With his courageous spirit, generous heart and irrepressible sense of humor, Adam Niskar was an inspiration to everyone who knew him. Adam, who lived in Bloomfield Township with his beloved wife, Lisa, and their daughter, Macy, passed away peacefully on July 31, 2017, surrounded by his devoted family and friends.
Adam was a bright and strong-willed child who enjoyed playing sports and spending happy times with his brother, Ross. After graduating from Michigan State University, Adam worked at Quicken Loans, where he rose through the ranks as his natural talent for helping the people around him develop their strengths was recognized and rewarded.
When he was 26 years old, Adam had a tragic diving accident that caused him to become a quadriplegic. It was then that his true spirit shone through as he accepted his circumstances with grace and his requisite good humor. He amazed and inspired his family as well as his medical team as he determinedly began a vigorous rehabilitation program the day after surgery. Over the past 18 years, Adam befriended and inspired many other accident survivors and their families and used his experience to educate physicians and nurses on how to help patients in similar situations.
Adam eventually returned to work at Quicken, where he was a successful team leader and a company-wide inspiration. It was there that he met Lisa, his soulmate, and the two developed a close friendship that culminated in marriage and the miraculous birth of a daughter, Macy, now 7. Macy was the light of Adam’s life, and the two enjoyed playing hide-and-seek, performing experiments that involved slime and bubble gum and doing wheelchair laps around the house with Macy riding on her father’s lap. At Macy’s dance recitals and competitions, Adam was her most vocal cheerleader.
Knowing their time together was likely to be cut short, Adam and Lisa made the most of every day. They enjoyed romantic cruises, dancing the nights away like teenagers, and they were always ready for the next adventure.
A moving journal Adam wrote about his experience inspired Dan Gilbert, Detroit entrepreneur and founder of Quicken Loans, to help support a feature film about Adam’s life produced by Gilbert Films, a Los Angeles-based production company owned by Dan’s brother, Gary Gilbert. Filmed in Detroit, Grounded (originally titled Quad), starred Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul as Adam.
“He was my foremost No. 1 teacher and mentor in the area of happiness,” said Rabbi Paul Yedwab of Temple Israel, where Adam enjoyed attending services.
Yedwab, who officiated at Adam’s funeral service, which more than 1,000 people attended, recalled Adam’s remarkable attitude after his accident.
“Moving one finger a little further than he could the day before made him happy,” Yedwab said. “He was a precious, courageous inspirational force.”
Adam is survived by his beloved wife, Lisa Niskar; daughter, Macy Niskar; loving parents, Arlene Niskar and Jerry Niskar; brother, Ross Niskar; sister, Leah Niskar; mother-in-law, Judy Meister; niece, Bella Niskar. He is also survived by many other loving family members and a world of devoted friends.
Contributions may be made to the Adam Niskar Memorial Trust for Macy Niskar at GoFundMe, www.gofundme.com/myheroadamniskar. Arrangements by Dorfman Chapel.
Ronelle Grier Contributing Writer