Memorial honors Salem dentist who died on Mount Hood

Memorial honors Salem dentist who died on Mount Hood »Play Video

SALEM, Ore. - Friends and family gathered in Salem Friday afternoon to remember a climber who lost his life on Mount Hood.

More than 1,000 people arrived at the Salem First Baptist Church on Marion Street N.E. to remember the man that 59-year-old Kinley Adams was and the legacy he left behind. It was a testament to how many people he touched and the kind of man he was. His patients, close friends, work family and his wife and two sons filled the pews.

Adams' long-time best friend (they met when they were just toddlers) remembered his lifelong pal as a humble man who was consistent, patient, accountable and steady. "He was there for me. I knew I could talk to him without any concern that he would pass judgment."

A woman who worked with him at his dental office said "he always treated us like family - always cared about our lives and family. He was fun on a daily basis."

"The rhythms of our office have changed and they will continue to change," she added. "Coming in (to the office) in the morning with his chair empty is a big change."

Pastor Mark Hanke called Adams more than a church member. They were also close friends.

"Funerals are never easy when it's a friend, someone you've served with, my dentist, my kid's dentist, it becomes very personal and death hits hard," he said.

During their remarks, Adams' sons, Cameron and Brock, captured how their dad will forever impact their lives.

"He basically set the gold standard to everything I do in life – to climbing and skiing, to being a dad, which I haven't gotten to do yet, to being a husband, which I have, and being a Christian, everything I know how to do I kind of measure my life up to him," Cameron said.

One of Adams' close friends and climbing buddies put together a tribute video that was shown in church. It shows Adams doing what he loved most: climbing and being in nature.

Everyone who gathered at the church knew how important Adams' faith was to him. They said he was a humble man who always put other people first.

Adams died recently in a fall on Mount Hood. Searchers had been looking for him for over a week before discovering his body at the 8,400-foot level near the top of the Sandy Glacier. Adams was an experienced climber who had been making frequent trips to Mount Hood in preparation for a trip to Nepal.

Mount Hood is the tallest mountain in Oregon at 11,239 feet and a popular climbing destination. Adams had registered in the climbing log at Timberline Lodge and said he planned to climb the Leuthold Couloir route, which he had climbed before.