Wilson Paul Adams SR.

December 9, 1947 ~ December 30, 2019 (age 72)


Wilson Paul Adams Sr., 72, passed away on December 30, 2019. Wilson passed at his home with his two dogs, Oso and Razzy, by his side.

Wilson was born the second of twelve children on December 9, 1947, in Salt Lake City, Utah to Arza Paul and Ruth Wilson Adams. Wilson spent most of his childhood in Fargo, North Dakota, until his family moved back to Utah, where he graduated from Olympus High School in Holladay, Utah. Wilson went on to college at the University of Utah, where he graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering in 1975. Wilson proudly served in the United States Marine Corps, proclaiming his Leatherneck heritage until the end.

On December 14th, 1984, Wilson married LeeAnn Phillips in American Fork, Utah. Even though both had been married once before, they knew that they had found their soul mate. They both loved the same things; the Outdoors – hunting, fishing, snowmobiling. They loved travel, so much so that LeeAnn accompanied Wilson when his work took him to Antofagasta, Chile and Brisbane, Australia. After 32 years of marriage, he lost LeeAnn in 2017 to pancreatic cancer.

Wilson spent most of his career designing and building mining operation sites. These miniature cities required years of development and usually involved remote locations far away from any developed populations.  His career afforded him the opportunity to work in every state West of the Rockies and fed his adventurous spirit to travel. He called many places around the world ‘home’; such as Antofagasta, Chile; Brisbane, Australia; Aktogay, Kazakhstan; Yellowknife, Canada; Northern Alaska, Argentina and Indonesia. His true heart and home was and will always be Elko, Nevada. He truly loved being at the foothills of the Ruby Mountains.

Wilson was probably born 75 years too late. He was an open range saddle tramp at heart. He loved everything about the Cowboy lifestyle and immersed himself in it throughout his life. He would spend his weekends, vacations and free time working with the local cattle ranchers, helping out with the Elko rodeo and horse races, competing in chuck wagon chili cook-offs or Western single action shootouts. Wilson even attempted a career as a two horse chariot driver, but was not that successful and it earned him the nickname ‘Ben Hur’.

Wilson is survived by his wife, Onesima; children Paul (Kim) and Michael (Carly); five grandchildren; and siblings Marty Adams, Ruth Ann LeBaron, Mary Mahoney, John, Harold, Bob, Bruce, Andrea Moesser and Dan.

A celebration of Wilson’s life will be held on January 9, 2020 from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm, at the Burns Funeral Home, 895 Fairground Road, Elko. Please come and share your memories of Wilson.

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