ASRC is reacting to the passing of Jacob Anaġi Adams Sr., a North Slope leader, whaling captain and one of the Corporation’s founders who was enormously influential in charting a course for the company’s long-term success. Surrounded by family, Adams died the evening of September 24, 2020 in Utqiaġvik at the age of 73.
“It’s impossible to overstate the impact of Jake’s leadership through the years across our region and even beyond,” said Rex A. Rock Sr., ASRC president and CEO. “He not only helped form the company we now know as Arctic Slope Regional Corporation, but actually went out – door to door – to sign up shareholders. For more than 50 years he remained instrumental in improving the lives of our people. He was my dear friend and will be missed.”
“Whenever you had a tough question, whether it was land issues with the federal government or how to best tackle an issue with the North Slope Borough, Jake always provided invaluable insight,” added Crawford Patkotak, ASRC board chairman. “I was fortunate to know him well and know his legacy will live on for future generations. Our condolences to his wife Lucille as well as his extended family and may he rest in peace.”
Mr. Adams was involved with ASRC even before its incorporation in June of 1972, and had remained an active leader in the company ever since – spanning a period of more than 40 years. Adams served as the corporation’s president and CEO from 1983 until 2006, and up until his passing was on ASRC’s board of directors.
Two years ago, Mr. Adams was presented with an honorary doctor of laws degree from UAF.
Adams also served as North Slope Borough mayor, president of the North Slope Borough Assembly and the Barrow City Council. Born and raised in a community of subsistence hunters and whalers, Adams was instrumental in forming the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission, where he served as chairman. In addition to his captainship of the family whaling crew, Jacob led a subsistence lifestyle throughout his life, harvesting caribou, fish, geese and other animals in and around his family camp.
Jacob leaves behind his loving wife Lucille, as well as six children, 22 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. A memorial for Mr. Adams is being arranged in Utqiaġvik.