Maryland, Alaska, Cuba, Mississippi, Okinawa, California, North Carolina and a tour of duty in Vietnam . Jay was exceptionally knowledgeable about American history and warfare, always curious and learning more about these and many other topics throughout his life.

In 1959, while studying at Napa Junior College, Jay attended a dance after a football game at the old National Guard Amory in Napa. There he met Elaine Gehlhar, a young student at home for the weekend.

Jay then enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and attended the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, before working for a decade in intelligence as a linguist specializing in Mandarin Chinese and Korean.

In 1963, Jay and Elaine were married in Napa and soon left for military assignments which included addresses in Monterey, California; Fort George Meade, Maryland and Okinawa, Japan, before departing for Vietnam in 1969.

While Jay worked as a sales professional later in life, he devoted many years to the Marine Corps Cryptologic Association as the organization’s executive director for 12 years, traveling with Elaine to meetings with colleagues of the Marine Corps across the country. He was also a member of Napa Valley Marine Corps League Detachment 870.

Jay’s greatest joy was his family. He and Elaine have traveled extensively across the United States and have enjoyed their annual excursion to North Lake Tahoe together.

Jay was especially proud of his daughters and their families, and of his granddaughter Grace, with whom he spent countless days taking her to play in the parks, treat himself to the bakery and later he attended years of sporting events still rising to prominence. to all of his teammates as Grandpa Jay. Friendly and sympathetic, Jay was also looked up to by his daughter’s friends over the years, many of whom called him Papa or Papa Jay.

He was predeceased by his parents, Marjorie McSwain Butterfield and James Adams, and his son-in-law Gregory Walter. He is survived by his wife Elaine Adams, his daughter Lisa Adams Walter, his daughter and son-in-law Laura and John Kostelac, his granddaughter Grace Walter, his brother and sister-in-law Kenneth and Joan Butterfield, his sister Jil Jones and his niece Tiffany Jones Crumbley.

Deeply loved, Jay will be missed. Once a Navy, always a Navy. Semper Fidelis! The honorary bearers are Kenneth J. Butterfield (brother); John P. Kostelac (son-in-law); CPT Charles D. Meng II United States (retired); Thomas Neylan, MD; CPT Robert (Bob) Steinheimer USMC (Ret) and Jerry Wagstaff (Vietnam Veteran).

The family is grateful for the many years of medical care by local physicians John Dermody, MD and Ari Umutyan, MD, as well as Thomas Neylan, MD with UCSF/San Francisco Veterans Affairs (VA) and the disease care team. of Parkinson’s in San Francisco VA.

Jay was a member and former elder of St. John’s Lutheran Church in Napa. A celebration of Jay’s life will be held Friday, Feb. 18 at Tulocay Cemetery in Napa, beginning with a 10 a.m. military honor guard burial officiated by Pastor Ted Zimmerman (retired) and a service in the chapel at 11:00 a.m. officiated by Pastor Mike Schmid. , followed by a welcome lunch. Memorial donations may be made to the Semper Fi Fund or the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Ministry to the Armed Forces, in memory of Jay A. Adams.

Published by Napa Valley Register on February 6, 2022.


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