Day Macz - Irvin Macz Funeral Homes & Cremation Center, Centralia, Odin, Sandoval, Illinois, Patoka, IL. Funeral Home in Southern Illinois, serving South-Central Illinois.

Jim Adams


May 10, 1913
November 11, 2020

Funeral Private Services

James “Jim” Adams, 107, of Centralia passed away peacefully Wednesday, November 11, 2020 at Centralia Manor in Centralia, with his daughter Bunny by his side. He was born on May 10, 1913 the son of Charles Rex and Fern (Sapp) Adams in Centralia. He married Alice Johnson on November 11, 1934 in Macedonia and she preceded him in death. He later married, Vada Ray Page on July 15, 1970 in Mt. Vernon and she also preceded him in death.

Survivors that will cherish memories of Jim’s devotion to his family include his beloved family, son, Marvin Lee (Barbara) Stewart of Dardenne Prairie, MO; daughters, Inis Marie (Jerry) King of Oneida, IL, Sara Ann (Jerry) Norton of Galesburg, IL, and Monica Lee “Bunny” Christian of Centralia; grandchildren, Daniel (Kym) Virobik, Kevin (Ann) Virobik, Brent (Kim) King, Brian (Becky )King Julie (David) Shragel, Carole (Charles) Buebe, Robert Stewart, and Richard Norton; great-grandchildren, Patrick, Keith and Evan King, David, Andrew and Michael Buebe, Adrianna and Danielle Shragal; step children, Benny Ray (Glenda) Page, and Bobby (Nancy) Page; step-grandchildren, Dr. Ray Dean (Dr. Sheila) Page, Gay (John) Szurek, and Chris (Lori) Randall; 13 step great-grandchildren; 4 cousins; and many wonderful friends including, the breakfast crew at Hardees, Mike Haper, Don Maurice, Ray Heating, Jason Sanders, Clint Green and longtime friend, Mary Ainscough.

Mr. Adams was preceded in death by both his parents; and wife Alice Johnson; wife, Vada Adams; and step-grandson, Martin Randall.

Jim attended Washington Grade School and Centralia Township High School. Jim obtained a Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois. Jim began his career with the Illinois Geodetic Survey company where he was an Assistant Field Engineer. Jim and his crew set many of the benchmarks still used in Southern Illinois today. He then worked for Centralia Baking Company. Jim’s next employer was the Mount Vernon Car Company who loaned him out to the Evansville, IN shipyards. While working there, Jim helped design the LST landing craft used in World War II. He also delivered 100 Union Pacific cabooses which took 8 trips on 14 different railroads to North Platte, NE. November 1943 to February 1975 Mr. Adams was a loyal employee of Illinois Central Railroad, working as a shop draftsman for over 31 years. He worked at the car shops in Centralia as a Draftsman until he retired. Jim was known to have more than one job at a time and in 1950 he purchased the E.M. Cobb Insurance Agency, which later became the Jim Adams Insurance Agency. He also had a house rental business.

He was very active in his community and was a faithful member of the First United Methodist Church in Centralia where he taught Sunday school and was in Methodist Men. He was a member of NRA, Centralia SN Insurance Agents, Good Samaritan Club, WBCCI, Illinois Historical Society, Forest Service Volunteer-chairman, and served on the Age of Steam Memorial Committee.

Jim raised his family to have a strong work ethic and to offer assistance to others whenever they could. He was loved and appreciated by the community, with the city of Centralia designating May 10, 2019 as “Jim Adams Day”. Jim participated in a historical day for Centralia when he was one of people instrumental in saving and moving of engine 2500 down Broadway Street to its home in Fairview Park. In 2013 he saved another piece of Centralia history by obtaining one of the last caboose built in Centralia ICRR car shops to place behind the 2500. His love for train came from making trips with his dad Charlie Adams in his CB&Q caboose as a child. He was able to share his passion for trains by operating the Little Toot live steam railroad at Fairview Park bringing enjoyment to children from Centralia and surrounding communities. Jim moved Little Toot Railroad in 1962 from Flora to Centralia where he and Vada operated it for many years. Jim and Vada shared a passion for camping. They were members of the Racoon Ramblers as well as long time campground hosts in Colorado – Maroon Bells area. They shared a passion for Weimaraner Dogs, having 5 in a row, all named Suzie! Known for his keen mind and wit, Jim was a friend to all and referred to as the town historian. He was always ready to tell a story, draw a picture, and share a memory. Jim was first and foremost an amazing father, and grandfather making sure to be a part of his family’s lives and create precious memories with them. Jim’s generous heart and compassionate spirit will live on in those he knew and loved, and he will be greatly missed.

Irvin Macz Funeral Home in Centralia is privileged to be assisting the family of Jim Adams with arrangements. A private celebration of life service will be held with interment to follow at Hillcrest Memorial Park. Memorials may be made in Jim’s honor to Age of Steam Memorial and/or Centralia Manor Activity Fund. Online condolences and memories of Jim may be shared with the family by visiting and/or on the funeral home’s Facebook page.