William B. Adams Jr.
William B. (Bill) Adams Jr., a veteran newspaper man of San Bernardino Valley, an apprentice historian of Redlands and a resident of the area for 88 years, passed away on May 6, 2012 at his home in Plymouth Village at the age of 96.
During his newspaper career, which spanned 35 years, he rose from reporter to night managing editor of The San Bernardino Sun. While at the University of Redlands, he had been campus reporter for The Sun for two years.
Upon retirement in 1982 he became active at the San Bernardino County Museum and, at the request of Noella Benvenuti, then registrar and later curator of special collections, began to help with the identification and cataloguing of the 3700 Elias Everitt photographic negatives which were stored there. Several others were also involved including both William G. and Frank Moore of the Redlands Daily Facts. Most of the work was completed in about 15 years but some refinements were still being made 20 years later.
As part of his museum work he completed a biography of Everitt, which had been started by Steve Spiller, when an intern at the museum. The material on Everitt was published by the San Bernardino County Museum Association as one in its series of quarterlies.
He was honored by the museum three times, being awarded both the association and the director's highest honors and was one of those whose names are printed on titles in the Court of Honor. He had been chairman of the museum association's publications committee and, on relinquishing the chairmanship, stayed as a member of the committee.
After graduation from Redlands High School in 1934, he entered the University of Redlands where he earned his degree in economics in 1938. He was active on the school newspaper, The
Campus, later renamed The Bulldog, all four years. He was editor in his junior year.
He was president of the San Bernardino Exchange Club, commander of Redlands American Legion Post 106 and served on the boards of directors of both the Museum Association and the Redlands Area Historical Society. He also was a member of Fortnightly Club, the Torch Club, Friends of the A. K. Smiley Public Library, Redlands Elks Lodge and Town and Gown.
Adams' newspaper career was interrupted twice. He spent four years in the Navy, enlisting prior to Pearl Harbor and receiving a commission shortly after. He was a lieutenant at the time of his return to his civilian career. Later, he put in a three-year stint as an orange grower, but then decided he preferred newspaper work and returned to The Sun.
He was a native of Pomona, had lived in Inyokern, St. Louis, Hollywood, and Fullerton before coming to Redlands in 1924.
Survivors are: Margaret N. Adams, his wife of 68 years; Bill Adams (Donna) of Redlands and Cynthia Adams Barron (Larry) of San Diego, grandchildren Larry Barron, Jr. of South San Francisco and Erin Adams Kuennen (Kevin) of Redlands. He also had two great grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Inland Orange Conservancy, P.O. Box 188, Mentone, CA 92359.
Services will be held on Friday, June 1, 2012 at 1:00 p.m. at Cortner Chapel, 221 Brookside Avenue, Redlands, California.
Published in San Bernardino Sun on May 30, 2012