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OBITUARY: Calabasas Leader Don Adams

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Donald B. Adams (1930-2024) has been described repeatedly as a joyful and gregarious individual. He loved people. 

A second generation California native, Don began his career as a photographer at Douglas Aircraft in Santa Monica in the early 1950s while serving in the Naval Reserve. There he became known as a daredevil photographer who would hang out of an aircraft to get the perfect shot. Many of his amazing photos are on display now at the Santa Monica Airport Museum of Flying. 

In the 1960s Don left Douglas to join Eastman Kodak Company. In the marketing division he used his natural charm to forge a relationship with the International Cinematographers Guild as well as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In the 1990s he became the main liaison between Kodak’s new digital division and the Oscars, presenting the instant digital photos of celebrities receiving their Oscar minutes after they had received the golden statue. 

Don was also an educator, teaching courses in photography at El Camino College and conducting lectures on cruise ships. 

Always active and drawn to people, in retirement he became the Chairman Emeritus of the Leonis Adobe Museum in Calabasas. 

Don always maintained his sense of joy in work and interactions with people but his greatest joy was his supportive family: his wife of 71 years, Angela, a dedicated teacher for more than 50 years; his children – Claudine, Steve, Sheryl, Greg, and Michelle; his nine grandchildren; and his five great grandchildren. 

He will be deeply missed.

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