Ralph M. “Ike” Adams, loving father of 3, grandfather of 8 and great-grandfather of 3, passed away on Wednesday, June 24 at the age of 90. Ralph was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on October 21,1929 to his parents Christine (n.Radeke) Adams and Ralph Lee Adams and lovingly raised by both them and his paternal grandparents Elizabeth (n.Gladwell) Adams and Harry C. Adams in their homes along the Ohio River. He had one sister, Christine “Margie” Adams (William) Welch, now deceased.
He attended Highland School, where he excelled academically, and enjoyed reading, reciting poetry, music, science and the outdoor pursuits of canoeing, nature, and sports. Ike told many tales of the barges and the boats on the Ohio, and of the indelible impact that the 1937 and 1945 floods had on him, his family and his neighborhood. He often referenced the Flood Gauge painted on the back side of St. Rose Church as a way to illustrate the impressive and terrifying heights to which the waters rose during those times. A lifelong canoe enthusiast, Ike enjoyed “surfing’ behind paddle boats such as the Delta Queen, and relaxing with friends at Tacoma Beach in Kentucky in his youth.
He attended Woodward High School, located at 13th and Sycamore in Over -the- Rhine, and graduated in 1947. During High School, he developed his lifelong love of Jazz Music, which served as a steadfast companion and comfort throughout his days. His most favorite radio show was “Jazz with OT “ on WNOP, where he was introduced to a wealth of musical artists.
He played Football during High School for the Mount Auburn Club and later coached a team of boys from the East End. He went on to coach two more teams of Junior High boys at both St. Margaret of Cortona Catholic School in Fairfax and at St. Dominic Catholic School in Delhi. His work with youth brought him great joy and satisfaction.
He spent is career in a number of pursuits. Originally a member of the Cincinnati Police Force during the 1950s, he moved into Advertising with Rueben H. Donnelly Corporation in the 60s and later dabbled in both Sales and Security. After Retirement, he bought Junker’s Tavern in Northside, a bar, laundromat and apartment building. He rose to the challenges of being a business owner/ operator and enjoyed the contact and relationships he had with people from the neighborhood. He also had a small Landscaping and Lawn Care business, working in pursuit of beautifying the environment for the enjoyment of others.
Ralph married Doris Coyne in 1950 at St Rose Church. Although they were both East Siders, they made the move to Delhi on the West Side of Cincinnati in 1961. With 3 children, they became actively involved in the community and the church. As a member of St Dominic Parish and the Delhi Swim Club, Ike was active in assisting with swimming and sporting events and with transporting neighborhood kids. Ike’s greatest joy was always his children, his grandchildren and his great grandchildren. He loved them all for who they were and offered them numerous words of wisdom and advice on how to live a good life with simplicity. He continued to mentor and volunteer with swimming, and he was, undoubtedly, always his grandkids’ greatest and most enthusiastic fan, whatever the endeavor.
One of the things for which Ike will most be remembered is his love of Christmas, and the way he welcomed his family into his home each year for a warm and loving celebration. And another thing we will remember him for is his love of peace and quiet, and the safety we felt when we were with him. He was a great lover of nature, of critters and the outdoors, and instilled that love into his children and grandchildren, who will never see or get into a canoe or kayak without thinking of Ike.
Ike is survived by his daughter Jody (Bradley) Gray, his son Ralph Michael, his daughter Lisa (Frank) Wetenkamp, his grandchildren Jennifer (Kris) Johnson, Elizabeth (Joshua Hill ) Gray, Emily (Ben Prokop) Wetenkamp, Nikki Wetenkamp, Frank (Alexandrea) Wetenkamp, John ( Morgan) Wetenkamp, Ryan Adams, and Ross Adams, his great grandchildren Ben and Cody Prokop, Grayson Adams, and his former spouse, Doris Coyne Adams, his brother in laws Paul (Jean) Coyne and Norbert (Patricia) Coyne and numerous loving nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his sister Margie and husband Bill Welch, his sister and brother in law Rosemary and Robert Holton and his brother in law Richard Coyne.
Due to COVID-19 a private service will take place for family members at Vitt, Stermer and Anderson funeral home in Delhi, followed by interment at Pierce Township Cemetery, Clermont Co. Memorial gifts may be made to the Alzheimers Association, the St Joseph Indian School, Oxbow, Inc. or Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm.
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