Todd Heidelbauer’s speech given to honor James Adams
at State DU Banquet on January 26, 2013
Presentation of the Frankie Heidelbauer Award
When he was eight years old, his brother gave him a double-barrel BB gun, and he shot his first duck. He was hooked forever on hunting. They say he is one of the best wing shots around.
A charter member, he has a passion for Ducks Unlimited and conservation of habitat and wetlands. He organized and did fundraising for the DU Sponsor dinners before he could afford to go himself. As a volunteer he appreciated volunteer committee members, artists and auctioneers for their unending work.
The second man in SD to have a wetland “The Sioux Poinsett Game Production Area” named for him. What an honor—WOW! Wow! Wow!
He was instrumental in starting the decoy series for the sponsor dinner. He edited and printed Fowl Talk for SDDU. He did a lot of printing for DU, and his office looked like a DU warehouse. He was also director of the SD Waterfowl Stamp Contest.
He appreciated all of the RD’s he worked with while he was an active volunteer—Tal Lockwood, Tom Kuck, Doug Jones, and tournaments for Brad Jensen. In fact, Jim and Tom hired Doug Jones over lunch at the Office Bar. Together they started many chapters including Cherry Lake, Marsh Lake, and South Shore.
He names his DU heroes as these: Frankie Heidelbauer, Howard Redlinger, Don Isaacson, and John Wilson.
He’s known to many of us in South Dakota Ducks Unlimited as the “Godfather”; and has spent four decades “doing it for the ducks.” He spent those years doing conservation work with other state leaders and volunteers like these: Maynard Isaacson, Gary Petersen, Gary Peterson, Craig Jones, Sonny Hagseth, Bruce Krentz, Rick Berg, Dennis Tilly, Rick Warhurst, Mike and Barb Bergh, and Randy and Chris Owen, Lowell Hanson, and many more, too numerous to name.
He has worked with many artists during his years with DU, such as Terry Redlin, Josh Spies, Mark Anderson, John Wilson, John Green, Rosemary Millette, and Russ Dirksen.
He has won many awards during his service to DU including these:
Conservation Service Award 1982
Sioux Poinsett Game Production 1998
Area Chairman of the Year 1998
Distinguished Service Award in 1978 by the Watertown Chapter
His Adams Roast at the Lake Shore Restaurant in 1998 raised $90,000 for Ducks Unlimited and conservation efforts. What a night!
His hobbies includes weighing fishing tournaments for thirty years up and down the Missouri River and in five states for Brad Jensen. He raised a “Victory Garden” in WWII which led to a lifetime of gardening—which included growing tomatoes ten feet tall. And, of course, hunting and fishing with his boys was a must. His faithful companion Brit always went along.
He and his wife Marie have five wonderful children:
Deb and Pete Swanson
Dan and Leslie Adams
Damon and Jody Adams
Dale and Sheri Adams
And thirteen awesome grandchildren
It is for his children, grandchildren and all future generations that Jim Adams has spent a lifetime “doing it for the ducks” to ensure the skies will be filled with waterfowl for them as it was for him.
He is “A Peach of a guy!”