EDMOND — John Ralph Adair, 90, passed away following a short battle with cancer on Feb. 11, 2017, at his home in Edmond, Okla.
An only child, John was born on Dec. 25, 1926, in Ada, Okla., to Ralph and Mattie Theola (Cunningham) Adair.
Lovingly referred to by his daughter as the “Energizer Bunny,” John had a “nomadic” youth as he traveled with his father who worked as an electrician/plumber on remote jobs in the western U.S. He attended numerous schools along the way before graduating high school in Provo, Utah.
John proudly served his country in the U.S. Navy during World War II, where he quickly learned a valuable life lesson: if you freely offer unsolicited opinions by critiquing the food in the presence of the chef, odds are you’ll be igniting a massive brawl.
Throughout his life, John was never shy about expressing his unsolicited opinions that were not always well received. But that did not slow him down one bit. He especially loved to express his political views, causing rousing discussions amongst family and friends.
John was a graduate of East Central University in Ada, Okla. In 1954, he graduated from the University of Oklahoma School of Medicine, where he was honored with the Golden Cane Award in 2012 and 2014 as the oldest living physician in his class.
In 1952, John married Nota Jean Anderson (who preceded him in death in 2002) and had two wonderful children. Following medical school, John and Nota moved to Ardmore, where he practiced family medicine for 42 years. He loved his patients and staff as family, and his patients felt the same to the point that one of his favorites willed her farm to him after her death.
John was a man of many interests and never passed up an opportunity to learn something new. He also never passed up an opportunity to teach – although his lectures were sometimes dreaded by his children.
Loving new experiences, John developed a vast and varied list of hobbies that always found him diving in and giving it his all. With a passion for woodworking, he still had projects in the works until a few months ago. Throughout the course of his life, John tackled pottery, painting, sculpting, orchid growing, bass fishing, boating, hunting, ballroom dancing, flying (and sometimes crashing!) radio controlled airplanes, tennis, gardening, global travel, investing, real estate, working out at the gym, playing poker, and managing his lake houses just to name a few.
He also tried his best to master the guitar and the banjo, rather unsuccessfully. That musical interest played out, however, when he volunteered at the American Banjo Museum in Oklahoma City. He was, unfortunately, asked to play air banjo until he refined his skills, which never happened. He also volunteered at the Oklahoma City Zoo, where he spent a brief stint as “engineer” of the zoo’s train.
John was into computers before computers were cool. He worked hard to hone his social media skills up until his death. Sometimes he failed, however, like the time he accidentally posted a photo of his wife in her jammies as his profile pic. While he hired a tutor to coach him on Facebook marketing skills, she eventually fired him as a student. He was also a member and an officer of the Oklahoma City Computer Club for Seniors.
Taking fashion cues from no one, John was often unmercifully teased by his family – especially for his “peek-a-boo” overalls with the bib cut out for staying cool when working in his wood shop.
John loved life and lived each day to the fullest. He never met a stranger, and he had a laugh that was robust and infectious. His family will miss his energetic phone greeting of “Hi-Ho” and his boundless energy. Heaven is in for a treat as he comes bounding through those pearly gates.
John is survived by his loving wife, Jane Douglas Adair; adoring children, Heidi (Dr. James Chapman) of Ardmore, and John Roger (Marilyn) of Edmond; and his only grandchild, Jackson Adair of Santa Barbara, Calif.
A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 17 at Baggerley Funeral Home, 930 S. Broadway, Edmond, Okla.
The family would like to thank Dr. Brian Geister, Integris Hospice and Visiting Angels.
Memorials donations can be made to the MDA Neuromuscular Center of Integris Southwest Medical Center located at 4221 S. Western, Suite 5010, Oklahoma City, OK 73109.