Roger Adams

April 17, 1933 ~ June 8, 2019 (age 86)

Roger Omar Adams (86) from Mossy Head, Florida.  Born April 17, 1933 in Willows, California. Died June 8, 2019.

Roger grew up in Maine and went to school in a one-room schoolhouse with his sister, Colleen. There he started his life-long love of Biology by getting down in the dirt with plants and insects.  At age 11 he returned to California with his mom and sister to a farming town of Santa Paula.  In Santa Paula he finished grade school and attended Santa Paula Union High School where he graduated.  While in high school he participated in the sport of gymnastics all four years.  As a young boy in Santa Paula, Roger enjoyed the hobby of building and flying model airplanes.  He enjoyed competing at model airplane events.  He started college at the University of California, Berkley where he was captain of the trampoline team. 

Roger left college to join the Air Force and retired after 20 years.  While stationed in Bermuda, he created a shell exhibition for the National Museum of Bermuda.  During his career in the Air Force, Roger also continued his education at Florida State University, earning his PhD in Marine Biology in 1977.  His research explored the genetic transmission of color in the soft coral, Leptogoria Virgulata and the life cycle of the associated Snail, Neosimnia. 

Roger’s enthusiasm of science poured into his next career as a professor at Northwest Florida State College where he taught Biology and Anatomy & Physiology.  Roger pioneered an increased use of technology in the classroom through computers and on-line instruction.

Roger enjoyed scuba diving, trampolining, raising and showing Australian shepherds, cross-breeding rabbits and genealogy.  He experienced joy in exploring every aspect of life science in academia and daily life.  He was always willing to share his knowledge with impromptu lessons in any setting.

Roger was preceded in death by his mother, Maxine Edna Borden Adams, his father and stepfather, Omar Keller and Kenneth Adams, and his good friend, Jack Brown.  Roger continues to be loved by his wife, Roberta Adams, sister, Colleen (Ted) Atmore, previous wife, Peggy Burnham, children: Steven Gardner, Mike (Chris) Adams, Margaret Clements (Rob Saunders) , Kathy (Gus) Olmos, Robin Payne, Teri (Wes) Miller, Annie (Dennis) Samac, and Rick (Jean) Barrett, 19 Grandchildren and 14 Great-grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers please consider making a donation in Roger’s honor to either: Aussie and Me Animal Rescue 3417 Auburn Road, Crestview, Florida 32539 or NWF State College Nursing Program, 100 college Blvd, Niceville, Florida 32578. Make checks payable to NWF State College Foundation.

Services will be held at Crosspoint Methodist Church, Niceville Campus, Friday, June 21st, 2019 at 1:00pm with visitation starting at 12:00 and reception will follow the service.


Arrangements are entrusted to Whitehurst Powell Funeral Home in Crestview.  Guest book and condolences are available online at

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