US Air Force

Duane A. Adams

September 13, 1938 ~ April 24, 2020 (age 81)

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Duane A. Adams, 81, a long-time resident of Arlington, Virginia, died April 24 of lymphoma. He grew up in Winnett, Montana, a town of 180 residents, where he developed his strong work ethic, frugality, and self-reliance. With a ROTC scholarship, he went on to study Mathematics at the University of Montana, then earned his Master's in Mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, and was the first student to earn a PhD in the Computer Science program at Stanford University.

 Duane spent 20 years in the Air Force, with assignments at the Air Force Weapons Lab, the Air Force Academy, the Pentagon Office of the Secretary of Defense, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), where he served as Deputy Director. He retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. 

 For two decades, while still working in Arlington, he flew every other week to Pittsburgh, where he held several positions at Carnegie Mellon University, including Vice Provost for Research, Associate Department Head of Computer Science, and Associate Director of Research in the Robotics Institute. 

 He held active and senior positions in a number of organizations, including the Defense Technologies Study Team that led to the Strategic Defense Initiative; the White House Science Council Committee on Research in Very High Performing Computing; the National Science Foundation; the Army Science Board; and the National Museum of Mathematics. 

 He enjoyed the simple things in life: reading the newspaper each morning, cooking with home grown ingredients from his garden, picking strawberries at Butler's Orchard, picnicking before concerts at Wolf Trap, sitting on the front steps with his precious Cosimo, and hosting the annual family Thanksgiving dinner which he cooked entirely on his own. Throughout his life, he wore the same watch, belt and sweater, and he jotted down every purchase of gas on a notepad he kept in the glove compartment. He was humble, meticulous, industrious, kind, fair, and never met an animal he didn't try to befriend. 

 He leaves behind his wife of 58 years, Kathleen Adams; his son, Jeff Adams, and daughter-in-law, Molly, of Missoula, MT; his daughter, Susan Henderson, and son-in-law, David, of Kings Park, NY; his granddaughter, Theia Henderson, of Cambridge, MA; his grandson, Dylan Henderson, of Brooklyn, NY; his grandson, Austin Adams, of Missoula, MT; his granddaughter, Elise Adams, of Missoula, MT; and his brother, Denis Adams of Worden, MT. Duane will be laid to rest in the tiny, rustic family cemetery outside of Winnett, in his beloved Montana.

 

 

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