PORTLAND – Willard “Leroy” Adams, a longtime resident of Portland who was said to always have a smile on his face, died Tuesday at age 62.

Mr. Adams was born in Skowhegan and moved to Portland with his parents and 10 siblings when he was a child. As a young boy, he got the nickname “Leroy” because of his likeness to a mischievous radio show character who was similar to “Dennis the Menace.”

Mr. Adams served in the Marine Reserves from 1970 through 1976. After his service, he became an active member of the veteran community through Amvets Post 25 and the American Legion.

Mr. Adams also was a member of the Columbia Social and Active Club in Portland and the Moose Lodge in Scarborough, where he socialized regularly.

Friends of Mr. Adams at the Amvets post remembered him as a fun-loving man who was always willing to volunteer his time for a good cause.

Maine Special Olympics is a primary beneficiary of the post, and Mr. Adams was heavily involved in supporting the organization.

His daughter, Rebecca Adams McCraw, said her father participated for years in the annual Lobster Dip in Portland. If he didn’t dive into the frigid ocean on New Year’s Day, he raised money to support the event.

He also volunteered with a group of Amvet members at Camp Tall Pines, completing needed improvements on the camp for the organization, said a friend, Bill Knight.

The organization often offered the camp for a weekend in September to thank the volunteers. Knight said the group would relax there and appreciate the work they had done.

In relaxing around friends, Mr. Adams often shared his humor. He was known to sport a Superman costume to give everyone a good laugh, said his lifelong friend, Kim Bowie.

“He was a funny guy, always wanted to have a good time,” she said.

Mr. Adams was just as generous as he was funny, Knight said.

For years, Mr. Adams drove a cab for his own company, and for ABC Taxi. His daughter said it was one of his favorite jobs because he met so many different people.

Knight said Mr. Adams was always willing to give someone a ride, even if they couldn’t afford the fare. He told people to pay him back when they could. “It meant more to him, giving someone a ride to keep them out of trouble, than the money,” Knight said.

Staff Writer Emma Bouthillette can be contacted at 791-6325 or at:

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