Richard Adamson

October 9, 1958 ~ October 17, 2019 (age 61)


Richard Dominic Adamson, 61 passed away on October 17th2019, surrounded by his loving family. Rick was born in Prestwick, Scotland on October 9, 1958 and grew up with his brother in an Air Force family.  The majority of his elementary and high school education was completed in Mililani, Hawaii.  While in Hawaii, he became an avid swimmer placing eighth in state for the fly stroke and played football for Mililani High School’s first football team.  He also purchased his favorite car, a 1967 Mercury Cougar, which he spent much of his time rebuilding.  He also developed a love for flying and joined Civil Air Patrol earning his Earhart Award.   After completing an exchange program in New Zealand with the New Zealand Air Cadets, he moved to Prattville, Alabama.  While attending Autauga High School, he joined the marching band playing tuba and graduated in 1978. Shortly after graduation, Rick enlisted in the Air Force, becoming a Security Policeman.  He was later stationed at Clark Air Base, Philippines, and McChord Air Force Base.  While at McChord, he earned a below the zone promotion to Staff Sergeant two years ahead of his contemporaries and also completed his AA Degree.  After leaving the Air Force, Rick worked for the Washington State Department of Corrections in Shelton and was hired by the Eatonville Police Department.  While working in Eatonville, he met and fell in love with his wife Kelly and they were married in November of 1980.  Their daughter, Annie Jo was born in 1982 and their son Daniel came later in 1988. While raising an exceptional family, Rick began his law enforcement career in earnest, joining the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department in 1981.  His distinguished career began as a Patrol Deputy and he continued to promote through the ranks to the position of Bureau Chief of Operations and served in that capacity for his last eight years. His career also included past assignments as Captain in the Criminal Investigations Division, Detective, Commander and CID Lieutenant at Lakewood, Major, Patrol Lieutenant and Investigations Lieutenant at South Hill, Interim Director of Public Safety for the Town of Steilacoom; Interim Supervisor of the Foothills Detachment; Patrol Supervisor; Gang Intelligence Unit Supervisor; Traffic Deputy; Juvenile Investigator, and Resident Deputy in the Mountain Detachment.  Chief Adamson served with the SWAT Team from 1983-2000 and as the SWAT Commander from 1996-2000.  He has also served the Department as a member of the Board of Professional Standards, the Strategic Planning Leadership Team, was an alternate member of the Washington State Emergency Management Council and Chaired the Accident Review Board.  Additionally, Chief Adamson served as Treasurer of the Deputy Sheriff’s Independent Guild for many years.  Chief Adamson was decorated for bravery several times and was awarded the Lifeline Medal and three Medals of Merit for outstanding performance.  He was nominated for Officer of the Year in 1983 and Medal of Valor in 1988.  He was honored by B.P. Oil with the Shield Award.  He retired from the Sheriff’s Department in 2015. While accomplishing all of this, he also became a Special Agent for the Air Force’s Office of Special Investigations.  He specialized in Dignitary Protection, completing protection details around the world to include Africa and Eastern Europe.   Rick was also deployed to Turkey during the Iraqi War and later retired from the Air Force in 2003.  Rick loved to travel both on and off duty.  Most importantly, he loved traveling with his family.  He was graced with three amazing grandchildren, Decker (6), Gracie Jo (2) and Carson (10 weeks) who he loved very much. He took them to Hawaii and on cruises whenever the opportunity arose.  He also took his father Daniel to Africa and to the Indianapolis 500.  However, his favorite times were spent with Kelly at the beach in Lincoln City or at Lake Tahoe.  Rick will be laid to rest at Tahoma National Cemetery near his father.  He is survived by his wife Kelly, children Annie Jo and Daniel, his brother Chris and their mother Betty Jo. A Celebration of Life will be held on November 16th at 1:00pm at Ft. Lewis’s Eagles Pride Golf Course, located at Exit 116 off of I-5, Tacoma, WA 98443.

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