Gary Wade Adams, 68, of Bay Center, Wash., longtime resident of Portland, died Friday, Jan. 20, 2012, in Portland, of an aggressive melanoma cancer.
He was born May 27, 1943, in Portland, to Verle Leroy Adams and Felicity Oresa St. John.
He attended Madison High School, and received a bachelor's degree in arts and letters, and a master's degree in theater, from Portland State University.
He married Rita Adams. She survives, residing in Bay Center.
Mr. Adams was an accomplished actor in his early years and performed in many plays, Shakespeare's being a favorite. His desire to further an acting career led to a part on the television series "Route 66," and an opportunity to sign with the William Morris Talent Agency in New York. His roots were in Portland, however, so he began his television career as a floor director for the local PBS station, creating children's shows and eventually hosted the nighttime entertainment show "Portland Tonight." He also worked for the Multnomah County Educational Service District producing educational films.
He loved the early days of film, and was involved in many local projects, later transitioning to video. Teaming up with three other talents, the comedy troupe BAMM was formed. He spoke of these years as some of his fondest. He returned to local television for eight years as the Phantom Reviewer for KGW's "PM Magazine," a segment that included local restaurant reviews. All the while, he had formed his own video production company.
He eventually teamed with Portland's Encounter Video and Chicago's Questar Video, to collaborate on scores of travel videos for retail sale and cable television that garnered many awards. His collaboration with local talent and Encounter Video also produced the EMMY award-winning children's educational series "Where In The World." After retiring at 64, he moved to the Washington Coast, where he fulfilled a longtime desire to write a book about his mother, and was a freelance writer for The Daily Astorian.
Family members said he enjoyed boating, exploring and world travel, and spoke of the full life he had lived, accomplishing everything he set out to do.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by a son, Todd Anthony Adams of Slidell, La.; a daughter, Lisa Sumner of Vancouver, Wash.; a sister, Dell Dickey of Eugene; three grandsons; and many nieces and nephews.
A celebration of life will be announced later.
Omega Funeral & Cremation Service in Portland is in charge of the arrangements.