NORWAY – Ralph S. Adams, 89, of Auburn passed away peacefully on Nov. 20, 2018 at Stephen’s Memorial Hospital with his loving children by his side. He had been a resident of the Maine Veterans Home in South Paris since May of this year. Born on Sept. 17, 1929 to the late Garfield and Frances Stone Adams in Orrington, he was the youngest of 10 children. He moved to Auburn at a young age and was educated in Auburn schools. He met the love of his life, the former Carmen Chaput of Lewiston, and they married on Nov. 18, 1949 and were married for 63 years.

He joined the army in 1948 and was assigned to the Second Armored Division and then joined the 101st Airborne Division as a paratrooper and trained at Fort Hood, Texas. He served in the Korean conflict with the famed Third Infantry Division, Third Reconnaissance, in the battle at the Chosin Reservoir. In April 1951, while on patrol in enemy territory, his tank hit a land mine and the guns on his tank jammed during an encounter with the Communist forces. He was subsequently captured and was forced into one of the infamous “death marches” of 200 miles to the northern reaches of Korea. He was held for 28 months at a POW camp where he endured bitter cold winters and periods of solitary confinement. He was released from the POW camp in September of 1953 and returned to a welcoming parade through the streets of Auburn. For his military service he was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge, Purple Heart, Korean Service Medal with eight Campaign Stars, United Nations Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Presidential Unit Citation with Oak Leaf Cluster, Korean Presidential Unit Citation, the Silver Star Honorable Service Medal, Prisoner of War Medal, and The Good Conduct Medal.

He joined the Auburn Fire Department six months after his discharge from the Army and during his 25 years of service he served at all the department’s stations and on all its equipment with considerable time spent on the rescue truck. He was promoted through the ranks of the department and in 1971 he was promoted to chief. After retiring from the fire department in 1980 he served as the Director of Public Safety at the Pineland Center in Pownal for several years.

He was a member of the Androscoggin County Fire Fighters Association, Maine State Federation of Fire Fighters, Emilien Hamann Chapter of the Disabled American Veterans, the Captain Frank W. Hulett Post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the American Legion.

Ralph enjoyed life and had many interests. He took great pride in tending to the Adams’ Apple Orchard which had been in the family for generations and known throughout the area. He loved sailing his sailboat, Lara II, off the coast of Maine, skiing throughout Maine, and the Swiss and Italian Alps with the travel club, Washingtonians. He also enjoyed the time that he spent with his family at the Ponce Inlet condo in Florida. Amongst their many trips, Ralph and Carmen returned to Korea in 1990 to revisit the border crossing at the Demilitarized Zone.

He is survived by his four children, Carol LeBlanc and husband, Fred, Susan Laroche and husband, Gerry, son Michael and wife, Doreen, and son, Mark and wife, Lynn; seven grandchildren, Shelley Annaldo and husband, Dave, Matthew LeBlanc and wife, Leslie, Danny Laroche and companion, Ashlyn Campbell, Darcy Fleming and husband, Caleb, Michele Barker and husband, Brenden, Morgan Adams and Carolyn Adams; and eight great-grandchildren, Briana, Leah, Melania, William, Vanessa, Kadi, Emily, and Macy; and a very dear friend, Mrs. Jean Titus.

Ralph was predeceased by his wife Carmen; daughter-in-law, Brenda Adams; granddaughter, Katie Laroche; and his nine brothers and sisters, Burns, Rita, Preston, Harold, Arlene, Marion, Marjorie, Ruth, and an infant brother; and his very dear friend Leslie Titus.

The family wishes to extend a very sincere thank you to his caregivers, Kelsey Anthony, Debora Cusson, Beacon Hospice, the Maine Veterans Home staff, and the doctors and nurses at Stephens Memorial Hospital for the outstanding care they provided Dad – we are forever grateful.

Condolences may be shared with Ralph’s family at

Visiting hours will be held at Fortin\Auburn on Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018 from 5-8 p.m. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at Holy Cross Church in Lewiston on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2018 at 11 a.m., followed by committal prayers and military honors at Gracelawn Memorial Park (Chapman Room) in Auburn. Arrangements are under the care of The Fortin Group \ Plummer & Merrill Funeral Home, Cremation and Monument Services 217 Turner St. Auburn, 783-8545.

In honor of Dad’s

“Never give up – Never Quit” personality, in lieu of flowers we encourage donations to be made to the

Travis Mills Foundation

89 Water Street

Hallowell, Maine 04347


Comments are not available on this story.