Edward Andrew Adams obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Edward Andrew Adams

November 22, 1921 - September 8, 2017

Obituary


CARY -- Edward Andrew Adams passed peacefully into the presence of Jesus early Friday, September 8, 2017. A Raleigh native, he was born November 22, 1921, the son of Edward A. Adams II and Josephine Wester Adams. He attended Broughton High School and NC State College, where he earned a BS degree in Aeronautical Engineering. Following graduation in 1943, he was commissioned a lieutenant in the Army Air Corps and served three years during World War 2. In the Army's infinite wisdom, this southern boy spent that time primarily at Ladd Field, Alaska, supervising the...

CARY -- Edward Andrew Adams passed peacefully into the presence of Jesus early Friday, September 8, 2017. A Raleigh native, he was born November 22, 1921, the son of Edward A. Adams II and Josephine Wester Adams. He attended Broughton High School and NC State College, where he earned a BS degree in Aeronautical Engineering. Following graduation in 1943, he was commissioned a lieutenant in the Army Air Corps and served three years during World War 2. In the Army's infinite wisdom, this southern boy spent that time primarily at Ladd Field, Alaska, supervising the testing of aircraft equipment under extreme cold weather conditions where temperatures could drop to 50 degrees below zero during winter months.
During this time he met his future wife, Jeanne Goodell. They were married in Watertown, SD, on September 29, 1945 where they were both assigned to Watertown Air Base.
In 1946, the war over, he and his wife of just seven months moved to Cincinnati, OH, where he enrolled at the University of Cincinnati as a veteran in an accelerated arts program. Following completion of the program they moved to Chicago where he entered the Institute of Design as a graduate student. There he studied under Laslo Moholy-Nagy, noted Bauhaus educator, and also with the engineer and designer, Buckminster Fuller.
During the early stages of his career, he and Jeanne became parents of three children - a daughter, Mari-Jo in 1948; and two sons, Stephen in 1949, and Loren in 1958.
As the family expanded, his immediate academic plans were altered; he received his first teaching appointment at the University of Minnesota, teaching design basics and industrial design courses to advanced students in the College of Arts. In 1950 he received an MFA degree from design program at Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI, as further preparation for a teaching career.
Following graduation, he fulfilled a pre-arranged agreement with Bob Jones University by accepting a position as a teacher in the art department and graphic designer for University publications, later appointed chairman of the department, a role that he held for the next three years. During that time, many steadfast, loyal friends were made among both the students and staff, friendships that continued throughout his lifetime.
In 1955 the family moved back to the Chicago area where Ed accepted an offer as an assistant professor at Wheaton College. In addition to teaching he designed publications for the College and for a number of national religious organizations with headquarters in the region. He also held a position part-time as a designer in the studios of Palma-Knapp Associates, a Chicago design firm.
In 1959 Ed received an appointment at the Pennsylvania State University as a professor in the College of Arts and Architecture where he remained for next 23 years of his academic and professional design career. A permanent family homeplace was established there in a house which he designed and helped to build.
At the University he was director of the Graphic Design Sector for advanced and graduate students, and the Foundation program for beginning students in the arts. His professional work again involved publications for the University and consultantships with several arts, engineering, and religious organizations.
In 1966, while on a Sabbatical leave, he and his wife spent two weeks in Europe visiting historical centers of art -Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland and Britain - at institutions offering programs in design. The trip to and throughout Europe was by ship and trains still using steam engines.
In 1971 they traveled to Europe again taking along their younger son, Loren, for an extended 3-month trip, more than 12,000 kilometers, visiting most of the countries, including Scandinavia, by rental car. Special stop-overs were made by pre-arrangement, the most important of which was a two-week stay with a Navigator missionary couple in Copenhagen while Jeanne attended a short course at the University focused on Danish culture and social programs. Other stops included the Swiss Alps where they spent four days at L'Abri as guests of the noted evangelistic team of Francis and Edith Schaeffer; and in Austria, at Mittersill Castle, an InterVarsity Christian retreat center. The experience was recorded in a book titled Odyssey, Family Adventures in Europe During the Cold War.
While living in Pennsylvania, Ed and Jeanne as business partners started a Christian bookstore called The Way, one of comparatively few in the nation at the time and the only one in the community. Its primary service was to provide Christian literature to the students and faculty of Penn State University and was located close to the main entrance of the university campus in a remodeled historic house. During the eight years of the store's existence under their ownership it flourished and became a landmark in the community. The business was sold in 1981 when plans for retirement were made for a move back to North Carolina.
After more than two decades on the faculty at Penn State, Ed retired early to provide for his aging mother in Raleigh, where Ed and Jeanne became caretakers for her until her death in 1985. Soon after arriving there, a second store, Adams Christian Bookstore, was started by Jeanne and Ed in Cary to provide Christian literature for the area -the first of its kind in the community. It was a family-operated store, managed for the last ten years by their son Stephen. After almost 20 years the business was closed in late 2001when the family decided to retire permanently.
During middle age, as a person intrinsically involved in the art scene, he began re­ examining "meaning" in works of art, exploring the writings of contemporary thinkers with a Christian worldview. This prompted him to reach the conclusion that, rather than be simply self-expression, art, to be worthy, should be uplifting to the human spirit and a source of inspiration to all who see it. Throughout the later years of his career he sought to demonstrate his views in a number of graphic and sculptural works. These included a large wall sculpture with mirror-like surfaces entitled The Family of Man, installed in the entry foyer of the Human Development building at Penn State; an outdoor sculpture commissioned by the town for the Bicentennial in stainless steel entitled Eagle with a bronze plaque containing a quotation from the Old Testament -Isaiah 40:31 - as its inspiration, and a large free- standing sculpture -Shekinah - which was installed in the sanctuary of Calvary Baptist Church in State College, PA. The title refers to "the presence of God" taken from Old Testament theology.
In retirement, especially after the second bookstore closed, Ed had time to focus on recording his life story and that of his family as a legacy for them. Afterthoughts, The Story of My Life, and Our Family, as it was entitled, grew into several volumes and became a mission for his retirement years.
He continued with more writing that reflects a belief in the Bible as the principal source of truth, providing the precepts for living a full and useful life. These books were intended as a legacy and were handcrafted and published in a limited number for the children.
Ed and Jeanne were charter residents of the Glenaire Retirement community; in their later years, they were privileged to have both their niece Stephanie and daughter-in-law Donna care for them on the nursing staff there, along with many other caring staff. Ed was predeceased by his wife of 68 years and leaves behind his three children: Mari-Jo (Burton), Stephen (Donna), and Loren (Frieda), along with 4 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren, all of Wake County. A memorial service will be held at Glenaire, 200 W. Cornwall, Cary at 2:00 pm Saturday, September 16, 2017. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Presbyterian Homes Foundation (c/o Glenaire).

Arrangements are under the care of Brown-Wynne Funeral Home 200 SE Maynard Rd. Cary, NC 27511.