Lawrence Wade Adams

Published 10:55 am Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Lawrence Wade Adams, 84, of Appomattox, passed away after a long illness on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2018, at Centra Health Lynchburg General Hospital in Lynchburg, Virginia.

Born in Prince Edward County, Va. on Dec. 11, 1933, he was the son and only child of the late Raleigh Martin Adams and Alice Preston Cash Adams.

He leaves his devoted wife of 61 years, who was his primary caregiver for thirteen years and continually by his side until the very end, Katie Ruth Goin Adams; two daughters, Cheryl Anne Adams Rychkov, of Lynchburg, and Gina Kay Adams Mitchell and her husband Maymond Lewis Mitchell, Jr., of Appomattox. Additionally, he leaves five grandchildren: Alexandra (Sandy) Lee Strong, of San Francisco, Ca., Allison Kay Mitchell Woodley and her husband, Ian Kendrick Woodley, of Spout Spring; Adam Lewis Mitchell and his wife, Jena Harris Mitchell, of Richmond, Va.; Jason Lee Mitchell, of Appomattox, who was consistently by his granddaddy’s side during his long illness, and USN Petty Officer, Second Class, Jonathan Hooker Strong, Jr. and his wife, Bernadette Ann Morris Strong, of Jacksonville, Fla; and three great-grandchildren: Olivia Mae Strong and Daniel Grey Strong, of Lynchburg; and Adeline Kay Woodley, of Spout Spring, whose arrival is imminent. A third addition to the Strong great-grandchildren will arrive in August 2018. Mr. Adams is also survived by a maternal uncle, Layman Cash, and his wife, Sandra, of Greensboro, N.C., and a paternal cousin, Helen Adams Smelcer and husband, Paul of Farmville, Va.

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Mr. Adams grew up in Prince Edward and Charlotte Counties, Va., and graduated from Randolph-Henry High School in 1952. It was there that his lifelong interest and participation in baseball began, first as a member of his high school team, then later as a member of the Patrick Henry League. Upon graduation from high school, he was offered a baseball scholarship to the University of Virginia. He declined the scholarship and continued to work with his father on the family farm, where he maintained the tradition of growing tobacco established by his Virginia ancestors, the earliest of whom arrived in Jamestowne in 1609. He is a direct descendant of a number of prominent Virginia colonials, including Charles Lynch, Sr., Major John Ward, Col. John Washington, Nathaniel Pope, William Moseley, and Col. Walter Chiles. In 1956, Mr. Adams was drafted into the U.S. Army, where he served in the 36th Engineering Company, Special Services. He was among the fortunate few soldiers who attained his dream job while serving his country in Kaiserslautern, West Germany, as he was assigned to play his favorite sport in the Army Professional Baseball League and host a sports and talk radio show. Additionally, he wrote for an Army newspaper, the K-Town Engineers. During this time he was able to bring his bride, Katie, to live with him in Germany. Much later he described their years there as the best of his life. Upon returning to civilian life in the United States, Mr. Adams embarked on a 30-year career in the welding supply business. During those years he was employed with Air Reduction Sales (Airco), Brammer Welding, and Arcet Welding. He also established his own welding supply businesses during the 1960s, in Tallahassee, Fla., and Vinton, Va. For three years during the 1970s he owned and operated the Madisonville, Va. General Store, known then as Adams Market. In 1997 he retired as the store manager and field representative at Arcet Welding, in Farmville, Va. Both during his working years and in retirement, he was an avid and gifted gardener, growing tobacco until 1986, as well as cantaloupes, watermelons, and tomatoes that are legendary in his family. He was also a talented musician, playing guitar and singing bluegrass, country, and popular music. He treasured the study and appreciation of history and enjoyed political debate. He was exceptionally devoted to his grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and was instrumental in their upbringing. He especially enjoyed attending his grandsons’ baseball games and supported them completely in their endeavors.

He was a member of Appomattox Court House Presbyterian Church, having earlier served as a Deacon at Beale Memorial Presbyterian Church and Madisonville Presbyterian Church.

A private, immediate-family only graveside service will be conducted prior to internment at Spring Creek Baptist Church in Darlington Heights on Thursday, Feb. 8.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Appomattox County Rescue Squad, PO Box, 57, Appomattox, VA 24522, Appomattox Court House Presbyterian Church, PO Box 85, Appomattox, VA 24522 or Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675.

Robinson Funeral Home and Cremation Service is serving the family. An online condolence may be sent by visiting