Robert E. Adams ‘Bob’, 83, a native Huntsvillian, passed away Tuesday. He attended public schools until high school, graduating from Sewanee Military Academy in Sewanee, TN. Bob attended Auburn University where was a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity and received a BS in Agriculture in 1955.
Following graduation, he served two years active duty in the US Army as platoon leader of the 32nd Signal Battalion while stationed in Germany. After his service, Bob worked for Cargill’s Nutrena Feed Division based in Minneapolis, MN. In 1962, he returned to Huntsville to work for Thiokol Chemical and Monroe Business Equipment.
In 1969, Bob was recruited by his lifelong friend, Guy Spencer, Jr., to join Alabama Oil Company, now The Spencer Companies, as manager of the Huntsville plant. Over the course of the next 30 years, Bob enjoyed great growth with Spencer, serving as Executive VP and COO of the corporation until his retirement.
In addition, he also served as president of MidSouth Ice, a division of The Spencer Companies, seeing it become one of the largest ice companies in the US. He enjoyed many honors in the ice industry, serving as president of the Packaged Ice Association, as well as, the Southern Ice Association. Bob was recognized as the “Outstanding Man of the Year” from both organizations. MidSouth Ice supplied ice for the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and operated the largest ice plant east of the Mississippi, capable of producing 600 tons per day.
Bob continued his military career with the Alabama National Guard, serving 25+ years. He joined the 279th Signal Battalion as Company A Commander, eventually serving as Battalion Commander. Bob moved to 142 Signal Brigade as S3 Operations Officer and retired as Assistant Corps Signal officer with the rank of colonel.
Upon full retirement, Bob became active in family genealogy and Huntsville history where he served two terms as president of the Huntsville Historical Society. Bob was also a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and other various history organizations.
He is preceded in death by his wife of 54 years, Eugenia Adams, and sister Margaret James.
Bob is survived by his children, Dr. Christopher Adams (Sara), Allison Blankenship (Larry) and Elizabeth Vann (Jim) and seven grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday, April 28, 2017 at the Church of the Nativity. A graveside service will be at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, April 29, 2017 at Maple Hill Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Huntsville-Madison County Public Library, Church of the Nativity or your favorite charity.