John Adams

John Thomas "Tommy" Adams Sr.

Thursday, April 7th, 1938 - Wednesday, July 3rd, 2019
Recommend this to your friends.
Share via:

Sign in to the Family Interactive Login

The Family Interactive feature enhances An Amazing Life. Authorized family members can securely access their loved one's memorial website settings at any time.

Share Book of Memories with a Friend

Please enter the name and email details so that we can send your friend a link to the online tribute. No names or addresses will be collected by using this service.

Email Sent

Your email has been sent.

To share your memory on the wall of John Adams, sign in using one of the following options:

Sign in with Facebook


Or sign in with your email address

Your condolence has been posted successfully

Provide comfort for the family of John Adams with a meaningful gesture of sympathy.

No Thanks

Contact Funeral Home

Please enter your question / comment below:

Email Sent

Your email has been sent.

Send Flowers
Guaranteed hand delivery by a local florist


John Thomas “Tommy” Adams passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, July 3, at age 81, with his wife of 59 years, Joyce, by his side. Known in the early 2000’s to thousands of young lacrosse players in the Annapolis area as the “Stick Doctor”, Tommy spent a life steeped in the brotherhood of sports.
Born on April 7, 1938, and raised on the family tobacco farm in Waldorf, Maryland, Tommy developed a great sense of humor and a loving and caring nature. He married Joyce Moreland in January 1960 and a year later came to work at the U.S. Naval Academy. As a father of three young children, he painted portraits and murals while honing his skills as a man who could “fix anything.” Active with his children’s interests, Tommy participated in programs with the Boy Scouts and youth sports.
Tommy spent nearly 40 years with the Naval Academy Athletic association (NAAA) working as an equipment manager and storekeeper for a variety of varsity and intramural sports. He even traveled with the football team to Dallas, Texas, when Navy, led by Heisman trophy winner Roger Staubach, headed to the Cotton Bowl in January 1964.
But it was the game of lacrosse where Tommy would leave his mark at the Academy. He not only produced the world’s first mesh lacrosse stick in 1971?? (made from a mesh laundry bag strung on to a wooden stick), he also helped work on better designs for pads and helmets and was asked by industry representatives to evaluate early prototypes for the plastic lacrosse head. His collection of original plastic lacrosse sticks, along with that first mesh stick, has been donated to the Bilderback-Moore Navy Lacrosse Hall of Fame.
Although he had a head for Navy sports, especially lacrosse, it was the people that Tommy worked with — the players and coaches — that touched his heart, and were touched by his. As a family man with three children of his own, he would still refer to the Midshipmen he worked with as "his kids.” He would say, “Those kids need me”, as he headed off to a Saturday afternoon lacrosse game, his repair kit and tools in hand. It was this love for the players and coaches that fueled his passion for the game over many, many years.
Tommy is survived by his wife, Joyce, his son, Tom Adams, Jr., four grandchildren and nearly 40 years of Navy athletes, coaches and assistants. A celebration of Tommy’s life is currently in the planning stages. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you make a donation to Hospice of the Chesapeake. When asked whom this gift is in memory of, please answer, “This is for Tommy.”

A memorial service will be held at the Kalas Funeral Home & Crematory, 2973 Solomons Island Rd., Edgewater, MD on Saturday, August 17 at 1:00 pm. On line condolence may be left under the memory tab on this page.
Read Less

Service Details

  • Service

    Saturday, August 17th, 2019 | 1:00pm
    Saturday, August 17th, 2019 1:00pm
    Kalas Funeral Home & Crematory-Edgewater
    2973 Solomons Island Road
    EDGEWATER, MD 21037
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


We encourage you to share your most beloved memories of John here, so that the family and other loved ones can always see it. You can upload cherished photographs, or share your favorite stories, and can even comment on those shared by others.

Private Condolence
Provide comfort for the family of John Thomas "Tommy" Adams Sr. by sending flowers.
Guaranteed hand delivery by a local florist
Plant a Tree in Memory of John
A proud partner of Honoring a Life
0 trees have been planted in memory of John Thomas "Tommy" Adams Sr.

John Rupp

Posted at 09:39am
Thank you Tommy for taking care of all the Navy Lax players over the years. You are a great friend, advisor, and we are better people because we got to know you. Thank you for everything over some very long years.

Deb Adams

Posted at 09:13am
I am so grateful that I was able to be the bridge that was needed for Joyce and Tommy Adams to be together, holding hands as Tommy took his last breath of life. Uncle Tommy will be missed, continued to be loved and definitely celebrated as we all remember the good ole days! Love to everyone 😘


Posted at 12:08pm
Tommy was one of the best brother-in-laws, with a great sense of humor. He always laughed at my jokes. He will be missed.

Margaret Shaffer

Posted at 01:14pm
My memories of John (Tommy) was that he was one of the kindest and most pleasant person I had ever known.
He will always be in my prayers. May he rest in peace

Margaret Shaffer

Photos & Videos

Photo Album

Share by: