In loving memory of

John David Adams II
June 16, 1975 - January 13, 2022

John David Adams II, age 46 of Scottsdale, AZ, a Baptist minister turned journalism innovator known for his wry wit and ability to connect with people, died Thursday, January 13, 2022, at 8:15 am in his sister's home in Paloma, IL.

John was born June 16, 1975 in Walnut Creek, California, the son of John D. and Marsha K. Mills Adams.

John attended Faith Baptist Bible College in Ankeny, IA and graduated with a Bachelor's of Arts from Grace University in Omaha, NE. After college, Adams served as a youth pastor in Des Moines, the Bay Area and Boston for about 10 years.

John then returned to school and received his Masters Degree in Journalism from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. John was most recently serving as the senior director of digital storytelling and strategy at The Arizona Republic since 2018, overseeing social media, visuals, podcasting and other efforts to connect the community with the news. He also acted as a regional supervisor, and he taught many work shops across the country. Before joining The Republic, John was the deputy editor at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and senior deputy online editor at the Los Angeles Times, where he won a Pulitzer Prize for his involvement in the newsroom's coverage of the 2015 mass shooting in San Bernardino, California.

John loved sports and was a diehard University of Michigan football and Liverpool Football Club fan and an embarrassed, but loyal, Detroit Lions fan. He started grad school thinking he'd be a sports journalist. He ran a sports website and hosted a podcast for a while.

Survivors include: his parents, John and Marsha Adams of Quincy; his sister, Stacey L. (Philip) Hibbert of Paloma, IL; four nephews: Zachary Hibbert of Quincy, Hunter Hibbert of Paloma, Alex Hibbert of CA, and Ben Hibbert of IN; and his fur babies, Schembechler Jurgen Liverpool III and WudRoh Wilson.

John was preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, David and Jewell Adams; his maternal grandparents, Bill and Dorothy Mills; and two aunts: Sandy Carpenter and Judy Muerner.

Services: a memorial service will be held at a later date.

Memorial donations may be made to John's Fur Baby Care Fund c/o Stacey Hibbert or Blessing Foundation for Hospice. Memorial Donations may be made online at

Hansen-Spear Funeral Directors are in charge of the arrangements.


Anant Goenka wrote on Jan 14, 2022:

"One of the most special people I have ever met. I cherish every minute I spent with him and remember him as a kind gentle sensitive and affectionate person. He really was close to my heart as he was to everyone else's in journalism school. Will miss him."

Scott Larson wrote on Jan 14, 2022:

"I was so blessed to get to know John in the time he was in Massachusetts. Grateful for his sense of humor and love for life. He will be greatly missed."