Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Charles Raymond Adams, 80

WILMINGTON — Charles Raymond Adams, 80, passed from this life Friday, May 19. The son of Raymond Gibbs Adams and Maybelle Forrest Adams, he was born in New Bern on January 23, 1943.

In the early 1960s, Charles was among the first staff members of what was then known as the Tryon Palace Restoration.

Under the tutelage of the Tryon Palace director, Miss Gertrude Caraway, he served as a greeter and guide and learned the identity, provenance, and style of every original item in the palace collection. His love for the subject led to his major in interior design at Mount Olive College and shaped his business career.

A long-time and successful antiques dealer and appraiser in New Bern and Wilmington, Charles became known as an expert in collectibles including fine art, china, crystal, silver, period furniture, and nautical artifacts. He possessed a near encyclopedic knowledge of New Bern history and could recite the genealogies of the founding families, the ownerships of each historic home, building, and church, the
chronology of events, and the names and locations of the city’s historic places.

His sparkling wit and hearty laugh will be missed by all who knew and loved him. He is survived by his life partner of 48 years, James Cleveland Keeter, Jr.; triplet daughters, Nancy Kennedy Adams, Sarah Katherine Adams, and Mollie Adams Bales; and one sister, Susan Adams Byrd.

A memorial service will be held on Monday, June 5 at 3 p.m. at Christ Episcopal Church in New Bern.

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