John Adams
May 14, 1948 - January 2, 2018

John Adams

John Adams
May 14, 1948 - Jan 2, 2018

John Adams
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John L. Adams, 69, of Rochester, MN died Tuesday, January 2, 2018 at his residence.

John Lee Adams was born May 14th, 1948 to Harry and Evelyn (Kolbet) Adams in New Hampton, IA. He graduated from LeRoy High School in 1966 and attended vocational school in Austin for welding and graduated the two year program in 1968. On July 13th, 1968 he married Carol Schumacher in Spring Valley, MN. The couple moved to Rochester in 1973, and he worked for Welborn Welding in Rochester from 1969 until 1976. John opened his own welding shop Rochester Welding, North Star Aluminum in 1976 that still runs today. John started doing blacksmithing as a hobby in 1978. John and Carol bought the historic Tunnel Mill in 1982. He continued his hobby of blacksmithing and traditional iron work also offering classes for blacksmiths and crafters at the Mill over the last 15 years. John was a man of wisdom and an artist always reading and looking for a way to better his craft. John was a family man always thriving in the great outdoors and loved giving hayrides to his family and grandkids along with enjoying many more activities at the Mill.

John is survived by his wife, Carol; two daughters Lorelei (Todd) Blohm of Saint Paul, MN and Shannon (Chris) Staab of Zumbrota, MN; and six grandchildren, Claudia, Noah, Cooper, Ian, Sylvie, and Quinten. He was preceded in death by his parents.

A Memorial Service will be held at 2:00 p. m. on Friday, January 5th, 2018 at Church of the Resurrection Catholic Church. Visitation will be held from 5:00-8:00 p. m. On Thursday, January 4th, 2018 at Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes and one hour prior to the service on Friday at the Church of the Resurrection.

To leave a special memory or condolence please visit

Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes 5421 Royal Place NW Rochester, MN 55901 (507) 289-3600

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Kathy & Virgil Moeller on Jan 9, 2018

So very sorry to hear of John's death. Virgil so admired John and his work. He always enjoyed hearing about and seeing his projects. Our sympathy to your family.
Kathy and Virgil Moeller

Terry Leary on Jan 5, 2018

Carol, I was saddened to learn of John's passing. I worked with John at the Olmsted County Fair with the blacksmith shop and demonstrations. He was so easy to work with and such a great teacher/demonstrator. Despite how hectic fair week is, he was calm and easy going. He will be missed. All my sympathy to you and your family. Terry Leary

Lonnie Hebl on Jan 5, 2018

I was working for the Olmsted County Sheriff's office several years ago and we were in the process of remodeling a holding area for detainees. We were in need of a steel bench that could serve all of the purposes needed. Rick Broadwater sent me to see John. He came up with an idea that would fit our needs and it was something that we had never seen before. I asked John if he ever thought he would be building something for a jail. He smiled and said "Oh, I supposed it would happen sooner or later" I also worked with him at the Fairgrounds prepping the blacksmith shop. He was a smart, kind, and patient man. He will be missed. Lonnie Hebl

danbroadwater on Jan 5, 2018

sorry to hear that jack is gone i considered him a very good friend in welding class at austin vo-tech although we didnt stay in contact i always remembered him he always had 2 things on his mind carol and his next project R I P jack dan broadwater

Thomas Boyce on Jan 4, 2018

Dear Carol,
I am so sorry to hear of John's passing. What a kind and gentle soul he was! When my son, George, was in first grade, I took him to "Days of Yesteryear" at the Olmsted Historical Society. George was fascinated with blacksmithing and we met John, who patiently showed George his creations and how the process worked. John even invited us to his blacksmithing festival at Tunnel Mill that October and George was thrilled to go. There was a lot going on there. But John took George aside and showed him the intricacies of what he was doing, including a project to turn iron ore into iron. George ended up using that project for his science fair project that year. George is in sixth grade now and still talks of John, who is a wonderful example of how one person can make a big impact in the simplest of encounters. May he rest in peace and may you and your family experience God's comfort.
Tom Boyce

Steve White on Jan 4, 2018

He was a gentle soul. Goodbye old friend. Our heart goes out to the family. Steve and Denise White

Mike Petersen on Jan 3, 2018

Dear Carol,
We are shocked and saddened to hear of John's death.
He was respected for his professional skills, standards, and craftsmanship.
I have long, admired him for preserving, and teaching others "the lost arts",
and devoting so much of his life to those efforts.
I valued him as a long-time good friend .
If we can be of any help to you,please call.
Mike and Sharon Petersen
Petersen Blacksmith Shop

Mary Hamilton on Jan 3, 2018

So very sorry to hear if John's passing. What a shock. You and the girls are in our prayers. We certainly would be there if we weren't in Arizona.

John Ackerman on Jan 3, 2018

John was an avid preservationist, who spent many years restoring the Tunnel Mill. He was also a superb and meticulous craftsman. His works and his legacy will live on!

Don Hammer on Jan 3, 2018

Peace be the journey old friend.

Colleen & Dave Marks on Jan 3, 2018

David and I are so very shocked and saddened to learn of John's passing. He was a kind man, and we thought very highly of him. He will leave a large void in the heart of all that he touched, including ours. -Carol, you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. Love and comforting prayers to you all, David & Colleen Marks and family

Don E Schroeder JR on Jan 3, 2018

With our sincere condolences, the lord almighty God has taken one of the best under his wings,prayers in this time of sadness for the Adams family. Don Schroeder family

Dawn Mickelson on Jan 3, 2018

With our deepest sympathy to the Adams family. Your friends and neighbors at Midwest Specialized Transportation, Inc.

Clif Nebelsick on Jan 3, 2018

John was one of the good ones The Nebelsick boys Clif & Calvin

Rome Hutchings on Jan 3, 2018

It is an honor to have known John. I remember at a Guild Christmas gathering John brought a Viking styled Axe, it was a great display his many talents.



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Ranfranz and Vine Funeral Homes
5421 Royal Place NW
Rochester, Minnesota 55901
5:00 PM - 8:00 PM


Resurrection Catholic Church
1612 11th Avenue S.E.
Rochester, Minnesota 55904
2:00 PM

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