Ben Quincy Adams, Jr.
A memorial service will be held at 10 am, Saturday, July 15, 2017 at Ballard Funeral Home Chapel for Ben Quincy Adams, Jr. who was born in Roswell on January 8, 1942. After a long battle with cancer, he passed away on July 10, 2017, with family by his side. Burial will follow at South Park Cemetery with Roswell Veteran's Honor Guard conducting military honors.
Ben was well known in the community as the "Gentle Giant." He had an infectious sense of humor, love of nature, archeology, outdoors, animals, and ranching.
He graduated from Roswell High School in 1960. Ben started college at New Mexico State University and later transferred to Texas Tech; John Denver was his roommate and taught Ben to play guitar. Ben graduated in 1964 with a Bachelor of Science in Zoology. That same year, he became a Commissioned Intelligence Officer in the United States Army. During the Vietnam War, he served in Tokyo, Japan where he met Yoshiko Tanishima and they married. They returned to Roswell and soon moved to Albuquerque. They had two children Ben Quincy Adams, III and Maya Cezanne Adams.
He wanted to pursue his love of art and began studying painting and printmaking at the University of New Mexico. He was awarded a Ford Foundation Fellowship to study lithography at the Tamarind Institute in 1972. He earned a Tamarind Master Printer's Certificate in 1973. Ben then accepted a position as a Master Printer with Tamarind Publications. In 1975 he resigned his position to found Western Graphics Workshop, Inc. which. has been operating for 42 years. During that time Ben worked with over 90 different artists and in printmaking studios in Barcelona, Spain; Paris, France and Tokyo, Japan.
Ben met Nancy Steen in 1973 at Tamarind when Ben printed her first lithographs there; they became friends while she did her graduate studies at University of New Mexico. Ben and Nancy shared the love of the arts and married on December 31, 1985. They merged families and together raised Monica Lee Steen-Bellais, Charles Augustus Steen, III, Ben Q. Adams III and Maya Adams-Gigante. was a major supporter, father figure, and friend to all four children. Ben and Nancy were married for 32 years
A native New Mexican, Ben's paintings, drawings, and lithographs reflect his love of the southwestern landscape, with its radiant light, vivid colors and rich textures, as well as a way of life tied to the earth, past and present.
Ben's art is in the permanent collections of the Oakland Museum, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Phoenix Art Museum, Grunewald Collection in Los Angeles, Goddard Center for the Fine Arts, Albuquerque Museum, San Jose Museum, Denver Art Museum, Roswell Museum and Art Center as well as other institutions and private collections including The Smithsonian Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden on the National Mall, in Washington, D.C.
His parents Dorothy and Ben Quincy Adams Sr. and his brother Daniel Fred Adams predecease Ben. Ben's youngest brother, Terry Bill Adams, survives him. He is survived by his wife Nancy Steen-Adams and his children, Ben Quincy Adams, III (Tess Coats); Maya Adams-Gigante (Jason Gigante); Monica Lee Steen-Bellais (John Bellais) and Charles Augustus Steen, III.
Ben was an artist, painter, publisher, master printer, rancher and his favorite position in life was being a grandfather to Jace Gigante, Cezanne Gigante, Jack Bellais, Akio Adams, and Vidalia Adams.