Janet Nair Adams (née Janet Cook Nair) passed away in peace December 12, 2012, hands joined with her two daughters. A loving wife, mother, step-grandmother and great-grandmother, chemist, homemaker, world traveller, antiques dealer, shop owner and collector, Janet was passionate about life and remained forever young at heart. To celebrate Janet's life, the family will have a Witness to the Resurrection service at White Memorial Presbyterian Church, 1704 Oberlin Road, Raleigh, NC, at 11 am on Saturday, December 15th and greet friends afterwards in the Jane Bell Gathering Space behind the sanctuary. A private family burial will have been held prior to the service.
Janet was born February 1, 1922, in Syracuse, NY, daughter of Dr. John Henry Nair and Claire Cook Nair. She lived in Syracuse until the age of eleven, when her father was transferred by the Borden Company to Decatur, Georgia. She travelled back north to attend Northfield School for Girls in Northfield, Massachusetts, where she graduated in 1940. Following graduation, she began her college education at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, Georgia, transferring two years later to UNC-Chapel Hill where she met the love of her life, Clarence Leonidas Adams, a WWII veteran and son of a family with deep roots in Southern history. She completed her B.S. degree in chemistry and married Clarence, who, at the time, was a Naval officer stationed in Florida, in 1944. Janet and Clarence moved north to Boston, Massachusetts where Clarence was assigned duty on a sub-chaser during WWII. Janet consequently went to New Jersey to stay with her parents for the birth of the first daughter, Karen, who was born on VE Day, 8th May 1945. Clarence was relieved of duty with the European end of the War, and the couple moved south, to Clarence's hometown of Raleigh, NC. Their second daughter, Susan (Suzi) was born in Raleigh in 1950. Clarence preceded Janet in death in 1979 at the age of 56.
In Raleigh Janet briefly had a toddlers' school in their home on Franklin Street and later worked in a Raleigh laboratory for the NC State Highway Department. She was a homemaker for many years, taught Sunday school, and later assisted Clarence in establishing Clarence Adams Realty Company when he branched out into commercial and land real estate upon leaving Adams and Terry Realty. A good businesswoman, Janet acquired a broker's license after Clarence's death and continued to run Clarence Adams Realty until her death. One project she oversaw to fruition along with partners Bob Robinson of Charlotte, NC and Edith C. Lumpkin (deceased) of Louisburg, NC was the creation and development of Weatherstone PUD in Cary, NC. Through her passion for history and by reading and studying most mornings with Clarence in their living room, she became a knowledgeable and avid collector of Chinese and English porcelain. With partner and long-time friend Joyce Allen Cockerham (deceased) of Raleigh, NC, she co-owned Adams-Cockerham Gallerie, later to become Janet Adams Antiques and was a founding member of the Raleigh Antiques Dealers' Association. She enjoyed lecturing on 18th century English Staffordshire pottery and most recently was planning this presentation for the New Year at The Cypress of Raleigh.
Janet lived her life with gusto, traveling worldwide, including multiple visits to many countries in Europe, especially England (and all of Great Britain), various Central and South American countries, China, Alaska, Mexico, Morocco, Scandinavian countries, the Holy Land, Caribbean Islands, much of the United States and Canada. She always maintained a thirst for knowledge and was a voracious reader (in particular, historical novels). She kept up to date with technology and was the first in the family to have and use a computer in 1979, on which she created many greeting cards and posters, plus enjoyed playing games. She could efficiently use 3 remote control devices simultaneously to play DVD's through her cable system. 'Skyping' (via a camera she bought and installed herself) with her daughter and grandchildren in England became a favorite past time. She had purchased the original Kindle to use for reading in bed at night; and most recently had acquired and become proficient in using an iPhone and iPad.
Janet had multiple hobbies and community interests. She was passionate about her rose garden and flower arranging, for which she previously had won many ribbons, among them a tri-color; enjoyed the camaraderie of the Coley Forest bridge club and bridge groups at The Cypress; was one of the founding members of the Coley Forest Garden Club; held a variety of offices in the Colonel Polk Chapter of the DAR; participated regularly in her Circle at White Memorial Presbyterian Church; was a member of Carolina Country Club; loved the N&O crossword puzzles and 'funny papers,' taking time for these daily over morning coffee; and was a long-time board member of Genesis Condominium Homeowners Association at Pine Knoll Shores, NC. She loved the beach and spent happy times there with family and friends all her adult life. With Clarence, many years ago in their days of boat ownership, she completed the Power Squadron Nautical Navigation courses and acquired her certificate. She was a meticulous seamstress and creator of most anything that involved sewing, knitting, crocheting and crewelwork. Her daughters often joked with pride, "Mother sewed us through high school." She could decipher how to 'fix' or make anything, such as the lamps with interior Christmas lights she designed and produced from wine bottles. She was a 'true blue' Carolina fan and cheered the Tar Heels through thick and thin for 70 years. She loved to entertain and was quite famous for her annual Christmas Eve open houses and themed Halloween costume parties.
Janet lived in Coley Forest in Raleigh, NC, independently for 52 years before moving to The Cypress of Raleigh in 2011 – a home she had grown to love, where she enjoyed activities with numerous friends, new and old. Her regular circle of friends and loved ones also extended 'over the pond' to many in England's villages and cities. Janet's family includes her daughters Karen Adams Fox (wife of John Peter Fox (deceased) of Thurstaston, England) and Suzi Adams Bowden (wife of John Hearn Bowden (deceased) of Raleigh, NC); numerous nieces and nephews of the Nair and Adams families; 5 step-grandchildren, John Michael Bowden (Jamie Lynn Bowden) and Kate Elizabeth Bowden of Raleigh, NC, Dr. Thomas Peter Fox, Katherine Fox Rosier (Christopher Rosier) and Dr. Jacqueline Fox, all of England, UK, and 9 step-great-grandchildren of Raleigh and England.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to UNC-TV, P.O. Box 600067, Raleigh, NC 27675.
Arrangements by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 300 Saint Mary's St. Raleigh. Condolences may be made through www.brownwynne.com.