ONEONTA – Adam L. Pierce, 45, a retired lieutenant in the Otsego County Sheriff’s Department, passed away on April 4, 2020, while a patient at University of Rochester Strong Memorial Hospital. He fiercely battled his newly diagnosed liver damage, caused by non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, for three months.
Adam was born in Oneonta on July 18, 1974, and lived in Oneonta all of his life. Adam attended Valleyview Elementary School, Oneonta Junior High School and graduated as a member of the Class of 1992 from Oneonta High School. He fondly recalled being a member of the football team, the wrestling team and throwing shotput and discus for the Track and Field team.
Adam earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Hartwick College in 1999. He married Carol Mattice, also from Oneonta, on June 17, 2000.
After college, Adam joined the Otsego County Sheriff’s Department as a corrections officer. During his 15 years of service, Adam rose through the ranks from correctional officer to corrections sergeant and later was promoted to corrections lieutenant/jail administrator.
While at the sheriff’s office, Adam, a Certified General Topics instructor and state firearms instructor, had an active role in training and teaching at several Basic Corrections Academies and in-service trainings.
Adam took great pride in being a member of the Otsego County law enforcement community and truly thought of his Otsego County Sheriff’s Office colleagues as family members.
After venturing out professionally and changing careers, Adam found a home as a real estate agent at Keller Williams Upstate New York Properties in Oneonta. There, he was a member of the Associate Leadership Council and served as a leader among his peers by teaching and conducting training sessions. He made many lifelong friends as he helped people make transitions in their lives.
Adam had a huge heart and family was the most important thing in his life, followed closely by his friends. Adam spent 25 years as Carol’s best friend and always supported her in every way that he could. The two best days of Adam’s life were the days that his daughter, Makenzie, and son, Andrew, were born. He was proud of his children in many ways and the children heard that on a daily basis.
He loved his nieces, Kara Mattice and Elena Pierce, and his nephew, Eric Mattice, as if they were his own children. Being outdoors was Adam’s third love in life. Whether it was hunting, fishing or camping at Raquette Lake, Adam was smiling when he was outdoors.
As a friend of the First United Presbyterian Church in Oneonta, he served on the Budget and Finance committee for several years. In August 2019, Adam organized a Breakfast with Heroes event at the American Legion in Oneonta, which gave children in the community a chance to meet and greet local law enforcement heroes.
Adam is survived by his wife Carol, daughter Makenzie, son Andrew, mother Claudette Champlin of Oneonta, and brother Aaron Pierce of Youngsville, La. He was blessed to have a large extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins that he loved with all of his heart. The family is thankful for every single nurse, doctor and person in the medical field who helped make Adam’s hospital stay as pleasant as possible, especially their hospital “family” in Unit 734 at Strong Memorial.
A celebration of life will be planned for a later date. Memorial donations may be made to University of Rochester Strong Memorial Hospital online at https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/strong-memorial/about-us/giving.aspx. The family recommends choosing Friends of Strong Patient Fund or typing in Solid Tissue Transplant Program. It was Adam’s wish that everyone who can please sign up to be an organ donor and donate blood.
To send the family an online condolence please visit www.bookhoutfuneralhome.com
Funeral arrangements are by the Bookhout Funeral Home, Oneonta.