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Charles Smith Adams


1934 - 2019
Charles Smith Adams Obituary
Charles Smith Adams
Educator and writer Charles S. Adams of Westport, died on May 11, 2019 after a long battle with Parkinson's Disease. He was 85.
Adams was born in Elmira, NY, in 1934 and was raised in Blue Point, NY. He attended Princeton University, received his bachelor's degree from Columbia University and his master's from Hofstra University. After two years of service in the U.S. Army from 1956-58, he started his career in education as an English teacher in the Connetquot and Patchogue-Medford public school systems on Long Island. He finished his career in education as principal of East Hampton High School in 1974.
He then changed careers to journalism. He was hired as editor of the weekly Pennysaver News of Brookhaven in 1974. Aside from writing news articles and managing the paper's editorial staff, he wrote a column called Adams Apple in the Pennysaver. He also wrote a column called Loves and Revenges for the Long Island Advance, in Patchogue, where he and his wife, the former Mary Kate ten Hoopen, raised their seven children.
The widely-read Adams Apple column, which he wrote from the mid-70s until 1990, touched not only on current events and politics, but also on the activities of his family.
"Many of the columns were about my kids and my wife," he wrote in a 2014 recollection of the columns. "These were the most popular with regular readers of the column, but not always so with the kids or Mary Kate, who sometimes complained to me that their privacy had been invaded. But I also wrote about plane crashes and yellow jackets and my aching back and window washing. Just about anything was grist for the Adams Apple mill."
After a 16-year career in journalism on Long Island, he moved in the early 1990s to Shepherdstown, WV, across the Potomac River from Sharpsburg, MD, where the Civil War battle of Antietam was fought in 1862. Adams then began writing a series of history books focused at first on the Civil War and later, on historic markers in Maryland and West Virginia. Among his books were The Civil War in Frederick County, MD (1995), the Civil War in Washington County, MD (1996), and Monuments at Antietam: Sharpsburg's Silent Sentinels (2000), a detailed look at the monuments dedicated to the soldiers who fought there.
In the early 2000s, he relocated to southern Delaware and continued writing about local history, publishing Roadside Markers in Delaware in 2002.
He was diagnosed with Parkinson's in 2005 and later moved to Westport to be closer to family. He participated in the Parkinson's Unity Walk in New York City's Central Park and spoke often about dealing with the physical and mental problems caused by a disease that has no cure.
"I'm 80 now and have Parkinson's Disease," he wrote in 2014. "That's a column. Or two. Or ten. But for somebody else to write."
Adams is survived by his wife of 62 years, Mary Kate; a brother, Jack Adams of Mount Pleasant, SC; children Sean Adams of Herndon, VA; Hope Cohen of Fair Lawn, NJ; Charles Adams of Westport; Kathleen McVicar of Sudbury, MA; Glenn Adams of Avon, NC; Mary Kate Brangaccio of Glen Rock, NJ; and Elizabeth Adams of Baltimore, MD; and 14 grandchildren.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, June 1, 2019 at 11 a.m. at St. Luke Catholic Church, 49 Turkey Hill Road North in Westport. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to , https://www.michaeljfox.org or to the Family & Children's Agency, http://familyandchildrensagency.org/.
To send an online condolence, please visit www.shaughnesseybanks.com.
Published in Westport News on May 17, 2019
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