James Adair

James (Jim) Calvin Adair 78, died on April 13 at Grandview Heights. Jim was born on September 24, 1945, in Marshalltown to Max and Leone (Petersen) Adair and spent his whole childhood on the family farm west of Garwin. When he was 12, his father took a job as an electrician, and Jim took over most of the farming, coming home after school to work in the field until late into the night. He graduated from Garwin High School in 1963 and enrolled in AIB in Des Moines to study business. Before he could begin his studies, however, he was hired at Fisher Governor in the personnel office. He ended up working there for 46 years before retiring and then was offered an eight week temporary job there that turned into another eight years working at what was then called Fisher Emerson. Jim’s job at Fisher took him to 19 countries in Europe, Asia, and South America. He always said that growing up as an Iowa farm boy, he never could have imagined seeing so much of the world. He was a consummate employee, even cutting his honeymoon short to come back to work to take care of a situation he had forgotten.

In 1965 Jim enlisted in the Naval Reserve, while continuing to work at Fisher’s. He was called to active duty in 1967 and was stationed in Washington DC. Also in that year he married Connie Roy, and she joined him in Arlington, Virginia, where they lived while working at the Naval Security Station in Washington. Both of them had Top Secret security clearances. After his active duty time with the Navy, he and Connie returned to Iowa, where they raised three daughters. While working fulltime at Fisher’s and still traveling extensively for his job, Jim took advantage of the GI Bill to go back to school, first at Marshalltown Community College and then graduating from William Penn University.

Jim was always outgoing and friendly with everyone he met. He loved spending time with his grandkids, going to their activities and spoiling them rotten, much to the chagrin of their mothers. Jim and Connie were able to travel extensively, including river cruises and trips to Europe and Asia. They also spent a lot of good times with family and friends at their lake home on Lake Cornelia. When an allergic reaction to heparin after heart surgery caused him to have both feet amputated and he could no longer drive, he could be seen tooling around town in his Harley equipped with hand controls. He rarely missed his early morning coffee group with his buddies at Hyvee and his regular therapy sessions with his special therapists at Select Physical Therapy.

Jim is survived by Connie, his wife of 56 years, his daughters, Michelle (Mark) Mast; Allison (Lee) Byrd; and Nikki Adair (Donny Schmidt). Also surviving are nine grandchildren: Mackenzie, Nicholas, Alexi, and Sydney Mast; Ryan, Emily, and Mallory Byrd; and Everleigh and Beckett Adair-Schmidt; two YFU daughters Asa of Sweden and Brit of Denmark; his honorary son Aaron Perry; Connie’s siblings and their spouses, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Virginia Moore, father-in-law and mother-in-law Phil and Evelyn Roy; and sister-in-law Jeanette Yocum.

Memorials may be directed to the Philip & Evelyn Roy Memorial Scholarship at Marshalltown Community College or to the family.

– lovingly written by the family