Colonel John Miley Adsit, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Retired, died peacefully on June 7, 2018 in Saline, Michigan at the age of 85. Commissioned in the U.S. Army in 1956, Adsit commanded troops with airborne, armored, and engineering divisions in Germany, Vietnam and Korea. During his service, he was distinguished with the Meritorious Service Award as Commanding Officer, 9th Engineer Battalion (combat), and Deputy Commander, 7th Engineer Brigade. He also received the Meritorious Service Medal with First Oak Leaf Cluster while serving as Operations Officer in the Office of Deputy Chief of Staff in Washington, D.C. Additionally, Adsit was awarded the Bronze Star, Army Commendation Medal, and Air Medal.
Adsit is survived by his devoted wife of sixty years, Nancy Belle Philbin Adsit, of Saline, Michigan; two sons, John Adsit of Van Nuys, California, and Dan Adsit (Jill) of Ann Arbor, Michigan; and grandchildren Liam, Teagan, Erika, Michael, and Jacob.
Adsit was born on February 18, 1933 in Whitewater, Wisconsin, son of Thelma Tessin Adsit. He received a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from University of Missouri in 1963, and a Master of Science degree in civil engineering and city planning from University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1970. He also graduated from the United States Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas and the Army War College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
While deployed in Germany, he met Nancy Belle Philbin and they were married shortly thereafter. Side by side for sixty years, they lived an adventure traveling, working, and rearing two sons together. Adsit coached youth sports, and served in Rotary and various church positions.
He retired from the U.S. Army in 1981, last serving in Training and Doctrine Command in Fort Monroe, Virginia. He then managed construction projects for Metcalf & Eddy in Thailand; was appointed Dean of the Engineering Division at St. Martin’s College in Lacey, Washington; and worked for Washington State Department of Natural Resources.
John Adsit’s family remembers him for many things but outstandingly for his loyalty and unfailing dedication to his family and country. Early in his career his commendation read, “With unselfish devotion to duty, Lieutenant Colonel Adsit has distinguished himself as an unsurpassed leader of men whose service has reflected distinct credit upon himself, VII Corps, and the United States Army.”