Michael J. Adam, a Sag Harbor mason and lover of music who claimed over 40 pilgrimages to see the Grateful Dead, died on Saturday at Southampton Hospital. No cause of death was given. He was 61.
A funeral service is being held this morning at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Sag Harbor starting at 10:30. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.
He was born at Southampton Hospital on Nov. 11, 1950, a son of William F. Adam Jr. and the former Dorothy Phillips. Both parents predeceased him.
He is survived by two brothers, William F. Adam II of Clifton Park, N.Y., and Terence J. Adam of Sag Harbor, and a sister, Kathy Adam Grodski of Southampton.
Mr. Adam graduated from Pierson High School in Sag Harbor with the class of 1968. He joined the Navy in 1970 and served as a signalman aboard an aircraft carrier. He enjoyed playing golf and was a member of the Sag Harbor Golf Club. He was a sailor and a member of the Tuesday night men’s bowling league for 25 years.
Around Sag Harbor he was known as the man with the three-legged dog. When his beloved German shorthaired pointer broke its leg badly, Mr. Adam was confronted with the decision to either put the dog down or have the leg amputated. Spike learned to walk with three legs. Man and dog were inseparable.
Mr. Adam was a self-taught guitarist and played the harmonica as well. According to his friend Bill Horn, he jammed with the likes of the New Riders of the Purple Sage, the late Levon Helm, and up on the stage at the Belmont racetrack with the Pure Prairie League. “He was a trip,” Mr. Horn said.
His friend Dan Sabloski called Mr. Adam a Good Samaritan, a gifted mechanic who thought nothing of rescuing a stranded motorist at any time of day or night. His family called him a natural born comedian with a personality that encouraged his friends to invent fitting nicknames — LAU, an acronym for “late as usual,” Soaky, because of his Brillo-y hair, and the Cadillac Mason, to name a few.
Friends agreed his eyes communicated his heart, “whether you laughed with him when he told a joke or he cried with you when you were in pain.”
Mr. Sabloski said his friend loved working with his hands, “whether it was as a mason building a chimney or walkway, or as a musician playing a song on his guitar and harmonica. It was creating art.”