Whitesburg KY

Longtime columnist Ike Adams succumbs at 73

Points East



A memorial service for longtime Mountain Eagle columnist Ike Reece Adams was scheduled to be held Wednesday night at the Mt. Tabor Baptist Church in Paint Lick, Kentucky.

Adams, 72, of Paint Lick, died June 18 at the Compassionate Care Center in Richmond. Born January 5, 1949 at Blair Branch, Jeremiah, Ike was a son of the late Elmer and Marie Adams. For many years he worked as a grant writer, especially for the Christian Appalachian Project and fundraising events, and was a newspaper columnist for several papers throughout the state and wrote frequently about his days of growing up in Letcher County.

Ike was a member of Mt. Tabor Baptist Church, enjoyed spending his free time fishing, gardening, and photography, as well as playing music with his friends.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by a brother, Keith Adams, and infant twins, Billy and Betty Adams. Survivors include his wife, Loretta Embree Adams, daughters Geneva Marie (Scott) Tesh of Houston, Texas, Jennifer (Kevin) Ochs of Richmond, and Carol (Dana) Deatherage of Stanford, Ky., son, Christopher Richter of Paint Lick, brothers Andy Adams of Johnson County, Ky., and Steve (Brenda) Adams of Letcher County. He also leaves behind seven grandchildren — Mazzen, Ramzy, Isabel, Zachary, Amber, Braden, Tyler — and two great-grandchildren, Amara & Scarlett.

In keeping with Ike’s request for cremation rites, a visitation and gathering of friends will take place from 4-7:00 p.m. Wednesday, (June 23) at the Mt. Tabor Baptist Church Fellowship Hall. The memorial service begins at 7 p.m. in the church sanctuary.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may go to the American Diabetes Association or Hospice Care Plus.

The Ramsey-Young Funeral Home of Lancaster (859-792-2621) has charge of arrangements. Friends and family may leave special memories or condolences on Ike’s tribute page at www.ramsey-young.com.

His wife says good-bye on his behalf

Letcher County native and longtime Mountain Eagle columnist Ike Adams died June 18. His wife, Loretta, wrote this good-bye column on his behalf.

Ike asked me last week to help him get out a final goodbye column to his readers. He was simply, too weak and sick to do it himself.

That plan never panned out because his illness took complete control of his mind and body. He left this world on Friday, June 18, resting peacefully at the Hospice Compassionate Care Center in Richmond.

I am not a writer; he was the one with a way with words. He was always my editor, knowing that I could kill the King’s English. These aren’t his words as we intended, but knowing his heart and often his thoughts, I am going to do my best to relay them in this column.

Ike loved writing because he loved people. He felt an intense obligation to the papers and to the folks that followed his columns. He loved writing about his family and friends in eastern Kentucky and growing up on Blair Branch. Those tales were most often filled with humor and love for those mountains and the people who lived there. They were my favorites. He shared his passion for gardening in his stories. Fishing was another topic he never tired of writing about.

I met Ike in the early 1980’s much like some of you came to know him. It was something he had written in the paper. His words drew me in. I knew I wanted to meet this interesting, witty man.

Well, that meeting happened, and we soon became a couple. He never flinched when I told him the day we met that I had three young children that were part of the deal if he got involved with me. Instead, he seemed to welcome the idea of having a family.

My life changed from being very private to suddenly a public one. He often shared our life with his readers. Sometimes he got in trouble with me or the children for sharing too much about us, but we accepted that it was out of love that he wrote about us. So, he would be forgiven.

So many friendships with his readers were developed through the years. He never met a stranger. It thrilled him to hear from people, to get cards, letters, and phone calls. He especially cherished meeting his reading audience. Most of you identified with the things he wrote about. After he became sick, his writing was his therapy. Many of the hurdles he crossed were in the columns.

He wanted to thank his many faithful readers for following him through the years. He appreciated each and every one of you!

This is a sad goodbye to have to write. I will never have my best friend, my soulmate, the man I loved here with me again.

If he was beside me now, I know he would end this with humor.

There is a song that I love that reminds me of my husband. The chorus goes, “I wished I had written it down in words; people that I loved and places I have been.”

Well, folks, he did write it down in words.

My life will never be the same without him. He was a unique individual. I intend to hold on to all his loving words and all of our good memories forever. I hope that he will long be remembered by many of you.

Leave a Reply