Bruce Edward Adams, 88, of Three Rivers, passed away Jan. 12, 2010 at Heartland Health Care Center. He was born June 12, 1921 in Morris, Ill., the son of Theodore and Freda (Winneke) Adams.
Bruce graduated from Morris High School as valedictorian of his class. He attended Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. His gymnastic ability led him to become a cheerleader, and he was the head cheerleader in his senior year. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering with honor. Upon graduating, he accepted a job in Louisville, Ky. with the Girdler Corp. This experience qualified him for a position in the Manhattan Project contributing to the development of the atomic bomb.
When hostilities ceased after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Bruce took a job with the Upjohn Co. in Kalamazoo and Portage. This led him to work in the production of penicillin and other antibiotics. Next he participated in the development and manufacture of steroids. During this period in 1957, he received the distinguished Upjohn award, and also received an MBA degree from Western Michigan University. Then he was asked to teach a business class in the graduate school at WMU which he thoroughly enjoyed. Later in his career at Upjohn he initiated the use of a Critical Path Network (computerized) involving the research, development and manufacture of new products. He and his wife, Vivian, had two children, Randall and Rebecca. This marriage ended in divorce. Bruce retired from Upjohn Co. in 1981. In 1988 he married “the love of his life” Sandra (Bitting) Oswalt in Three Rivers where he became active on the board of the Carnegie Art Center and on the Endowment Committee of the First United Methodist Church. Since 1994 they made their home on Pine View Golf Course near Three Rivers. They spent many winters in Green Valley, Ariz. where they made wonderful friends and enjoyed playing tennis, bridge and hiking. In the course of weekly hikes, Bruce received a badge for 500 miles of hiking in the Arizona Mountains. These were the best years of his life.
He was preceded in death by his parents and a sister, Marian.
In addition to his beloved wife, Sandy, Bruce is survived by his son, Randy (Laurie) Adams; daughter, Becky Dolph; granddaughter, Shelley (Randy) Rowlson; grandson, Bryan (Missie) Adams; grandsons, Jason and Jeff Dolph; great-grandchildren, Jasmine, Kayla, Lauren, Adam, Aubrey and Brianna all of Kalamazoo. Also surviving are Sandy’s children, Amy Oswalt of Kalamazoo, Tom (Sheria) Oswalt of Flower Mound, Texas, Scott (Valerie) Oswalt of Bentonville, Ark.; grandchildren, Melissa Millard, Jillian and Annelise Oswalt and Scott Wm. and Lauren Oswalt; sisters-in-law and their families, Judy (Art) Tobler of Rogers, Ark. and Barbara Barrett of Ballwin, Mo.
Cremation has taken place and a memorial service is planned for 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 16 at the First United Methodist Church, 215 N. Main Street, Three Rivers with Rev. Brian Lutz, Chaplain of Heartland Hospice, officiating. If desired, memorials in Bruce’s memory may be directed to the Three Rivers Carnegie Center, Heartland Hospice or to the First United Methodist Church. Arrangements are being handled by the Eickhoff, Farrand, Halverson Chapel, Three Rivers. Online condolences may be sent to www.efhchapel.com.