Feb 25, 2017

Professor Charles Adams Passes Away

Beloved Dordt Engineering Professor Charles Adams passes away

A picture of Charles Adams

Dr. Charles Adams, professor emeritus and founder of Dordt’s Engineering Department, passed away on Friday, February 24, while in hospice care at Royale Meadows in Sioux Center, Iowa. He was 70 years of age.

“Even in his final week, he continued to try to join in with the singing of hymns and expressed love for his wife and for the Lord,” says Kory Plockmeyer, pastor of Covenant Christian Reformed Church.

Adams, who began work at Dordt in 1979, developed a four-year engineering program that remains distinctively Christian, spelling out how Christians might think about science and technology. Designing courses, hiring professors, and helping with designs for the original building, Adams created the fabric that continues to hold the program together and make it strong.

“He was a teacher in the best and fullest sense of that word—a willing adversary, an irritating prophet, an impatient reformer, a caring mentor, a committed colleague, and a lifelong child of God,” says Dr. Ethan Brue, professor of engineering and former student of Adams. “He loved the church, his work, his family, and his students. He took both his work and play in life very seriously, because he loved the giver of life. He reminded us often that the only grade that mattered was to hear when all was said and done, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’ He is hearing that now.”

Adams was also passionate about preparing students for lifelong service in God’s world, writing essays that articulate how Christian engineers, scientists, and others should consider how to develop creation in a way that honors God, people, and resources. His book Exercising our Worldview details many of his thoughts on science and technology from a Christian perspective.

In 2014, the Dordt College board of trustees named the engineering wing of Dordt’s science building The Charles Adams Engineering Center to recognize Adams’s legacy and work at the college. It stands as a continual reminder of the foundation Adams worked to establish for the Dordt College engineering program.

“If we look back at the history of Dordt College and who the pillars of this place are, Charles Adams was one of them,” says Dr. Erik Hoekstra, president of Dordt College. “The impact he had on the lives of engineering students and faculty is immeasurable, and his love for the Lord was evident. He will be missed.”

Adams grew up in New Jersey and attended Newark College of Engineering in Newark, New Jersey. He met and married Pam Spiertz, and they were blessed with three children: Charles, Michael, and David. After graduating from college, Adams worked for Pratt and Whitney Aircraft in Middletown, Connecticut. While attending Avery Street Christian Reformed Church in South Windsor, Adams began teaching junior high Sunday School and realized that he wanted to become a teacher. Shortly after, he and his family relocated to New Jersey where Adams taught for eight years at Eastern Christian High School in Midland Park. Following his work at Eastern Christian High School, Adams began work at Dordt in the Engineering Department. Adams continued to give leadership to both the department and the institution as dean of the natural sciences until 2008.

A visitation will take place on Wednesday, March 1, from 5 to 8 p.m. at the Memorial Funeral Home in Sioux Center. A funeral service will be held on Thursday, March 2, at 10:30 a.m. at Covenant Christian Reformed Church.

A picture of campus behind yellow prairie flowers