1930 – 2014
SOUTH PARIS — Hebron Elliott Adams, known as Hebe to his family and friends, died on Monday, Dec. 8, at the Maine Veterans’ Home in South Paris.
He was born in Westbrook on Sept. 3, 1930, the first child of Dorothy Craft and Hebron M. Adams.
His quiet, gentle manner hid a keen intellect and sense of humor. He loved puns and wordplay; was an avid reader, Sudoku solver and genealogist; collected coins and stamps; was the king of spreadsheets; wrote books; dabbled in drawing and was a passionate theater- and concert-goer.
He and his wife, Nancy, were excellent customers of several Virginia wineries. He believed in social justice and supported numerous causes. Hebe visited every state, except Alaska, and traveled to western Europe, Scandinavia, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South America. Small children were drawn to him and he could often be found reading to a group of youngsters at family gatherings.
Hebe graduated from Thornton Academy in Saco in 1948 and from Bowdoin College in 1952. He worked while at Bowdoin, waiting tables at his fraternity house (Alpha Tau Omega), tutoring and working in a hotel on Cape Cod during the summer. He majored in physics at Bowdoin, with the goal of becoming an astronaut. That dream did not come true, but he retained a lifelong interest in space science and exploration.
He was drafted in June 1955 and was assigned to Walter Reed Army Medical Center. He fulfilled two years of service and was honorably discharged in 1957.
After graduating from Bowdoin, Hebe worked for Westinghouse Corp. in Pennsylvania and then moved to the Operations Research Office (ORO) in Chevy Chase, Md., a civilian military research center founded by the Army and run under contract by Johns Hopkins University. He worked for ORO and its successors, Research Analysis Corp. and General Research Corp., then went to work for the Department of Housing and Urban Development in Washington, D.C. While at Westinghouse, he did master’s course work at Temple University and continued that work at American University when he moved to the Washington area.
He married Nancy Ann Foxon in December 1961; they had two daughters, Jenny and Heather. When Heather was five weeks old, RAC sent Hebe to England to work on his Ph.D. in operations research at Lancaster University. The whole family went along and lived there for 3½ years, before returning to northern Virginia and buying a home in the nearly new planned community of Reston.
In 2012, he returned to Maine, living at the Maine Veterans’ Home in South Paris.
He is survived by two daughters, Jennifer F. Adams and her husband, Russell Rowe, of South Paris and Heather A. Miller and her husband, Asher, of Brooklyn, N.Y.; three grandsons, Nathan, Aaron and Samuel Miller; two brothers, Robert Adams of Florida and Philip and his wife, Dorothy, of Los Angeles, Calif.; his sister-in-law, Jane Maddocks, of Gainesville, Va.; numerous nieces and nephews; and many dear friends.
He was predeceased by his wife in 2009; three brothers, Laurence Adams, Albert Adams and John Tilton; and three sisters, Barbara Jean Adams Tilton, Teddy Irene Tilton and Diane Tilton Jacques.
His family is most grateful to the B Unit staff at the Maine Veterans’ Home for their humanity, compassion and good humor in caring for Hebe over the past 2½ years.
Online condolences may be shared with his family at www.chandlerfunerals.com