Martha J. Adams

Martha J. Adams, assistant director of alumni relations emerita, died on August 29, 2019, in Bath, Maine.

(The following notice was shared by President Rose on August 31, 2019)

To the Bowdoin community:

I write with the sad news that Martha Adams, assistant director of alumni relations emerita, died on Thursday, August 22, at the age of eighty-three, following an eighteen-month battle with cancer.

Martha joined the staff at Bowdoin in 1967, and she made a lasting impact at the College and with Bowdoin alumni in her twenty-five years here—a period that spanned the social and political turmoil of the late 1960s and early 1970s, the transition to coeducation, significant changes in office technology and database management, and administrative changes under five Bowdoin presidents. Her knowledge of the College and our alumni, her ability to balance a demanding workload with a commitment to family, her sense of humor, and her appreciation for what matters in life made Martha a beloved figure in the Bowdoin community and beyond.

Martha served as acting director of alumni relations in 1989–1990 and retired in 1992. In 1993, her loyalty and devotion to the College were recognized when she was named co-recipient of the Alumni Award for Faculty and Staff. Martha and her late husband, Bob, were familiar figures at Bowdoin hockey games over the years, where they were able to stay connected to alumni and to others at the College. At the time of her death, Martha was an honorary member of the Bowdoin Alumni Association and of a number of Bowdoin classes.

Born in Augusta on New Year’s Eve in 1935, Martha grew up in Bath, the daughter of Charles and Josephine Wood. She was industrious at a young age, selling newspapers at the main gate of Bath Iron Works while in school. She graduated from Morse High School in 1953. Three years later, she met and married Robert (Bob) Adams Sr. The couple lived in Bath until 1978, when they built a house in the Sabino section of West Bath. Martha was actively involved with Sabino Hall and served as president of the Sabino Improvement Association for many years.

Martha was predeceased by Bob in 2014. She is survived by a daughter, Sandra Waters, and her partner, Roger Dalton, of West Bath; a son, Robert Adams Jr., and his wife, Laura Plunkett, of Harpswell; a brother, Charles Wood, and his wife, Helly, of Colorado; her sister, Sally Hinckley of Alna; four grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.

A memorial service is scheduled for Sunday, September 8, at 2:00 pm at the Winter Street Center on Washington Street in Bath. Memorial contributions in Martha’s name may be made to the local charity of one’s choice or to a GoFundMe page of a sick or injured child.

Bowdoin is known for close personal connections and for the loyalty and dedication of our alumni. Martha had a strong and steady hand in building and nurturing these relationships over many years. I know you join me in conveying condolences and the appreciation of the College to her family and friends.




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