Joe Sam Adams Sr.

December 02, 1927 ‒ June 22, 2011

Adairo, Ohio

Joe Sam Adams Sr. age 83, of Mount Vernon, died Wednesday June 22, 2011 at his residence surrounded by his family. Joe Sam was born December 2, 1927 in Pulaski, Tennessee to Anderson and Sadie (Eubanks) Adams. His family moved to Nashville after the death of his father. Joe Sam entered the United States Navy in February of 1945 where he served on the aircraft carrier the USS Essex in the Pacific during World War Two. He received his honorable discharge in July of 1946 and shortly thereafter moved to Knox County in search of employment. In 1947 he started working at Pittsburgh Plate Glass Industries in Mount Vernon where he remained until they closed the plant. At that time Joe Sam was the first “Fulltime” Grievance Officer for local 20 of the United Glass and Ceramic Workers of North America. Following his retirement from PPG he started with A and R Remodeling which kept him busy for a number of years. In 1948 he married the love of his life Jo-Ann (McNeil) Adams and spent the rest of his life by her side.

Joe Sam was a legendary stock car driver at the central Ohio dirt track raceways in the 1950’s and 1960’s, most notably at Mansfield, Lakeville, Millersburg and the Knox-Vernon Speedway in Mount Vernon, and go-cart racing at Danville. His interests included fishing and following his granddaughter’s softball games. In later years his interest shifted to displaying his pristine, all original, 1963 Chevrolet Impala SS 409, which today has just over 30,000 original miles. He enjoyed displaying the Impala at car shows and cruise-ins in the area along with Jo-Ann and their canine companion “Bubbles”. However above all else Joe Sam’s passion in life was the time he spent with his family.

Surviving are his wife Jo-Ann (McNeil) Adams whom he married July 16, 1948; his sons Joe Sam (Deanna) Adams Jr. of St. Louis, Missouri and Doug Adams of Mount Vernon; his former daughter-in-law Tammy of Mount Vernon; 2 granddaughters Jessica Adams and Jacqueline Adams; a grandson Jonathan “Buster” Adams; 2 great grandsons Gage and Dylan; his brother Abe Adams of Mount Vernon and 2 sisters Imogene Payne of Atlanta, Georgia and Doris Thompson of Nashville, Tennessee and many, many nieces and nephews. Besides his parents, Joe Sam was preceded in death by a grandson Joe S. Adams III, his brothers James “Jim” Adams and Arnold “Pokey” Adams Sr. and his sister Betty LeMunyon.

Following Joe’s wishes there will be no calling hours. A private family memorial service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Hospice of Knox County, 17700 Coshocton Road, Mount Vernon, Ohio 43050 or the charity of your choice.

To send a private online condolence to the family, visit

The Dowds-Snyder Funeral Home in Mount Vernon is honored to serve the family of Joe Sam Adams Sr.

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