Nelson M. Adams, III

Mar 23, 2020

Nelson M. Adams, III, of Marion, died peacefully at home with his family on March 19, after a long battle with cancer. He fought his disease with grace, determination and the kind of stoic strength that defined his character.

He was born on June 1, 1950 in Wareham to Nelson M. Adams, Jr. and Violet L. (Gibbs) Adams. Nelson proudly resided in Marion for his entire life. He is survived by his wife, Donna A. (LeFavor) Adams, his son, Timothy D. Adams and his wife Elissa L. (Grunin) Adams of Sandwich, and his grandsons Patrick Timothy Adams and Benjamin Delano Adams, his mother Violet, his sister Nancy Daniels, and his sister Ellen Borges and her husband Allan. He is also survived by his sister-in-law Barbara LeFavor, his brother-in-law Philip LeFavor and his wife Cindy, his sister-in-law Deborah (LeFavor) Hazlett and her husband Robert, his sister-in-law Paula (LeFavor) Ewan and her husband David, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Nelson was a graduate of Old Rochester Regional High School (class of 1968) and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Marine Biology from Southeastern Massachusetts University. His career spanned his early days at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute to a lengthy position with Sippican, Inc. and Lockheed-Martin. He had many great memories from his time at Sippican, especially company outings and the wonderful working environment created by Richard Arthur.

Nelson always found peace and joy on the water in Marion harbor aboard his beloved Boston Whaler, the Donna Ann. He could often be spotted digging for shellfish on Meadow Island and other treasured spots and emerging from the water in his scuba gear while inspecting moorings. Nelson learned to swim in the same waters as a toddler, showing a natural affinity for the ocean from the very beginning of his life.

Throughout his life, Nelson was a man of great energy in the community, giving back to the town of Marion wherever he was needed. Nelson seemed to know everyone in town and was very well versed in its history. Over the years, Nelson was a member of the volunteer fire department, a town shellfish warden, one of the first trained emergency medical technicians, and a board member for the Camp Hadley trust. Nelson was also a proud Boy Scout leader for Troop 32 and had many fond memories from scouting as a boy, especially his trip to the National Jamboree in Philmont, New Mexico.

Nelson was a man of tremendous kindness and genuine humility who loved to be with people. He was a constant source of support and quiet wisdom. Whenever someone was in need, Nelson was the first to help. He was truly happiest when in service to others. From young children to elder members of the community, he never grew tired of giving back. To his wife, Nelson was a rock of support and companionship. To his son, Nelson was a father of steady guidance, ageless insight, and a source of love expressed far beyond the limits of words. To his young grandsons, he was simply “Pa,” the man who could fix any object, magically appear at school or events, and locate the hardest to find toys.

The family wishes to express their sincerest gratitude for the many caregivers who supported Nelson during his long battle with cancer.

Due to current restrictions on public gatherings, a private graveside service will be held for Nelson in Marion and a celebration of his life will be planned for a later date. Nelson wished that donations made in his memory be directed to the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, P.O. Box 849168, Boston, MA 02215 and to the Southcoast Centers for Cancer Care, 206 Mill Rd., Fairhaven, MA 02719.

Arrangements by Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Wareham. To leave a message of condolence, visit: