The Ottumwa Courier

Local News

June 24, 2014

Tributes to a fallen Marine

ELDON — Adam Wolff is hard to forget.

The 25-year-old Marine lance corporal was killed in fighting in Afghanistan along with two other combat engineers Friday.

Back in Iowa, Superintendent Joel Pedersen asked around about Adam: the district head had started in the Cardinal school district after Wolff had already graduated. Pedersen heard about a smart and quiet but fun young man.

"Adam was a very positive person," said classmate Stacie Warren. "I do not remember him saying anything negative to anyone at school."

She graduated with Wolff in 2006.

"I remember Adam being very respectful and friendly. He was always willing to lend a hand to help someone out."

The official statement from the district was simple and straightforward: "We are saddened to learn of the passing of Adam. On behalf of the Cardinal community, our thoughts go out to his friends and family."

But the teachers themselves had more to say.

"I remember when he and his twin brother Aaron started school," said Lisa Phillips. "Adam was a very special kid growing up, one you just wanted to take home and call your own."

Phillips worked in the district "many years," she said, and knew the family, including sister Angela. She said the family holds a special place in her heart.

"I even remember their mother at Cardinal," Phillips said. "I'll always have fond memories of Adam."

When those who remembered Adam were asked to email a thought about him to the Courier, a current teacher recalled Adam and his twin brother from the time she was a substitute in the district.

"I remember both as quiet and well-behaved students," Stacy Davis wrote before continuing: "Thank you Adam for your service. God bless you. My thoughts and prayers to the Wolff family."

"He was a sweet-natured and kind-hearted student and always was very polite and respectful," recalled Sara Swanson, a school counselor for the district. "He was very intelligent and enjoyed history, literature [and] computers."

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