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David Virgil “Papa” Adams

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David Virgil “Papa” Adams

May 20, 1922 ~ July 24, 2014

David Virgil “Papa” Adams, 92, a third-generation wheat farmer and cattle rancher of Coulee City, WA, passed away peacefully of natural causes in the presence of his true love of 43 years, at his town residence in Moses Lake, WA on the morning of July 24, 2014.

David was the fourth child born to Clarence W. and Ruth A. Adams on May 20, 1922, in Bright, WA, about 15 miles west of Coulee City. As a small boy, he grew up bare-footed, running around the farm with his three siblings. It is said that he learned to ride a horse before he could walk. He attended grade school at the one-room Bright Schoolhouse, right across the street from the farm. He stayed with his grandpa in town to attend Coulee City High School. He always talked about the year he made $50 driving school bus, which allowed him to buy his graduation suit! The next year, he was paid $50 a month! Upon graduation in 1941, he began farming and cattle ranching full-time with his father. From the very beginning, his first love was for cattle. Throughout his lifetime, he tried to improve cattle ranching practices. He pursued cutting edge techniques through artificial insemination and embryo transplant. He traveled all over the U.S. looking for herd sires to improve his herd. This led him to raising a pure-bred Simmental herd and he became involved with the local, State, National and International Simmental Associations. He was a local officer and State Director, traveling internationally for 20 years as a World Simmental Congress delegate.

Because he knew God only made so much of it, David was also very forward-thinking in the management of his land. He was a true steward of the land. He was very active with the Soil Conservation District and his innovative farming practices helped him to preserve the land for future generations and to create a successful farming business. David loved the business world as much as he did farming. He was one of the first investors of Thousand Trails and Horizon Air. Even up to his last days, he was very aware of what was going on in local and international stock markets. This was always a favorite topic of conversation for him. Politics were also very important to David. For many years, he was very politically active. He was involved in local, State and National Republican Parties. He served on the National Republican Senatorial Inner Circle. Ronald Reagan was his most respected and admired president and he met him several times. He was a lifelong member of the St. Andrew’s Grange; Elks; Central Washington Grain Growers, Inc.; Douglas County and National Wheat Growers; Douglas Co., State and National Cattleman’s Association; and a lifetime member of the First Presbyterian Church in Coulee City, where he held offices.

David had a passion for riding horses and tending to cattle, even up into his 90’s. In the weeks leading up to his passing, he would still go out to check on his herd daily. Among his many hobbies, traveling was near the top. He loved to travel, whether for business or pleasure, and not only traveled the world, but traveled around the world, with the love of his life, Joyce. He cherished his family and enjoyed nothing better than a nice, home-cooked meal!

David was preceded in death by his parents, C.W. and Ruth; his siblings, Stanley, Clarence W., Jr., and Vera Miller; as well as his first wife, Althea Adams. He is survived by his wife and partner of 43 years, Joyce; son, Shawn and his wife, JoAnn and their three children, Jake and Sarah of Evans, GA and Kyle of Alabama; son, Ben and his wife, Jenny and their two girls, Jessica and Morgan, all of Coulee City, WA; a daughter, Mary and her husband, Doug Dunkin, of East Wenatchee and Mary’s three daughters, Elizabeth Conklin of Honolulu, HI, Tish Conklin of Moses Lake, WA, and Chelsea Miller and her husband, Chris, who lived with David & Joyce; along with the new love in David’s life, his great-grandson, Blake, his “lil’ pardner in crime”. He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and a very large extended family and friends.

Family and friends will pay tribute to David in a Funeral Service and Celebration of Life on Saturday, August 2, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church at 214 N. 4th Street in Coulee City, WA. There will be a Viewing at Kayser’s Chapel of Memories in Moses Lake, WA on Friday, August 1, 2014, from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m. There will also be a Viewing from 12:45 to 1:45 p.m. on Saturday, before his Services. There will be a Graveside Service immediately following the Funeral Service at Highland Cemetery for those who wish to attend, followed by a Dinner Celebration back at the church. To visit his memorial page and sign his online guestbook, go to

The family would like to extend a special thanks to Ofelia Todd for her loving care and support through the years. Over the last ten years, she was a summer staple on the farm, looking after David and the entire family. She is truly an angel on Earth. In the words of Ofelia, “Papa is walking on streets of gold with his Heavenly Father, where there is absolutely no sadness, confusion, anger, suffering or pain. May we all carry on his legacy with dignity, pride and love. He would have wanted it that way.”

Good Ride, Cowboy and Happy Trails.

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