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In Memory of . . . Herbert R. Adams (1932-2011)

Posted By Janette M. Lallier, Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Rev. Dr. Herbert R. Adams died on March 18, 2011. He was 78 years old.  Rev. Adams was born in Philadelphia, PA, on April 19, 1932, to Leander H. and Helen R (Richards) Adams. Rev. Adams graduated from Colby College in 1954, where he was involved in theatre productions and won the Levine Prize for Public Speaking, and Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1972. He also attended Harvard Divinity School, Theil College, Kent State, and Boston University.

He served at the Follen Church Society in Lexington, MA, where he was ordained in 1968; Lake Shore Unitarian Society in Winnetka, IL; First Universalist Church of West Paris, ME; First Universalist Church of South Paris, ME; and the First Universalist Church of Norway, ME. He also served interim ministries at the First Unitarian Society of Ithaca, NY; the UU Congregation of Santa Fe, NM; and the UU Fellowship of Charlotte County in Port Charlotte, FL. He was Minister Emeritus at the First Universalist Church in West Paris, ME, where he was also a member.

In addition to his career in the ministry, Rev. Adams was a textbook editor and developer at several companies, the last of which was Laidlaw Brothers, a subsidiary of Doubleday & Company, where he served as President and CEO. He also taught English in public schools in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Massachusetts, and Maine and served as a principal of the Middle School in the Oxford Hills school district in Maine.

Rev. Adams began his ministry while a student at Colby College, ordained by the Fairfield Methodist Church where he served on weekends. Later while still at Colby, he commuted to Scarborough to serve the Pine Point Congregational Church, where he also served full time after his graduation. He left there in 1956 to study at Harvard Divinity School.

While in the Unitarian ministry, he authored a curriculum for church schools for the Unitarian Universalist Association Department of Education entitled "Project Listening,” based upon his doctoral research and thesis about the importance of empathic listening. Later while in the publishing business, he co-authored a book, "Listening Your Way to Management Success.”

Rev. Adams was a past president of the Norway Paris Kiwanis Club and various civic organizations in the Oxford Hills and Lovell. He had a particular interest in lakes conservation. He enjoyed Heald Pond, his summer home of 42 years, golf, fishing, poker, theatre, and jazz music. Most of all, he enjoyed spending time with his extensive extended family.

Rev. Adams is survived by his wife of 34 years, Mary Ryan Adams; his sister Anne Adams; and his four children, Ashley, Joshua, Lee, and Rachel Adams; three step children, Ande Hall, Ken Hill, and Rich Hill; twelve grandchildren, Sam, Jill, Vanessa, Rebecca, Jonno, Hannah, Tucker, Reuben, Calvin, Jenny, Ezra, and Nora; five nieces and nephews; and his faithful Boston Terrier, Betty Boop. He was predeceased by two brothers, Hampton and Jon B. Adams.

A celebration of the life of Rev. Dr. Herbert R. Adams will be held at the First Universalist Church of Norway, 479 Main St., Norway, Maine on April 23, 2011, at 1:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Rev. Adams’s memory to the West Paris Universalist Church, P.O. Box 36, West Paris, ME 04289, or to the First Universalist Church of Norway, 479 Main St., Norway, ME 04268.

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