Dr. Samantha P. ADAMS

Obituary
  • " A Great Woman of GOD who seem to have lived a full life..."
  • "To the Family of Dr. Samantha Adams: Our sincere prayers..."
    - Louise Stinchcomb and Family
  • "May God bless you and your family in this time of sorrow."
    - LARRY BUTTS
  • "What a great loss to the community. May the memories you..."
  • "Denise and Cecelia, we are sad for your loss. Please accept..."
    - Bob and Kathy Rodriguez

ADAMS Dr. Samantha P. Dr. Samantha P. Adams was born on July 17, 1926, to the late Rev. Motteller and Deacon Deeoder J. Porter in the rural area of Humboldt, Tennessee. The Porter Family moved to Ohio when she was only one month old; and they lived in Woodville, Ohio until she reached the age of nine. Dr. Adams was a resident of Toledo, Ohio for the remainder of her 86 years. On her birthday, July 17, 2012, Dr. Adams passed away at St. Luke's Hospital. She was surrounded by her adoring family, gathered in celebration and prayer; singing "Don't Forget The Family Prayer" and "God Be With You Till We Meet Again". She was one of the most intelligent, inspirational women not only in the lives of her children and grandchildren, but also the City of Toledo. A woman full of arduous firsts: a true trailblazer. Dr. Samantha P. Adams was a graduate of the Toledo Public School System (Scott High School). She attended The University of Toledo, City College of New York and received her Doctor of Chiropractic Degree from the Chiropractic Institute of New York. She was the first Black woman to pass the Ohio State Medical Board in her field and was the only practicing Black Chiropractic Physician in Toledo. She had been recognized and honored on many occasions as the City of Toledo's first black woman doctor and amongst the 10 top black businesswomen. Dr. Adams was active in many civic and religious groups. They included the Fredrick Douglas Community Association, Indiana Avenue YMCA, YWCA, League of Women Voters of Greater Toledo, Church Women United, and the Parent-Teacher-Association. She was a member of AARP (American Association of Retired Persons) and was affiliated with the Area Office On Aging. She was Chairman the New Hope Porter's Grove Pentecostal Church Building Fund Committee, the Church which her mother founded. She worked actively with the Toledo Council of Churches and with many individual churches. She was popular as a speaker and in 1969 was elected to the highly selective International Platform Association of Speakers. Dr. Adams was very active in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. She served on the local Executive Committee and was President and Vice President of the Toledo Branch NAACP. She was Chairman of many local, state and national committees. In 1957, she became the first fully paid Life Member of the Toledo Branch NAACP and was listed in the national archives as "among the First 1000 in the nation to become a Life Member". In 1978, she became the first individual to purchase a Golden Heritage Membership in the Toledo Branch NAACP. In 1977, she expanded her civic activities to include the political arena when she was elected by a large margin to the Toledo Board of Education becoming the first black woman elected to that body and the first black woman elected official in Lucas County. She served her full term of four years on the Toledo Board of Education and was elected as both the Vice President and President of that Board. She was Chairman of the Board's Curriculum Committee which monitored the establishment of the "Official Course of Study" for the Toledo Public Schools. During her tenure on the Toledo Board of Education, she also served as chairman of the Insurance Committee and Board Vacancies Committee. She was the Legislative Liaison for the Toledo Public Schools. At the state level, she was a member of the Large City Schools Commission of Ohio and nationally. She served as the representative to the National Urban Boards of Education and was a Director on the Council of the Council of Great City Schools. She also belonged to the Black Caucus of School Board Members. While on the Toledo Board of Education, she received many awards, among them a Bible from the Gideons for recognition of Christian Leadership. On September 28, 1999, Dr. Adams was honored along with other former leaders of Toledo Public Schools, during its 150 Year Celebration. She was recognized as community spirited person, who had given vast amounts of time to help children and one who had the courage to make tough decisions. In 1980, she was named "Mother of the Year" by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. She was nominated for this award by the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance. Dr. Adams and five of her children comprised the multi-talented gospel group known as "The Adams Family Singers". She wrote and directed the musical narratives for which they became well-known throughout the state through their personal appearances, records, radio and television programs. Three of their most memorable television specials were "In Quest of Freedom", "Shades of Autumn" and an Easter Special entitled "For God So Loved, Why Can't We?" Dr. Adams narrated "Lincoln Portraits", with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra in a concert during their neighborhood concert series. Prior to that time it had narrated by such luminaries as Coretta Scott King and Adlai Stevenson. It had also been narrated nationally by the four living presidents at that time - President William Clinton, President George Bush, Sr., President Gerald Ford and President Ronald Reagan who was represented by his wife Nancy Reagan. During the second half of that concert with the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, "The Adams Family Singers" sang songs from their narrative "In Quest Of Freedom". All of the music was arranged from the original score by the eldest daughter, Paula, a highly gifted intuitive musician. In March 2002, she was recognized as one of the "Committed Women In The History Of Toledo" on Channel 13. She was previously featured on many radio and television programs. In October, 2005, Dr. Adams was given a special tribute by the Toledo Branch NAACP for her years of dedicated service to that organization and to the community. On October 14, 2006, she was named a "Legend" by the African American Legacy Project. On December 29, 2009, Dr. Adams was a recipient of a Glass Key Award given by the Mayor of Toledo, Carty Finkbeiner for her and her family's service to the Toledo community. On March 17, 2011, Dr. Adams was selected by the YWCA of Northwest Ohio as the YWCA Milestones Honoree in the area of Science. Dr. Adams was married to the late Mr. Paul L. Adams for over 62 years until his passing on July 14, 2005. She still resided in their home until her health required a move to live with her daughter Cecelia and for the last fourteen months, she needed assistance at Lake Park at Flower Hospital and finally Lutheran Village at Wolf Creek. She was the mother of six children, the grandmother of six grandchildren and great-grandmother to one great-grandson. All of them, to her great pleasure, reside in Toledo. She leaves to treasure her memory a sister, Mrs. Glacie Reed; daughters, Dr. Cecelia M. Adams, Ph.D., Mrs. Denise Adams Onyia (A. Edward), Dr. (Rev.) Karen M. Adams Ferguson, M.D. (Nathaniel E., Sr.); son, James Lawrn Adams (Bonita), Godson Edward C. Ellis (Diana); granddaughters, LaTosha M. Adams Brown, Tamika C. Adams, Nkemdi N. Onyia, Cecelia Amanda Ferguson; grandsons, Joseph Paul Ferguson, Sr. (Salena), Daniel Scott Ferguson; great grandson, Joseph Paul Ferguson, Jr.; sister-in-law, Dr. Verna Adams; nieces, Dawn Rita Henderson, Jacqueline A. Redd (Charles), Cynthia A. McBride; nephews, Fred A. Adams, Jr., Douglas F. Adams, and Theodore "Oscar" Henderson, Jr. She was preceded in death by her parents, Rev. Motteller Porter and Deacon Deeoder J. Porter; brother, Dr. Scott E. Porter, D.D.S.; husband, Paul L. Adams; daughter, Mrs. Paula Adams Duckworth; son, Stephen D. E. Adams; mother-in-law, Gertrude "Tommie" Adams; father-in-law, Oscar A. Adams; brother-in-law, Fred A. Adams, Sr.; sister-in-law Josephine Henderson. Dr. Samantha P. Adams' loss is mourned by a host of other relatives and friends. Visitation will be Friday 4:00 - 6:00 p.m. followed by wake services 6:00 - 8:00 p.m. Dale-Riggs Funeral Home Chapel, There will be a family hour Saturday at 11:00 a.m. with funeral services following at 12:00 noon St. Paul A.M.E. Zion, entombment Toledo Memorial Park Cemetery. www.dalefh.com

Published in Toledo Blade on July 20, 2012
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