Born October 3, 1930 in Buffalo, New York to Joseph and Jessie Mae Adams, Dr. Thomas Adams died suddenly and peacefully at his home August 17, 2011 at the age of 80. Dr. Adams was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force as a 2nd Lieutenant in 1951 and completed 8 years of active duty as a Captain. He earned his Bachelors Degree in Zoology from the University of Maryland, his Masters Degree in Physiology at Purdue University and his Ph.D. in Physiology from the University of Washington in Seattle. In the 1960's, in his position with the FAA, he was involved in original research showing that jet lag was a physiological phenomenon not a psychological one. Dr. Adams was a recognized cold and heat stress expert beginning with the USAF Arctic Aeromedical Lab in Fairbanks, Alaska. He was sought after for this expertise even in recent days for legal and forensic cases. Dr. Adams joined the Michigan State University faculty in 1966 when the College of Human Medicine was created. He was a dedicated Professor of Physiology there for 44 years retiring this past December. He had a special fondness for students and he advised countless numbers of them during his career, whether they were his assigned students or not. Dr. Adams was awarded patents for many of his designs, and published numerous books and articles.
He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Margaret (Peggy); his children, Sandra Elizabeth Adams (U.S. Navy Rear Admiral select) of Redondo Beach, CA and Thomas Joseph (Dawn) Adams of Owosso, MI; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Keith and Jo Ann Miller of Central Point, OR; and special friend Pat Nieuwenhuyzen of Redondo Beach, CA.
A memorial service will be held Tuesday, August 23, at 2:00pm at Gorsline Runciman Funeral Home, 1730 E. Grand River, East Lansing. The family will receive friends 1 hour prior to the service at the chapel. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to MSU for students pursuing degrees in science in the name of Dr. Thomas Adams to: Michigan State University, 103 College of Natural Science, East Lansing, MI, 48824; or to your favorite charity. On line condolences may be made at www.greastlansing.com.