ROCK HILL -- "Jake" Adams was born in Newberry, S.C., on Feb. 16, 1924, the son of Ernest and Carrie Cromer Adams. A veteran of World War II, he served for three years in the U.S. Navy. He then earned an A.B. degree in Music at Newberry College. In 1950, he received the Master of Music Education Administration degree from Indiana University, Bloomington, Ind. Duke University awarded him the Master of Education Administration degree in 1963.
Following a year of teaching in the public schools in Marion, Ind., he joined the faculty of Winthrop College, Rock Hill, S.C., where he was made Supervisor of Music of Winthrop Training School and methods teacher in the Department of Music. From 1959 to 1967, he was principal of Winthrop Training School and Director of Student Teaching in the College. He next served as an elementary school principal in Silver Spring, Chevy Chase, Rockville and Damascus, Md., from 1967 to 1984, retiring in the latter year from the Montgomery County (Maryland) schools.
Mr. Adams was a Life Member of the National Education Association and also of the County, State and National Association for Elementary School Principals. At Duke University, he was a member of Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society. For eight years he was local chairman (Rock Hill) for the South Carolina State Music Festival, held at Winthrop College. He was president of the South Carolina Association for Student Teaching. In 1978-79, he was president of Maryland Association of Elementary School Administrators; and the next year was president of the Council of Educational Administrators and Supervisors of Maryland. The State of Maryland honored Mr. Adams in 1982 for his "Outstanding Contribution to Education".
In Rock Hill, he was president of the Rock Hill Optimist Club and was named Optimist of the Year in 1962. He was also a member of the Elks Lodge. He served as president of the Rock Hill Choral Society for several years. He was active in the following churches in Maryland, Indiana and South Carolina, serving as choir director of these congregations: Marion Methodist (Indiana); Ebenezer Presbyterian, First Presbyterian and Oakland Baptist (Rock Hill, S.C.) and Rockville Presbyterian Church (Maryland).
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He was principal talent judge for a period of 20 years in the state pageants for Miss North Carolina, Miss Virginia, Miss Charlotte, Miss Carrousel Queen and Miss Greater Montgomery County.
Following his retirement and his return to Rock Hill, Jake Adams filled a number of positions designed to promote the public welfare, particularly programs designed for senior citizens. He served a year as principal of Great Falls (S.C.) Middle School; he was instructor in the Winthrop College School of Education; executor director of The Shepherd's Center; and site inspector for the U.S. Department of Education.
He was president, vice president and treasurer of the Rock Hill Music Club for several terms. He was elected a ruling elder in these Presbyterian Churches: Bradley Hills, Bethesda, Md., Rockville, Rockville, Md., and Oakland Avenue Presbyterian, Rock Hill, S.C.
William B. White, Jr., former member of the State Board of Education of South Carolina, remembered Jake Adams for his careful planning and hard work, and for his kindly presence, which never failed to develop good fellowship in his schools. White mentioned also his enviable, warm sense of humor.
Mr. Adams married Ann Pursley in 1954. He had four children: Jacob E. Jr. and his wife, Leslie, Stephen and his wife, Shari, Kathleen Culbertson and her husband, Brad and Janet Dunlap and her husband, "Mac". He has these grandchildren: Nate Adams, Stephen Adams Jr., Rachel Ann Adams, Melissa A. Pugh, Katie and Ben Culbertson, Lauren D. Susi, Jennifer D. All, Craig Dunlap; and a great grandson, Tyler Susi. Also surviving are four sisters: Nina Perdue, Janie Nichols, Margaret Ashford and Frances Waits.
A memorial service will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 1, 2008, at Oakland Avenue Presbyterian Church, with the Rev. Jim Richardson and the Rev. Laura Smith Conrad officiating. A private burial will be in Ebenezer ARP Church Cemetery.
The family will receive friends from 5 until 8 p.m. today, Oct. 31, 2008, at the home, 231 Bailey Ave., Rock Hill.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Music Fund of Oakland Avenue Presbyterian Church, 421 Oakland Ave., Rock Hill, SC 29730 or the Harris Hospice Unit at Presbyterian Hospital, 200 Hawthorne Lane, Charlotte, NC 28207.
Greene Funeral Home Northwest Chapel is in charge of arrangements.