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ALBUQUERQUE (AP) — A forest service firefighter found dead in a rugged area of northern New Mexico was remembered Thursday as a devoted family man and prankster.
More than 200 people gathered for a memorial service for Token Adams, a 41-year-old engine captain who disappeared Aug. 30 while checking a report of smoke near Jemez Springs, where he lived with his pregnant wife, Hiedi and their 3-year-old son, Tristan.
Adams was missing for a week before searchers found his body under his crashed ATV on a steep incline.
His father-in-law, Dave Abbot, said Adams loved to tell jokes.
“He was a prankster. He would tell jokes to his crew and just laugh about the joke,” Abbott said. “They would only laugh because he was laughing so hard they started laughing along with him.”
He was also a good husband and father, with two children from a previous marriage, he said.
Abbott said Adams sought a transfer with the U.S. Forest Service from Texas to New Mexico after coming to the state to help fight the Las Conchas Fire, which burned 150,000 acres and threatened the town of Los Alamos and Los Alamos National Laboratory in 2011.
“When he went back, he told Hiedi, ‘This is where I want to be. This is where I want to go,” Abbott said. “And I can see why. The area is beautiful. The people are wonderful.”
Abbott said his daughter is due with the couple’s second child in a week, and she has changed the date of her planned Cesarean delivery from Sept. 17 to Sept. 19, which was Adams’ birthday.
A fund has been set up for Hiedi Adams to help her relocate to Rockport, Maine, where she grew up. Family friend Chuck Whitehouse says family members want to get Hiedi Adams closer to family.
A donation fund has been set up at any Wells Fargo Bank. No account number is needed. Just reference the Token Adams Memorial Fund to make a donation.
The American Legion Post No. 75 in Jemez Springs also is hosting two benefits for the Adams family.
A steak dinner will be held from 5-9 p.m. Saturday at $20 per plate and a breakfast will be held Sunday from 8 a.m. until noon at $10 per plate.