Lifelong Carlisle resident Robert A. Adams, 89, died at home with his son
and two daughters at his side on Monday, February 22, 2010. Born November 11, 1920, he was the son of the late Thomas
A. Adams and Ella Lay Adams.
After graduating in 1939 from Carlisle High School, Bob earned a bachelor’s
degree in health and physical education from West Chester University. In 1943, he entered Notre Dame Midshipman’s
School and was commissioned the same year as an ensign in the US Navy. He served as an officer on the USS Susan B Anthony
and the USS Saratoga, participating in the invasions of Normandy, Philippines, and Okinawa. He received three bronze
stars and left active duty in 1951 at the rank of lieutenant.
Upon his return to Carlisle at the close of the war, he accepted a position
in the personnel office of C.H. Masland & Sons. In 1949, he moved to Frog, Switch & Mfg Company, where he remained
for 34 years until his retirement at the end of 1983 as vice president of labor relations. In early 1984, he was appointed
county commissioner by the Cumberland County Court of Common Pleas in order to fill a position left vacant by the death of
the newly elected incumbent. He served in that capacity until 1988. Bob was president of the board of the Carlisle
Building and Loan Association and for several years following its merger with Harris Savings also served on the board of that
Throughout his life, Bob was involved in many social, civic, and business
organizations. He was a member of the Elks, the American Legion, and the Cumberland Star Lodge. He served as president
of the Carlisle Lion’s Club, Carlisle National Little League, Carlisle High School Alumni Association, Carlisle Area
Chamber of Commerce, and Carlisle Area Industrial Development Corporation. He chaired the Carlisle Borough Civil Service
Commission, the Cumberland County-Army Liaison Committee, and the Consumer Advisory Council of Capital Blue Cross.
He served on the boards of the Carlisle YMCA and Carlisle Hospital and Health Services. For the latter, he was treasurer
and chair of the executive committee. Active in the Grace United Methodist Church, he served as chair of the finance
committee and as president of their board of trustees. In the 1950s, he was the first campaign director of the United
Way when the Community Chest, Salvation Army, and Red Cross merged into one fund-raising drive. In 1988, he again headed
the United Way fund-raising campaign.
In recognition of his contributions to the community and of his many achievements,
Carlisle High School Alumni Association honored him in 1982 with a Distinguished Alumni Award, and in 2005 the Lion’s
International Foundation awarded him the Melvin Jones Fellow for Meritorious Service.
Sports always figured prominently in Bob’s life. In Carlisle
High School, he was a football guard for Dutch Eby’s winning teams of the 1930s and he lettered all three years.
In his senior year, he was a South Penn All-Conference Choice. At West Chester, he played varsity football all four
years and baseball in his senior year. From 1946-66, he officiated high school and college football games. In
1997, he was inducted into the Football Hall of Fame of West Chester University and into the Hall of Fame of the Central Pennsylvania
Chapter of PIAA Football Officials. In 1990, he was inducted into the South Central Chapter of Pennsylvania Sports Hall
of Fame as a football and baseball player and as a football referee. In the same year, he received a Meritorious Achievement
Award from the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame. He played golf well into his 70s and in 1994 scored a 159-yard hole-in-one
at the Carlisle Barracks Course.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 57 years, Mildred Wise Adams, and
a brother and two sisters: W. Ritter Adams, Edna Crum Goldstein, and Catherine Lindsey. He is survived by three children;
Thomas Adams of Rehoboth Beach, DE, Joann Eberle (and her husband, Howard) of Boiling Springs, and Barbara Adams of Carlisle,
two sisters; Bea Williams and Jean Zeigler both of Carlisle.
A celebration of Bob’s life will be held at 11 a.m on Saturday,
March 6, 2010, in the Ewing Brothers Funeral Home, 630 S. Hanover St., Carlisle with Rev. Bruce E. Fensterbush officiating. A
visitation will held on Saturday, March 6, from 10 a.m. until time of the services. The family will also receive
friends immediately following the service for a luncheon at the Carlisle Country Club, 1242 Harrisburg Pike, Carlisle. Burial
with military honors by Cumberland County Honor Guard will be in Westminster Memorial Gardens, Carlisle at the convenience
of the family. Memorial contributions may be made to Safe
Harbour, 102 W. High St., Carlisle, PA 17013.