Tom Adam

Tom Adam in the early days of the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority. Adam died on Oct. 5.

On Oct. 5 the Sanford Underground Research Facility lost a good friend. Thomas Adam, 84, who served on the South Dakota Science and Technology Authority Board from 2004 to 2015, was a passionate advocate for science and education, the community of Lead, and South Dakota.

“Tom was a stalwart member of the SDSTA Board from its inception. He was extremely determined to make the Sanford Lab a success for the City of Lead, the State of South Dakota and the world,” said Casey Peterson, chair of the SDSTA.

Adam was from Lead, where he excelled academically, played sports and served as class president at the high school. He also worked for a time as a miner at the Homestake Gold Mine.

Adam served in the U.S. Army for two years then returned to the University of South Dakota, where he met Patricia Mickelson, his wife of 56 years, and earned a Juris Doctorate degree. He went on to work for Martens & Goldsmith, now May Adam Law Firm, in Pierre. But Adam was always committed to his hometown of Lead.

“Before joining the SDSTA Board, Tom was part of the team that formulated the legal framework that made the donation from Homestake possible,” said Timothy Engel, who serves as legal counsel for the Board.

“Tom was passionate about Sanford Lab, partly because of his own history with Lead and with the Mine, but mostly because he saw what the Lab could do for the community of Lead, the education of the children of the region, and for the state and nation as a whole.”

Peterson said, “I will miss his grit and common-sense legal mind. And I know others will miss him as well. He is a true loss to the State of South Dakota.”

Funeral services for Adam were Friday, Oct. 11, in Pierre.

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