Clayton Rand Adams

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  • "Clayton's mother, Harriet, was my Latin teacher in the mid..."
    - Frances Mains
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Clayton Rand Adams, 83 BRUNSWICK -- Clayton Rand Adams, 83, of Brunswick, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, Dec. 20, 2008, at a local hospital. He was born in Westbrook on May 16, 1925, the son of Ernest Clayton and Harriet Pettingell Adams. Clayton was educated in Westbrook schools and graduated from Westbrook High School in 1943. He was appointed to the U.S. Naval Academy, from which he graduated in 1947; he spent the next 23 years as a career naval officer. He was awarded the Professional degree in Naval Engineering from M.I.T. in 1952 and received Submarine Officers training at the Naval Submarine School in Groton, Conn., graduating in 1953. He served as an engineering duty officer in the Navy with assignments in the field of submarine design, construction, and overhaul. Early in his career he served on the destroyer USS Willard Keith and the submarine USS Ray. Later tours of duty included those at Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, Calif.; Newport News Shipbuilding, Newport News, Va.; the U.S. Navy's Bureau of Ships in Washington, D.C.; and Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Portsmouth, N.H. He retired from the Navy at Portsmouth in 1970 at the rank of Commander, at which time he was Design Superintendant of Submarines. He subsequently joined the faculty of the School of Engineering at UMass Amherst where he conducted research on ocean thermal gradients and taught ocean engineering and naval architecture courses. As he always identified strongly with his Maine heritage, he was delighted to return to his beloved state of Maine in 1976 when he joined the Engineering Department at Bath Iron Works. While at B.I.W. he was a Principal Engineer for the Navy's AEGIS guided missile cruiser and destroyer programs; he received an AEGIS Excellence Award for his outstanding contributions. He retired in 1992. He often joked that he was a man of many facets and he truly was. He was passionately interested and engaged in genealogy and history, especially the history of Maine, where all of his Adams ancestors have lived since 1650. His dedication to genealogical research and publication extended way beyond documentation of his own family lines. An enthusiastic member of the Maine Genealogical Clayton Rand Adams Society (MGS), he was a director for several terms, president for 11 years, and contributing editor to the society's journal. He wrote prodigiously for all the society's publications, including nearly 184 family histories in the 10 volumes to date of the Maine Families in 1790 series. He belonged to many historical and genealogical societies in New England, New York State, and Ontario and contributed articles and queries to many regional and national genealogical journals. He corresponded with genealogical friends and contacts all over the country and spent many happy hours immersed in his work at archives and courthouses around Maine and New England, especially the Maine Historical Society. Since 1976 he has been an active member of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Brunswick where he served as acolyte, lay reader, chalice bearer and member of the vestry. He will be remembered at St. Paul's for his memorization and spirited delivery of scripture readings. He was an avid football fan, following particularly closely the teams with which his son was associated. He was especially thrilled and proud to attend the 2005 Super Bowl. Other interests included reading on a broad variety of topics, gardening, politics, and the stock market. Above all, he was a loving father and husband, a gentleman, and a kind man. He had a smile, friendly greeting, or good-natured quip for nearly everyone he met. His naval training and background influenced his life and defined him in many ways: discipline, order, precision, punctuality, and a commitment to excellence in everything he did. He was predeceased by his parents; his infant son, Mark; and his brothers Roger and Dwight. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Nancy Farrell Adams; his son, Ernest C. Adams of Brookline, Mass., daughter, Sarah J. Adams of Arlington, Mass.; a niece and eight nephews. A memorial service will be held on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009, at 2 p.m. at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 27 Pleasant St., Brunswick. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his memory to the Maine Historical Society in Portland or St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Brunswick.

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Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Dec. 31, 2008
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