Daniel “Dan” Adams, 70, died August 22, 2013, in Kansas City, Mo., after a brief battle with cancer. He was born May 18, 1943, in Kansas City, Kan. (KCK), to Howard and Doris Adams.

Dan was preceded in death by his parents and is survived by his wife Heidi Adams, of Sarasota, Fla.; and sons Daniel Adams, of Boston, Mass., Nick Adams of New York, N.Y.; sister Phyllis Nason (Corky) of Lake Quivira, Kan.; niece Corey Reese (Jeff) of Brentwood, Tenn; and nephew Todd Nason (Lisa) of Prairie Village, Kan.

Dan grew up in KCK and excelled in youth baseball. He graduated from Washington High School in 1961, where he served as the president of his class.  He briefly attended the University of Kansas and later transferred to Kansas State University and earned a degree in Physical Science.  After graduating from K-State in 1966, he served in the U.S. Navy as an A-7 pilot, flying missions over Vietnam. He was a highly decorated Navy pilot and continued to fly in civilian life, starting as a commercial pilot with National Airlines and later with Pan American World Airlines and United Airlines. Dan was proud to fly DC-10s and 747s internationally. He concluded his 35-year career with Air Atlantic, flying extensively in the Middle East. 

Dan was an optimist who had a zest for living. He had an easy and robust laugh and was always fun to be around. Dan was an accomplished pianist and later in life developed a passion for singing in the church choir. The simple things in life gave him great joy. He cherished his family and delighted in watching his sons play soccer, ice hockey, baseball and football.  He enjoyed cooking, gatherings with friends and family, and dogs, especially Emmett, the family’s black lab.  He loved the water and the freedom and exhilaration of sailing. His passion was sailing a Tartan 41. In his travels, he developed friendships around the world and an appreciation and acceptance for all types of people, ideas and food.  He treasured the time he spent living in KCK, Coconut Grove, Fla., and Cape Cod, Mass., slalom skiing with family on Kezer Lake in Maine, as well as visits to Rio De Janeiro and Buenos Aires. 

Since returning to the Kansas City area in 2010, Dan volunteered at a community food pantry and was active in Hillcrest Covenant Church.  He gave his life to Christ and was baptized in 2012.  He often spoke of his appreciation for God’s grace and what a difference knowing Christ meant in his life. He is at peace now in his eternal home.

 A memorial service will be held on Monday, August 26, at 2 p.m. at Hillcrest Covenant Church in Prairie Village, Kan.



  1. Liz Kaufman on August 25, 2013 at 8:42 am

    We didn’t know Dan for very long but liked him from the first time we met. He gave loving care to his sister which we witnessed often. Dan believed Isaiah 53 and is now free from pain and sorrow. Love to Phyllis and Corky. Liz

  2. Gary Grazda on August 25, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    I’ve known Dan since we were in the 7th grade, although different schools. We played baseball on the same team. He was a fantastic shortstop. In high school our friendship blossomed and remained strong all these years. He had a great sense of humor and was a good scholar. He treasured his family and friends. I am fortunate to have known him.

  3. Bill and Adan Hunter on August 25, 2013 at 6:34 pm

    Danny was in my class and home room as a 7th grader when we first moved to KCK. Bill had him in class at Washington. We can attest to his being a good student and a wonderful all-around person. You may remember Howard built our first house. Danny reminded us of this when we saw him about a year ago…as if we would ever forget your wonderful family.

  4. Teresa Tiernan on September 16, 2013 at 12:38 am

    Very sad to read this Notice, 24 days late. I felt prompted to call Dan tonight but his phone was shut off. I knew he had cancer but did not imagine he was so close to death. He said he felt great, last time we talked. I am so saddened to see him gone. He was very good natured, thought positively, good company, very sociable and liked going fun places and doing fun things. Loved sailing, and the Sunday strolls along Lake Quivira as well as the friendships developed in Newport, RI. He liked and accepted all people. He was extremely polite, gracious, wonderful personality, a good soul, thoughtful, and his mind was constantly on his family, always with tremendous concern & a strong sense of duty & honor to them. He liked all the latest health cures and healthy eating. He was a very nice & very caring man. I am deeply saddened by his passing, to see him go so soon. He had such a desire for the zest of life & many years to come. May God bless him abundantly forever and keep his family protected always.

  5. melissa claire on September 16, 2013 at 7:04 am

    Dan, fly high my blue sky friend you are free at last. I met Dan at a workshop in 2010. We had many conversations about flying,health, kids and especially Christ. He talked always about his children and how proud of them he always was. What a beautiful wonderful soul. RIP you will be sorely missed.

  6. Peter Card on September 16, 2013 at 8:41 am

    His daring to observe and realize for himself, even when the stakes were or seemed high, instead of blending in among the sheeple has blessed me. Agreeing with him in prayer over at least one difficult problem was marvelously faith-promoting. His introducing me to family and friends has made my life more joyous, if not also more prosperous.

  7. Tim Paulus on September 16, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    I just now found out about your loss. Dan and I Both went to K-State. A good friend that I will miss. May The Lord be with you and give grace through this time.

  8. Mark S. Pyle on November 5, 2013 at 6:31 pm

    Captain Adams… See you in Heaven my brother. We shared some memories here. God Bless your family.


  9. Dan Condon on November 5, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    I am so sorry to hear of Dan’s passing. I only knew him in a professional capacity, both as a Naval Aviator and a pilot for National Airlines, Pan American World Airways and United Airlines.

    Dan was that rarest of pilots, thoroughly professional and dedicated to his craft while openly enjoying life and dragging everyone else along in his joy. I know that he will be missed by his many many friends. He also will be missed, and saluted, by all who had the honor of flying with him.

    Au revoir, mon ami!

  10. Jacki Elson Cook on November 6, 2013 at 9:02 am

    To Dan’s family: I send my heartfelt condolences to all of you. Dan was a wonderful pilot and a joy to be around. We shared all the airlines together and had some great times. May Jesus, Mary, and all the saints welcome Dan home in all the glory of His kingdom. God bless Dan and his whole family.
    Jacki Cook
    Lafayette, TN

  11. Michelene (Mike) Briggs on November 6, 2013 at 11:23 am

    I hadn’t seen Dan since the late 70s at NAL. However, I can visualize him as if it was yesterday. He laughed easily and was always a joy to fly with. I am sure he will be sorely missed by his extended family and by his friends all over the globe. RIP Dan. Fondly, “Mike” Briggs

  12. Andre Libert on November 6, 2013 at 11:30 am

    My sincere condolences to the Adams family as well as friends of Captain Dan.
    I did not know Dan, but was born on May 18th, hired in Kansas City to work for TWA and Saudia; and later worked with National in Miami. I am belatedly thanking Dan for his service to our Country as well as his service to our Lord Jesus, the Christ. Well done Dan.

  13. Russ Rajani on November 7, 2013 at 9:19 am

    I knew Dan in the Navy. We had some great times trying to out maneuver each other twirling around thunder heads playing hide and seek. A Naval Aviator who served his country in time of conflict while others protested and never found real friendship or comaraderie in their lives. I know he will be “hawking the sunlight” to jump my “6” when I come throught the clouds. See you then Dan.. Raptor 1 …out.

  14. Charles Brandt on November 7, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Truly a great friend to be around with many fond memories. We had planned to get together this Fall in KC but it wasn’t meant to be.
    RIP in Glory,long time friend.

  15. Larry (Butch) Garver on November 28, 2013 at 10:41 am

    Friends from grade school through college. We loved sports cars, Lake of the Ozarks, waterskiing and music. Danny was one of the happiest people I knew-and could he play piano and sax! Found the obit while searching for my old friend.

  16. Charles Brandt on September 2, 2018 at 11:22 am

    5 years hence and still think of him often…..and now deceased wife Heidi. RIP my friends.

  17. Charles Brandt on May 22, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    Now it is 2019 , I often think of Dan and Heidi and how they are missed…God bless. I hopeHis sister Phyllis is doing well.
    C R brandt

  18. CR Brandy on June 2, 2021 at 5:44 pm

    Now it is post pandemic..2021… Dan is up there praising with “Hosannas “ as he would say.
    Charles Brandt

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