ADAMS, Dr. Bruce Alden


DR. BRUCE ALDEN ADAMS, a career missionary with SIM International in Ethiopia who managed bookstores, trained church leaders, supervised the translation and typesetting of the entire Bible into the Wolaitta language, developed literacy programs, supervised famine relief work, and supported world-wide translation projects, passed on April 19, 2018. Bruce entered this world on November 19, 1931 in Three Hills. He grew up in Alberta and British Columbia. He graduated from Prairie High School in 1949, describing himself as a “mediocre student” because his greatest love at the time was hockey. However, he excelled as a life-long learner. He attended Prairie Bible Institute, Seattle Pacific College, the University of Washington, Winnipeg Bible College, and ultimately received his combined Masters/PhD degree in Linguistics from the University of London, England in 1983. He met his life-long sweetheart and workmate, Betty Mae Jacobson, while at Prairie Bible Institute. In their life story, Bruce writes, “I was captivated by Betty’s demeanour. She stood out.” Bruce went to Ethiopia before Betty, so their romance continued by letters. They were married in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on April 10, 1956. Their children, Larry, Karen, Dale, Dean, and Patricia were welcomed into their home while in Ethiopia. Bruce enjoyed listening to music, playing the piano, and tuning pianos. Everywhere he and Betty lived, they cultivated fruit trees, flowers, and vegetables. He was as comfortable riding a mule or motorcycle as he was driving their Renault on pot-holed, washed-out roads. He attended his grandchildren’s sporting events, musical recitals, and other performances whenever he could. Bruce and Betty “retired” to Three Hills in 2002, after the translation of the entire Bible into the Wolaitta language was complete (they started work on it in 1971). That Bible stands as one of Bruce and Betty’s greatest legacies. During their semi-retirement Bruce served as the International Translation Advocate with SIM International. Only recently did Bruce actually fully retire from service with SIM. He wanted to be remembered as a man of God, and a man who treasured his family. He will be missed by his wife of 62 years, Betty Mae Adams; sons and daughters Larry (Sylvia), Karen (Eugene), Dale (Sarah), Dean (Kari), and Patricia (Orban); grandchildren Amy, Karis, Shane, Jason, Jamie, Justin, Kristi, Marcy, Joel, Stephen, Darren, Kevin, Ryan, Eric, and Heather; 9 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded by his parents William and Marie Adams, and his brothers Newell, Warren, Paul, and Phillip. A family graveside service was held at the Three Hills Cemetery on April 23, 2018. A memorial service will be held at a later date; details about that service can be viewed online at At Bruce’s request, in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to SIM Canada for the Somali Radio & Correspondence Ministry in Ethiopia Project 088900, at Condolences may be sent to the family at Heartland Funeral Services Ltd., Olds entrusted with arrangements. 403-507-8610