Mount Vernon News
  • Joe Sam Adams Sr.

  • June 24, 2011

MOUNT VERNON — Joe Sam Adams Sr., 83, of Mount Vernon, died Wednesday, June 22, 2011, at his residence surrounded by his family.

Joe Sam was born Dec. 2, 1927, in Pulaski, Tenn., to Anderson and Sadie (Eubanks) Adams. His family moved to Nashville after the death of his father. Joe Sam entered the U.S. Navy in February of 1945 where he served on the aircraft carrier the USS Essex in the Pacific during World War II. He received his honorable discharge in July of 1946 and shortly thereafter moved to Knox County in search of employment. In 1947, he started working at Pittsburgh Plate Glass Industries in Mount Vernon where he remained until they closed the plant. At that time Joe Sam was the first “Fulltime” Grievance Officer for Local 20 of the United Glass and Ceramic Workers of North America. Following his retirement from PPG he started with A and R Remodeling, which kept him busy for a number of years. In 1948, he married the love of his life Jo-Ann (McNeil) Adams and spent the rest of his life by her side.

Joe Sam was a legendary stock car driver at the central Ohio dirt track raceways in the 1950s and 1960s, most notably at Mansfield, Lakeville, Millersburg and the Knox-Vernon Speedway in Mount Vernon, and go-cart racing at Danville. His interests included fishing and following his granddaughter’s softball games. In later years his interest shifted to displaying his pristine, all original, 1963 Chevrolet Impala SS 409, which today has just over 30,000 original miles. He enjoyed displaying the Impala at car shows and cruise-ins in the area along with Jo-Ann and their canine companion, Bubbles. However above all else Joe Sam’s passion in life was the time he spent with his family.

Surviving are his wife, Jo-Ann (McNeil) Adams, whom he married July 16, 1948; his sons, Joe Sam (Deanna) Adams Jr. of St. Louis, Mo., and Doug Adams of Mount Vernon; his former daughter-in-law, Tammy of Mount Vernon; two granddaughters, Jessica Adams and Jacqueline Adams; a grandson, Jonathan “Buster” Adams; two great-grandsons, Gage and Dylan; his brother, Abe Adams of Mount Vernon; and two sisters, Imogene Payne of Atlanta, Ga., and Doris Thompson of Nashville, Tenn.; and many, many nieces and nephews.

Besides his parents, Joe Sam was preceded in death by a grandson, Joe S. Adams III; his brothers, James “Jim” Adams and Arnold “Pokey” Adams Sr.; and his sister, Betty LeMunyon.

Following Joe’s wishes there will be no calling hours. A private family memorial service will be held at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to Hospice of Knox County, 17700 Coshocton Road, Mount Vernon, OH 43050; or the charity of your choice. To send a private online condolence to the family, visit

The Dowds-Snyder Funeral Home in Mount Vernon is honored to serve the family of Joe Sam Adams Sr.

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