Henry Adams Jr.
GUILDERLAND CENTER — After the Helderberg Reformed Church burned more than two decades ago, and the congregation was organizing to rebuild, Henry Adams Jr., the church’s secretary-treasurer, wrote out thank-you notes to every donor.
“That had a very high priority,” said Louise Adams of her husband’s dedication to community service.
Henry Adams Jr. died on Monday, Aug. 12, 2013. He was 83.
Mr. Adams was born in Albany on Aug. 5, 1930, the son of the late Henry and Helen (née Nicolson) Adams. He grew up in the city and graduated from Albany High School. He was later drafted into the United States Army during the Korean War.
“By the luck of the draw, he was sent to Germany to replace the occupation forces there,” said Mrs. Adams. He spent two years in Munich before returning to the Capital Region, when he met his wife through a mutual friend.
“When he walked out of the house, I fell in love with him. It was that sudden,” she said.
Mrs. Adams said she remembers vividly how the two went for a ride, stopping at an ice cream parlor where he bought her a pistachio ice-cream cone.
“He was employed at the time,” she said. “He was ready to get married and settle down and I knew a good thing when I saw him. I just loved him to pieces.”
It was July 1953 when they met. The Adamses wed on Dec. 12 that year in the old Helderberg Reformed Church. Their 60th anniversary would have been this December. They are both members of the Mayflower Society.
In their retirement, Mr. Adams enjoyed playing golf while Mrs. Adams tended her garden.
Mr. Adams kept busy in their Guilderland Center home, purchased in 1955, remodeling and crafting its fixtures, like a spice rack, lamps, and trays with his skilled woodworking.
“He learned a lot from my dad. We just put this building back together from the studs out,” said Mrs. Adams.
Newly married, Mr. Adams worked in data processing for General Mutual Insurance. He changed companies a few times, Mrs. Adams said, but he worked as an office services manager for Farm Family Life Insurance Company in Glenmont for 30 years.
Mrs. Adams said her husband was very busy in his last two years at the company, working as a liaison between the builder, the architect, and the company when a large, new addition was put on to the company’s building.
Mr. Adams volunteered for roles in the Guilderland Center community throughout his life. He was on the board of fire commissioners, once its president, and he was the secretary-treasurer for the church.
For years, Mr. Adams was the secretary-treasurer for Prospect Hill Cemetery, too, stopping only in the last two years due to his health.
“He felt he was just a people person who wanted to be involved,” said Mrs. Adams.
Henry Adams Jr. is survived by his loving wife, Louise Adams; his children, Henry Adams III and his wife, Kerry, Philip H. Adams, and Brenda L. Willard and her husband, Thomas Jared; his grandchildren, Abigail Mae Adams, Kathryn Louise Adams, Thomas Carrick Willard, Marian Elizabeth Willard, and Heather Dale Willard.
Family and friends are invited to calling hours on Friday, Aug. 16, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Fredendall Funeral Home, 199 Main Street, Altamont. A funeral service will be held on Saturday, Aug. 17, at 11 a.m. at the Helderberg Reformed Church on Route 146 in Guilderland Center. Interment is private at Prospect Hill Cemetery in Guilderland.
Online condolences may be made at www.fredendallfuneralhome.com.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Altamont Rescue Squad, 767 Route 146 Main Street, Altamont, NY 12009, or to the Helderberg Reformed Church, 435 Route 146, Guilderland Center, NY 12085.
— Marcello Iaia