Adams, known as ‘Mr. Yosef’ to many ASU alumni, dies Wednesday, just weeks after retirement

Published 12:00 am Thursday, November 10, 2016

By Mark Wineka
mark.wineka@salisburypost.com

Gerald Adams, a Granite Quarry native, died Wednesday morning in his beloved town of Boone, where for the past 25 years he served as director of the Yosef Club for Appalachian State University’s sports programs.

Adams, 84, retired from that position Sept. 30, and a day later, during a home football game at ASU, the school honored him during a ceremony on the field with many friends and family in attendance.

The Salisbury Post featured Adams in a Sept. 29 front-page story. His sister, Rosalie Adams, lives in Salisbury, and his brother, Perry Adams, resides in Faith.

Not long after his retirement, Adams — known as Mr. Yosef to alumni —  learned he had two aggressive, stage 4 brain tumors which were inoperable. After his grim diagnosis in North Carolina, Adams and his wife, Julia, sought a second opinion at a Jacksonville, Fla., hospital where the answer was the same.

Adams’ condition deteriorated rapidly, and knowing he would want his last days to be in Boone, Julia was able to transport him back home where he was placed in palliative care.

After transferring to Salisbury’s Boyden High School for his senior year so he could play football, Adams then walked on at ASU in 1950 and made the jayvee squad as a defensive tackle. During his sophomore season, Adams became a starting offensive tackle on the ASU varsity, but injuries as both a sophomore and junior cut drastically into his football career at the school.

After college, he became a longtime, teacher, principal, coach and administrator in Pittsylvania County Schools in Virginia. He also earned a master’s degree from ASU. After his retirement from Virginia public schools, he became director of the Yosef Club and moved back to Boone.

Over his 25 years, Adams raised more than $33 million for the club, which is the fundraising arm for ASU sports. He became known and was always recognizable for his black-and-gold attire and his wearing of at least seven ASU rings on his fingers during game days.

He and Julia attended every ASU football game — home and away.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.

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