Sen. Thurman Adams loved public service

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The Honorable Thurman Adams, Jr., of Bridgeville, President Pro Tempore of the Delaware State Senate, passed away early Tuesday morning, June 23, at Bayhealth Medical Center in Dover. He was 80 years old. His passing was peaceful and he died surrounded by his family, which had always been the center of his life. The cause of death was pancreatic cancer, with which he had only recently been diagnosed, after having entered the hospital for tests June 16. Sen. Adams was the longest-serving member of the Senate, to which he was first elected in 1972. Polly Mervine, one of Adams' daughters, said her father loved helping Delawareans of all stripes. "He really loved the people of Delaware," she said. "His hobby was public service." One of his grandsons, Drew Slater of Dover, said Adams hadn't allowed his illness to slow down his Senate work. "The day before he died," Slater said, "he talked to us about getting a bill ready for the governor to sign, dealing with the state fair."

Adams' other daughter, Lynn Kokjohn, said that as much as he loved his public life, her father's legacy was greater than his actions in the political arena. "People need to know he was more than a politician," she said. "He was a tremendous father, grandfather and great-grandfather, and an incredible friend." Senator Adams was preceded in death by his wife, Hilda, and his son, Brent. He was the president of a family grain business and farming company, T. G. Adams & Sons, Inc., of Bridgeville. He continued to work every day up until the time of his hospitalization. Senate Majority Leader Anthony DeLuca, D-Newark East, said he feels Adams' passing personally. "He was my friend, and I'm going to miss him," DeLuca said. "This is a loss for the people of Delaware. But right now, our thoughts and prayers are with Sen. Adams' family."

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