Willie Roy "Bill" Adams, 95 years old Bill Adams was born in York, Arizona on Thursday, December 18, 1919. Exactly 95 years later, he died on Thursday, June 18, 2015. In between those two dates, he lived an exceptional life. Bill moved to Las Cruces in 1956. Before then, he lived much of his life in Mexico, including ranches around Casas Grandes and Colonia Dublan, San Luis Potos,...

Willie Roy "Bill" Adams, 95 years old Bill Adams was born in York, Arizona on Thursday, December 18, 1919. Exactly 95 years later, he died on Thursday, June 18, 2015. In between those two dates, he lived an exceptional life. Bill moved to Las Cruces in 1956. Before then, he lived much of his life in Mexico, including ranches around Casas Grandes and Colonia Dublan, San Luis Potos, Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Atotonilco. In Arizona, he lived in Klondyke, Bisbee, and Morenci. He also lived in El Paso before settling in Las Cruces. Where he lived isn't has important as how he lived. He was an honest man and he was a hardworking man. Bill was a real cowboy. His last words were asking for his hat. Remarkably, Bill was never sick a day in his life. Maybe he was too busy. Bill was many things in his life: a farmer (pecan farms in Vado); a pilot (owned three airplanes); a seamstress (his mother taught him); an author (he wrote El Rancho Kid, a book about his life, and a couple of shorter fiction books); he was a mechanic (could fix anything); a machinist (at the mines); a rocket technician (for GE); a miner (San Luis Potos), a sailor during WWII (for the U.S. Navy); a businessman (owned several businesses); a friend (to many people horses and he was our dad. He could make a tame friend out of a horse, after others had failed. He grew up ranching. It must have been a hard life, but he loved it. It was all he knew. In 1939, he got a job digging ditches in Morenci, Arizona, for Phelps-Dodge Mining Company. His boss soon saw that Bill was something special and he was promoted to working in the machine shop, receiving further promotions there. Likewise, when he was working in Guadalajara, Mexico in 1947, controlling the aftosa outbreak (hoof & mouth disease in cattle), he was promoted to a GS12. He was successful due to his hard-work ethic and integrity. Bill served in the US Navy during WWII on the USS General MB Stewart from July 1944 - December 1945. That was not the highlight of his life, but he did get to see much of the world. It was a long way away from the ranching life he knew and loved. He had to teach the Navy about the necessity of gloves. He was even successful at that. While in El Paso, he worked with Dr. Werner Von Braun in straightening the bent-up V-2 rockets brought to Ft. Bliss after the war and in developing the first two-stage rocket. The second time he lived in El Paso, Bill worked at a service station, back when gas stations were actually service stations and mechanics had to learn to fix cars, not just change out parts. Later, he bought a service station and became his own boss. Maybe it was the Navy that taught him he wanted to be his own boss. Bill moved his family to Las Cruces in 1956. Here, he had a ranch west of Las Cruces and simultaneously owned and operated a service station. His first service station was on S. Main St. at Bowman. The next was on Picacho, where he also had a used car lot, called Adams Auto Sales. He also had cattle and horse corrals near the corner of South Main and Carver Rd. He finally got out of ranching and bought farms near Vado, where he planted groves of pecan trees. Then in 1972, he talked his oldest son, Floyde, into leaving his job with Sandia National Labs in Albuquerque and moving to Las Cruces to help him with his businesses and farms. They formed a partnership, sold the service station on Picacho, and opened Adams Auto Center on North Main. They became Dunlop Tire distributors. There, they also had the used car lot. Adams Auto Center moved to 2001 S. Valley Dr. in 1977, where it remains today, nearly 60 years after Bill bought that first service station in Las Cruces. Obviously, he taught his children and employees to be honest and hardworking people too. Bill was a funny guy with a quick wit and unique sense of humor. He made many lifelong friends. He liked to travel, especially if he could round up a bunch of folks to go with him. For his auto sales business, he would fly his plane to Phoenix to buy cars, then we would all caravan back with the cars he bought. There were 17 cars one memorable time. He loved to fly his planes and would take anyone for a ride who wanted to go. He loved taking folks to the lake in his boats too. He worked hard and he played hard. How many trips did we take to Disneyland? He saw the Redwood Forest, Mt. Rushmore, the Grand Canyon, Yosemite and other national parks. He traveled to the World's Fair in New York and in Spokane. He saw a lot of the United States including Hawaii and Alaska; he saw a lot of Mexico; and he also saw parts of Canada. You might say, he's been there and done that. Bill's parents were Fanny Crabtree Adams and Leroy "Roy" Jefferson Adams. His younger siblings were Raymun, Floyd "Tio", Domer, Ada, and Sam. Only Ada is still living. He met the girl he would eventually marry, when they were both nine years old. Her name was Martha Taylor. They met while playing leapfrog. He didn't know you weren't supposed to swat girls on the behind like he did the boys, so Mart was not impressed with Bill at first, but he won her over when they were older. Bill was a clever man. He had a good sense for a good opportunity, waiting for him to come along and make it a great opportunity. He could see that Mart would be the best wife and mother, ever. They married October 29, 1939. They were married over 70 years. Mart died April 9, 2010 at the age of 90. Their children are Floyde (Connie), Sid (Linda), Bob (Marla), Marty (died September 6, 1969), and Bonnie Elder (Patrick). Grandchildren are Bill, Lynne, Nancy, Annette, Allen (deceased), Suzy, Linda, Brian, Marty, Stephanie, Amy and Justin; great-grandchildren are Elise, Nolan, Justina, Logan, Joshua, Carol, Carol, Cathy, Jarod, Jason, Jude, Henry, Sora, Taylor, Audrey, Camille, Mia and Harley; great-great-grandchildren are Melody and Skye. Nieces and nephews are Penny, Jane, Cash, Link, Nixie, Adam and Jess. Bill signed his book, El Rancho Kid, siempre agradecido (always grateful), and he was, and those of us who knew him are grateful to have known him. He will be missed. The viewing will be at 9:00, followed by funeral services at 10:00, Monday June 29th, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, 3210 Venus St., Las Cruces. Following his burial at Hillcrest Memorial Cemetery, we will gather back at the church for food and visiting. PDF Printable Version

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