In Memoriam

His friends and former associates will be shocked to learn of the death, on May 3rd, of John Q. Adams.

His friends and former associates will be shocked to learn of the death, on May 3rd, of John Q. Adams. John chose the date and the place, a nursing home in Henderson, Nevada, to leave this world in a private, quiet, and dignified manner.

John was one of those “role players” I have written about on these pages, totally committed to industrial laser processing. In all the years I knew him, at least 25, I learned little about his family or social life, because we always talked about laser applications.

He was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1950, married Norma 34 years ago, and doted on his one child Amanda, to the point where he would arrange his business schedule so that he could track her high school and college athletic contests.

John was a sales engineer and marketing representative for several laser and laser systems companies, dating back to when he located to the West Coast, eventually settling in Cypress, California. Always a West Coaster, even after a brief stint back East, he epitomized that Orange County attitude, sort of laid back on some things and yet conservatively uptight on others.

He was associated with many firsts in the industry. I specifically recall two, dual-laser cutting of kitchen ovens and the industry’s first high-power Nd:YAG laser system for job shop metal cutting. The former, a mid-1980s installation in Tennessee, was one of the first automated lines that used a CO2 laser beam to cut through the pyrolytic coating of a self-cleaning oven. The latter was an 800W Nd:YAG laser mounted on a cantilevered arm that traveled along a 20-foot way to cut large metal sections in a Compton, California job shop.

John was a prolific generator of novel laser processing concepts. Over the years we communicated routinely about these by telephone, conversations that were always preceded by John’s trademark response to the “How are you?” greeting—“If I was any better I couldn’t stand it.”

He called a few weeks ago, now retired for three years to Nevada with a disability. For the first time his greeting response was, “Not too good,” as he recited a litany of body failings, completely out of character for him. On May 3rd, John and his wife decided the medical problems were overwhelming and that his time had come.

John Adams had a multitude of friends, business acquaintances, and associates. He was a fixture in our industry and his contributions are many, not spectacular, but all advancing industrial laser technology. He will be missed by all of us. —DAB

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