By Jasmine Willis
DANSVILLE –Norman Maclean once wrote, “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood, and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters.”
Our local wildlife photographer and dear friend has lost his battle with cancer.
John Adamski, 77, of Dansville passed away on July 11 with his family by his side at the place he loved most.
Everyone has a story or a few to share about the time this wonderful man came into their lives. He touched so many with his wildlife photography, magazine articles, personal stories on his blog, and his many adventures.
Adamski was always sharing stories about his wildlife adventures. He loved those big horn sheep. He had a passion for the outdoors that served him well when he did his travels across America and Canada.
I recall meeting John Adamski in July 2016. The Dansville Artworks had chosen to honor him as a solo artist that month. I did an article all about him. I listened to him tell me about his over four-decade journey as a wildlife photographer. I listened to him share his passion for the work he had done before he got into photography. He told me all about the different cameras he had gotten over the years.
It is fair to say I counted John Adamski a good friend right away. He was always kind-hearted and honest with everyone he ever met. He was a bright light who reached out and shined into so many hearts.
It didn’t take long before I would cover my first of many Adamski Programs in the community. He did one on Majestic Mountains for the Wayland Lowell Club. He shared his gorgeous photos on some American and Canadian National Parks. The presentation encompasses photos from Grand Teton National Park, Yellowstone National Park, Banff National Park, and Jasper National Park. He promoted the history and growth of wineries in Finger Lakes region with a video shown at Star Theater. I was honored to be there for that as well. The documentary “Dreams into Nectar” was put together by The Finger Lakes Museum and Aquarium.
The Finger Lakes Museum and Aquarium was a dream in the making for Adamski. Adamski was the founder and spearheaded many of the projects. We would talk a lot about the Bald Eagles. He wanted a sanctuary for them.
Adamski also held a “Nature in a Nutshell” Program at Dansville ArtWorks. He talked a lot about his process and how to get the best photos of little woodland creatures. We saw his best shots taken of the deer who trusted him enough to always have her fawns in his backyard. We loved seeing the photos up close of the baby deer. They always looked so safe and loved.
The last program I covered for John Adamski was at the Dogwood Festival 2019. He did one for the Dansville Public Library on “Best of Wildlife and Wilderness” for the community to enjoy. Adamski always shared his beautiful wildlife and landscape photos with me. Every time I would ask him after the presentations. John can I use a couple of your amazing photos for the story? He would always be more than happy to share. He really wanted to share his work with the world. He had the best wildlife photos.
I could listen to my good friend John Adamski talk for hours about his adventures into the unknown. He would talk about seeing a mama bear with her cubs by the side of the road. He would talk about the big horn sheep he had to climb up a mountain to get the perfect shots. He would talk about never having a plan, but to just take the road wherever it led him. He would always sit out there for hours if he needed to get the best shots. He was a gifted and talented photographer who befriended many others along life’s pathway.
Not a soul who heard his stories, saw his photos, or was in his presence walked away feeling less fortunate to of known him. John Adamski is a name you can mention around town and others will know. They will know the man who lived near Rattlesnake Hill. The man who built a home with his beloved Barbara and two children. The man who traveled half across America to get photos of the wildlife he loved. The man who changed the hearts and lives of all who knew him.
John Adamski’s legacy lives on with his son, John Adamski and daughter, Jennifer Sagran. His stories can be passed down now through his family and friends. We can all tell about the times he touched our lives. Happy Trails my friend.
Adamski was a successful architect and homebuilder for many years. He designed many homes in the Rochester area, as well as in the Finger Lakes region. He loved fishing and was a charter boat Captain on Lake Ontario for over 10 years. Most of all, Adamski loved sharing stories about his wildlife encounters and adventures in person or through social media, where he posted multiple times a day. We will miss his stories.
Friends and Family are invited to call on Thursday, July 16, 2020 from 3 to 6PM at the Kevin W. Dougherty Funeral Home, 8624 Main Street in Honeoye. A memorial service and inurnment will be held privately. Memorial contributions may be made to: Finger Lakes Museum, www.fingerlakesmuseum.org. To share a memory or a condolence, please visit: www.doughertyfuneralhomes.com.