By Jesse Wood
“Mr. Yosef” passed away on Wednesday, according to an obituary notice by Hampton Funeral Service.
Gerald Adams, 84, the legendary director of the Yosef Club who retired on Sept. 30, was diagnosed this past week with “two aggressive stage four brain tumors that are inoperable,” according to Gerald’s wife Julia, who posted the sad news on her Facebook page.
This morning Julia’s Facebook page was updated: “At 10:33 a.m., Gerald made his way to his final home in heaven. Our hearts are broken, but we take great pleasure in knowing that he died peacefully in Boone with his wife and dance partner, Julia by his side. We know he is happily dancing away in heaven, wearing his black and gold shoes. Please pray for the family and friends during this difficult time.”
The Yosef Club is the App State Athletics department’s fundraising arm, where Adams spent more than two decades supporting ASU athletics. A big personality with an even bigger heart, Adams was recognizable figure on campus with whose stylish black-and-gold shoes and the giant championship rings.
His impact on ASU Athletics and the Appalachian community was substantial. In announcing his retirement more than a month ago, the athletics department noted that the Yosef Club raised $363,475 prior to him arriving at the club in 1991. Compare that with the past three years where the Yosef Club has raised over $3 million per year. In all, he helped raise $33 million in scholarships for athletes during his 25 years at the Yosef Club, according to the university.
But he’s been a part of the Appalachian community for much longer than that. Here’s a brief bio from his retirement announcement:
“Adams came to Appalachian in 1950 where he was a member of the football team and the first resident manager of Justice Hall in 1952. Upon graduation in 1954, he moved to Pittsylvania County, Va. where he served as teacher, coach, principal and eventually assistant superintendent of schools.
“He served two years in the United States Army from 1956-58. Upon retirement in 1991, he returned to Appalachian as Director of the Yosef Club. Adams, who also earned a Master’s degree from Appalachian in 1962, met his wife, Julia, at an App State Alumni event. The couple has six children, 14 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
“Gerald and his wife, Julia, practice exactly what they preach and have always encouraged others to do the same. They have two endowed scholarships at Appalachian State – one for athletics and one for the cheerleading program.”
Adams’ impact on the program has been much more than just financial as David Jackson, the former Voice of the Mountaineers and current Boone Chamber of Commerce director, attested to on Twitter on Wednesday.
Jackson wasn’t immediately reached on Wednesday but here’s what he had to say on Twitter.
Jackson said the two would talk about the games on flights back to the High Country. Jackson noted that he was the “hardest working man I ever served with,” but always took the time to thank the folks working hard behind the scenes.
“He wanted better things for all and found joy in helping [others],” Jackson said. “We need more like him.”
Funeral arrangements are incomplete right now. Below his Adams’ obituary:
Gerald Clark Adams (Aug. 28, 1932 – Nov. 9, 2016)
Gerald Clark Adams, age 84, of Cardinal Lane, Boone, passed away Wednesday morning, November 9, 2016, at his home.
Gerald is survived by his wife, Julia Ross Adams of the home; two sons, Robert Adams and wife Gwen of Holly Springs, North Carolina, and Richard Adams of Staunton, Virginia; one daughter, Ann Adams Bullock and husband Scott of Greenville, North Carolina; two step-daughters, Robin Harvard Outler and husband Mark of Jacksonville Beach, Florida, and Debbie Harvard Fachko and husband Raymond of Callahan, Florida; one step-son, George Harvard of Jacksonville, Florida; one sister, Rosalie Adams of Salisbury, North Carolina, and one brother, Perry Adams and wife Norma of Salisbury.
He was preceded in death by his father and mother, Clark and Ruby Fink Adams.
Funeral arrangements for Gerald Clark Adams are incomplete at this time. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Gerald Adams Endowed Athletic Scholarship, ASU Box 32014, Boone, North Carolina, 28608-2014.
Online condolences may be sent to the Adams family at www.hamptonfuneralnc.com Hampton Funeral and Cremation Service is in charge of the arrangements.
Release from App State Sports:
Appalachian State has lost one of its own. Gerald Adams, Mr. Yosef as he is known to the entire Appalachian State Family, passed away on Wednesday at his home in Boone. Adams was 84.
App State Athletics’ thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time.
Adams retired in September after an incredible career of 25 years in helping improve the experience of Appalachian State University student-athletes. He worked tirelessly to raise the overall contributions made to the Yosef Club, the athletics department’s fundraising arm.
Adams came to Appalachian in 1950 where he was a member of the football team and the first resident manager of Justice Hall in 1952. Upon graduation in 1954, he moved to Pittsylvania County, Va. where he served as teacher, coach, principal and eventually assistant superintendent of schools.
He served two years in the United States Army from 1956-58. Upon retirement in 1991, he returned to Appalachian as Director of the Yosef Club. Adams, who also earned a Master’s degree from Appalachian in 1962, met his wife, Julia, at an App State Alumni event. The couple has six children, 14 grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.
The year before Adams arrived in 1991, the Yosef Club raised $363,475, but through the years has grown under Gerald’s leadership, and has raised over $3 million per year for the past three years. During his 25-year tenure at Appalachian State, the Yosef Club has raised over $33 million in scholarships for student-athletes.
The Adams family would like to thank the Appalachian Family for their support and prayers.
Chancellor Sheri N. Everts, Appalachian State University on the passing of Mr. Gerald Adams…
“Today is indeed a sad day for Mountaineers, and yet there is so much to celebrate about Gerald Adams’ legacy with Appalachian, which began when he was a student here in the 1950s and continued for more than six decades.
His tireless work on behalf of our students, the seemingly endless generosity of time and talent he and Julia offered so freely, and the support they have provided for student scholarships, athletics, the arts, the diversity festival and so much more have made a tremendous and lasting positive impact on our university.
Our hearts and thoughts are with Julia and their family today. Indeed, there are countless Mountaineers who consider Gerald and Julia family. We will all miss “Mr. Yosef.” His legacy will continue for many decades to come.”
Director of Athletics Doug Gillin, on the passing of Mr. Gerald Adams…
“Gerald was incredibly passionate about Appalachian State University and our student-athletes. Appalachian State Athletics would not be the program it is today without Gerald’s passion for our students and their experience. I will never forget my first day at work, Gerald came to see me within my first two hours in the office to make sure I joined the Yosef Club. We will all miss him, but we will never forget him and the impact he made on the entire Appalachian State Community. Gerald truly gave his ALL for Appalachian State.