Dennis Thomas Adams

January 13, 1938 – August 25, 2022 

Called Tom by everyone, he was a social sciences teacher and school superintendent who was much loved by the people with whom he worked. Tom was an extraordinarily kind and generous man who went out of his way to help people in need. People who met Tom instinctively recognized his kindness. 

Tom is survived by his daughter, Debi Steen; son, Sean Adams; stepchildren, Kathryn and Rachel Parmeter; multiple grandchildren, and his best friend, Sara Adams. 

According to Tom’s longtime friend Jac Heiss, Tom was born in Kentucky. He moved to Lansing, MI, where he received a scholarship to play football at Michigan State under the famous coach Duffy Doherty. 

He worked as a teacher, principal, and school superintendent in Michigan before moving to Arizona in the early 1980s. He served as school superintendent in Tolleson, then came to Patagonia, where he was superintendent from 1985 – 1998. He then moved to Baghdad, AZ, where he was honored as ‘Small School Superintendent of the Year.’ “He was awesome,” Heiss said. “He championed the rights of students and teachers.” 

“I worked for Tom,” Denise Heiss said. “He was fabulous. He supported his new teaching staff. He absolutely encouraged us to build our careers and gave us opportunities we wouldn’t have had otherwise.” 

Tom was married three times: first to Kay, then to Sara and last to Marilynn. After he retired, he left his home and moved to Iowa to help his son, Sean. In Tom’s final years, his legs bothered him, but he enjoyed spending time with Sara watching golf and classic Westerns. Tom also enjoyed scratching lottery tickets with Rachel and eating good meals together.