James Adams

Obituary of James F. Adams

James F. Adams, Jr. passed away December 18, 2010 following an extraordinarily full and happy life. Jim was born in Wilmington, Delaware on August 23, 1926. He attended the Wilmington Friends School and graduated from Haverford College in 1948. Active in the theatre, he produced, wrote and acted in theatrical productions in Bryn Mawr. His play, "How High the Moon" was optioned by Warner Brothers. At graduation, he was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship but deferred the honor in favor of returning veterans with expiring age eligibility. Jim continued to pursue his theatre interests with graduate work at Columbia University, where he received an M.A. in English Literature in 1949. While at Columbia, he met and married Janet Stoke of South Hadley, MA. They remained happily married for 45 years until Janet's death in 1997 and had three children. Seeking to supplement a meager teaching stipend, Jim found temporary editorial work at Time Inc., where he formed the first of many longstanding professional relationships in the publishing business. Recruited for an editorial job at the Reader's Digest in 1954, he was quickly moved into responsibility for quantitative analysis. He founded and ran the Statistics Department, which made the first applications of modern statistics and regression analysis in the direct marketing industry. Jim remained in executive positions at the Digest for 30 years, taking on international and future planning responsibilities - eventually retiring in 1984. Unable to tolerate retirement, he re-entered the publishing world with marketing positions at Guideposts - eventually retiring again in 2000. Upon his second retirement, Jim continued to enthusiastically pursue his twin loves of travel and theatre - often visiting England and France. In his last years, his beloved companion was Diane Hunt, of Pound Ridge, NY. Despite declining health, Jim remained passionate about his love for the arts, attending both an opera and a production of Hamlet just days before his passing. Jim is survived by his children, Jamie, of Garrison, New York, John, of Evanston, Illinois, and Abigail, of Chappaqua, New York. He is also survived by his sister, Elizabeth Foster, of Titusville, Florida and six grandchildren. There will be a memorial reception in early January, hosted by his family. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions in his name be made to the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Cold Spring, NY or the American Cancer Society.
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