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Robert Everett McAdam

November 20, 1920 September 11, 2022
Robert Everett McAdam
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Obituary for Robert Everett McAdam

Robert (Bob) McAdam, age 101, of the Wind Crest Community in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, passed away on September 11, 2022.


Bob was born November 20, 1920 in Chicago, Illinois to parents Walter and Irene (Lussier) McAdam, the youngest of six children.


He attended Steinmetz High School in Chicago, was president of his senior class of 1939, and was voted most popular boy by the school’s student body of 4,500.


A committed athlete all his life, Bob captained his high school basketball team and was selected to the All-Section team. Additionally, he was a pitcher and first baseman on his school’s baseball team, which won the Chicago City High Championship, played at Wrigley Field. Bob was a medalist in several tennis and boxing tournaments while in high school.


Drafted into WWII in 1942, Bob was a navigator of B17s. His plane was shot down, necessitating his parachuting from the aircraft. Bob suffered two broken ribs. He was captured, and he spent more than 10 months as a POW in Stalag Luft 1 in Barth, Germany. As a POW, he led a 1400-man compound of interned prisoners in daily exercises.


Following his WWII service, he was a navigator in the training command for forty months during the Korean conflict. He retired as a Major, and he received his Purple Heart over 50 years after the date of his being wounded in combat during WWII.


As a reserve officer, Bob was a member of the team setting up the physical fitness testing program for the new Air Force Academy in 1954. Additionally, he was part of the Mercury Project team measuring physical performance of the first astronauts for the initial space project.


Bob’s undergraduate degree is from DePaul University, and his masters and doctorates are from the University of Illinois. He was a professor of physical education and kinesiology courses. He served as the keynote speaker for the Asian Conference on Physical Education held in China.


While attending DePaul University, Bob met Grace Ford while both were playing ping-pong, and they wed on August 16, 1947 and were married for 69 years until Grace’s death in 2016. They became parents to eight children, six of whom survive. Bob and Grace lived in Illinois, Mississippi, Minnesota, and Texas before moving to Colorado in 2014 to be closer to family.


Always pursuing athletics, Bob took up racquetball at age 53 and became a 4-time world racquetball champion in his age division. At age 85, he was inducted into the International Masters Racquetball Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.


At age 96 and again at age 97, Bob broke the World Record for the 5K in his age division.


Bob authored or co-authored several non-fiction books for children about role models, including two series about sports heroes. His two-book series Portraits of Character depicts famous persons and everyday heroes who have performed extraordinary deeds of character.


Bob was preceded in death by his parents, siblings, wife Grace, infant son Kenneth McAdam, adult son Michael McAdam, and grandson Nick McAdam. He is survived by his cousin Edward Lussier, his children P.J. Kirk, Gary (Claudia) McAdam, William McAdam, Thomas McAdam, Brian (Bobbie) McAdam, and Diane (Greg) Bange, as well as many devoted nieces and nephews, 11 grandchildren and step-grandchildren, and 21 great-grandchildren and step-great-grandchildren.


In his later years, Bob was the subject of much media exposure due in part to his record-breaking 5K runs and because of the documentary 25 Steps, which recounted his POW experience.


Until his last days, he was passionate about reaching out to youth, and a series of essays he wrote for young people has been read and video-recorded by veteran radio host Steffan Tubbs.


Bob always enjoyed sharing the documentary, the media coverage, and the videos referenced above, and all have been collected for easy access on a tribute page housed on the website of his daughter-in-law (and co-author of one of his book projects). Find links to these videos at: claudiamcadam.com/bob.html.


A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, September 23, 2022 at St. Thomas More Catholic Church,

8035 S. Quebec St., Englewood, CO 80112. A rosary in the church at 10:15 a.m. will precede the funeral.


Services will be live-streamed beginning at 10:50 a.m. MT and recorded for future viewing at the following link: https://youtu.be/lgrFJ7DW5ms


Burial at 10:00 a.m. (arrive at 9:45 a.m.) Tuesday, September 27, 2022, Staging Area “A” at Ft. Logan National Cemetery, 3698 S. Sheridan Boulevard, Denver, CO 80235.


Contributions in Bob’s honor can be made to one of his favorite charities:


Friends of Colorado Talking Book Library

https://www.friendsofctbl.org/donations.htm


Heart of the Nation Catholic Mass

https://www.heartofthenation.org/donate/ways-to-give




To send flowers or plant a tree in memory of Robert Everett McAdam, visit the Tribute Store.

Upcoming Events

Graveside

Tuesday

27

Sep

10:00 AM 9/27/2022 10:00:00 AM - 10:30 AM 9/27/2022 10:30:00 AM
Fort Logan National Cemetery

3698 South Sheridan Boulevard
Denver, CO 80235

Please meet at Staging Area "A" at 9:45 AM for a procession to Shelter "A" at 10:00 AM. There will be Full Military Honors rendered by the United States Air Force.

Fort Logan National Cemetery
3698 South Sheridan Boulevard Denver 80235 CO
United States

Previous Events

Recitation of the Rosary

Friday

23

Sep

10:15 AM 9/23/2022 10:15:00 AM
St. Thomas More Catholic Church

8035 South Quebec Street
Centennial, CO 80112

St. Thomas More Catholic Church
8035 South Quebec Street Centennial 80112 CO
United States

Funeral Mass

Friday

23

Sep

11:00 AM 9/23/2022 11:00:00 AM
St. Thomas More Catholic Church

8035 South Quebec Street
Centennial, CO 80112

Watch event

Services conclude at the church.

St. Thomas More Catholic Church
8035 South Quebec Street Centennial 80112 CO
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

Fort Logan National Cemetery Final Resting Place

3698 South Sheridan Boulevard
Denver, CO 80235

3698 South Sheridan Boulevard Denver 80235 CO
United States

Memorial Contribution

Friends of Colorado Talking Book Library

180 Sheridan Blvd.
Denver, CO 80226
In Bob's memory

Heart of the Nation - Catholic Mass

PO Box 14428
1205 S. 70th Street, Suite 701
Milwaukee, WI 53214
In Bob's memory
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