Joseph Lee McAdam, Jr., 86, of Decatur died of natural causes on Friday, August 16, 2013 at Imboden Creek Living Center.
Joe was born October 4, 1926 in Taylorville, Illinois, the son of Joseph Lee McAdam, Sr. and Hilda Eberspacher McAdam. His parents were lifelong educators and community leaders in Taylorville. He had one sibling, his younger sister Annette born in 1927.
Joe attended Taylorville High School, where he played on the 1944 undefeated Illinois State Championship basketball team. After graduation, Joe served in the United States Navy during World War II. He later earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Millikin University and soon followed his parents lead and taught school at Shelbyville High School, where he also coached sports.
On June 16, 1957, Joe married Mildred (Mickey) Ann Phillips Stokes, formerly of Minonk, Illinois and Taylorville where she had lived with her first husband Frederick P. Stokes (deceased, 1955) and her two young children. Mickey was a graduate of the University of Illinois and an educator.
Joe and Mickey made a life raising their six children in Decatur. Joe worked for over 30 years at Illinois Power Company, where he made many close friends. In his early years there, he served as an employee recruiter dedicated to integrating the company workforce. He also coached the company basketball team and played for years in the company bowling and golf leagues, which he enjoyed immensely.
Always one for a game of cards and comradely, Joe played regularly in both a men’s bridge club and in a couple’s bridge club with Mickey. He was so good at cards that he became a Master tournament player, earning the title of American Contract Bridge League Life Master. He played bridge well into his 80’s. Joe loved making and nurturing friendships by playing games.
Like his parents, Joe was a devout Christian. He was a long time member of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Decatur. Always one to volunteer, Joe taught Sunday school for many years and later became a deacon and a church elder, and in that position, he then took on the role of financial secretary for the church. He served the poor and needy by helping men search for work, feed their families and integrate into the church and community. As those he helped would say, Joe was a kind and gentle man.
Joe’s greatest love was his family. He was a leader in many of his kids’ activities and took great pride in their successes. Joe helped organize and served as a Scoutmaster for the Pershing School & Boiling Springs Cub Scout Troop. He officiated many high school track and field competitions, including the State Championships, and served in numerous official capacities for the Decatur Swim Club. Joe loved family vacations, traveling with kids in tow to camp sites and cities throughout the country. As an avid genealogist, he would often combine vacations with family research. Joe instilled in his children a deep love of family and a responsibility for being a good citizen and steward of your community.
Throughout his long, happy life, he was joined by his loving and beautiful wife Mickey. They celebrated over 56 years together. In retirement, Joe and Mickey traveled the world with their best friends, his sister Annette and her husband John. Later when Mickey’s health deteriorated, Joe dedicated every day to caring for her and had the blessing to live with her at Imboden Creek in his final days. It was this love that gave him the strength to be a great father, son, friend and community leader. Their marriage filled his heart with joy.
Joe is survived by his wife Mildred of Decatur and his six children, their spouses and his six grandchildren: son Philip F. Stokes of Charlottesville, Virginia; daughter Nancy Stokes Veit and her husband Anthony Veit of Ann Arbor, Michigan; son Joseph L. McAdam III and his wife Karla Lawler McAdam and their children Crystal McAdam and Ryan McAdam; son Donald E. McAdam and his wife Sylvia Cole McAdam of Sandy Springs, Georgia and their sons Matthew McAdam and Cole McAdam; son Robert P. McAdam of Dawsonville, Georgia; and son Samuel T. McAdam and his wife Gina Rutherford McAdam of Davis, California and their children Jack McAdam and Amanda McAdam. He is also survived by his sister: Annette Rose McAdam Roberts of Tustin, California. He was preceded in death by his parents Joseph, Sr. and Hilda and his brother-in-law John W. Roberts.
The family thanks the staff of Imboden Creek for the compassionate care they provided.