Sunday, May 19, 2019


August 5, 2018

   VIROQUA - John Stephen Adamski, 78, formerly of Sparta, died Sunday, August 5, in Viroqua, WI.

   A celebration of his life will be held at noon Sunday, August 12, at Thorson Funeral Home, 856 S. Rush Ave., Viroqua. Friends may call after 11 a.m.

   Known as Jack Adamski since his childhood, he was a graduate of St. Patrick School and Sparta High School. He was the son of the late John F. Adamski, a state conservation warden who inspired his lifelong interest in the world of nature, and Marie C. (Murphy) Adamski, the source of his Irish perspective and sense of humor.

   His family and friends knew him as a humble man with a wry and witty outlook on life and an encyclopedic knowledge of history, science and nature. He left life unencumbered by possessions, but bequeathed a legacy of interest in the wild world and the creatures that inhabit it for all the people fortunate to accompany him on hikes in forests, bluffs and in the Mississippi marsh. They will remember him whenever they are intrigued by a bird’s song, a remarkable plant or an interesting insect, or even the diet of an animal as revealed in its scat, a popular target of curiosity for children on his nature walks.

   Jack’s childhood interest in wild nature was not completely applauded by neighbors near his family’s home on South Court Street in Sparta. He harbored and fed a great horned owl which perched on a porch rail and on nearby rooftops, terrifying and dismaying some folks.

   No creatures on earth delighted him more than his children and grandchildren, his loving, laughing and lively audience in the last years of his life.

   His artistic work is also a legacy, wood carvings, sketches and a myriad of photographs capturing his perspectives of wide vistas and close-ups of insects and blossoms.

   Jack Adamski served in the U.S. Army in the early 1960s, worked in factory jobs in Madison and Sparta, and at a restaurant in LaCrosse. He thrived in that city in recent decades in the company of other artists and habitues of Jules’ coffeehouse, the La Crosse library and farmers markets, and as a stalwart supporter of others in Alcoholics Anonymous. In July, he was awarded an AA medallion marking 28 years of success in conquering alcoholism.

   Failing health led him to move to Viroqua to be near his daughter. He died at Bethel Home after a year-long struggle with cancer.

   He is survived by daughter, Thalia M. (Steven) La Force of Viroqua; sons, James D. (Michelle) Olson of Sparta, Jason Adamski of Middleton, WI and Jody Adamski of Janesville, WI; sisters Mary E. Adamski of Honolulu, HI and Helen M. North of Kaneohe, HI; and by six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Torkelson Funeral Home

Evans Print & Media Group

1302 River Rd.
P.O. Box 252

Sparta, WI 54656-0252

Office Number: (608) 269-3186
Fax Number: (608) 269-6876


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