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Edward Bethel Adams ’84

Edward Bethel Adams ’84, May 27, 2013, at home, in Portland, Oregon. “With a dog named Homer, hair halfway down his back, and a huge, booming laugh, Ed arrived on campus in August 1980 already a consummate Reedie,” writes Leigh Hancock ’84, who provided the details for this memorial. Ed was a passionate outdoorsman who wasted no time in exploring the bounty of the Pacific Northwest. He joined other first-year students on a backpacking trip in the Mount Jefferson Wilderness during Orientation, and returned to the wilderness during the year, spending breaks and long weekends supported by a backpack, a sleeping bag, and a few bagels. “Ed loved everything about Reed, from the fierce intellectual battles in Hum 110 to more casual discussions on the SU porch—and of course, the sunny-day kegs. He was a passionate student, an inveterate adventurer, and a fiercely loyal friend.” After the first year, Ed took a year off, but he stayed connected to his Reed friends through “voluminous, rollicking letters” written from his home in Loomis, California. “Many of us made more than one pilgrimage to Loomis to play in Ed’s woods and lure him away to Grateful Dead concerts.” His greatest desire was to return to Reed, Leigh says, but in spring 1981 a drunk driver hit Ed’s VW van head-on, and Ed suffered a severe aneurysm, followed by 10 hours of brain surgery and 6 months of rehab in a San Francisco hospital. “During this time, even as he struggled to learn to speak, walk, and manage his loss of memory, he remained the avid, life-loving person who’d danced all night in the SU.” Ed lived at home in Loomis for a few years, moved to Davis, and then bought a house in Portland, close to Reed. “He continued to love the outdoors, big words, big dogs, good books, writing letters, and sharing a beer with friends. Ed was living alone when he fell inside his house this past May. He was 51.” Survivors include his mother, Beryl, and sister, Susie.

Appeared in Reed magazine: December 2013

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