David Robert Adams

Hanover, NH — David Robert Adams died in Hanover, NH on May 18, 2022. He was born in Atlantic City in 1939, and raised in Trenton, NJ. As he told it, his childhood was magical, filled with exploits up and down the backyards, marbles triumphs, bike-riding all over Trenton, and, as a 5-year-old, selling tomatoes from his father’s ambitious Victory Garden. Then there was the Shore, where, like most native New Jerseyans, he learned to swim like a fish in the biggest waves. After Trenton High School, he went to Yale.

A professor, his first teaching job was in the Dartmouth religion department; after that, he was on the faculty, successively, at Yale, Princeton Theological Seminary and Virginia Theological Seminary. A Dartmouth Course Guide entry summed up his influence on his students: “if Adams tells you it’s Christmas, you’d better hang up your stocking”. A former graduate student says “he was always our idol. We wanted to be able to think and teach like him. We all talk about him still as the best teacher we ever had.”

David was a deeply Christian man, and an Episcopal priest, serving as rector or adult-education teacher at churches in New Jersey, New York, and New Hampshire.

Home was an ancient and demanding but beloved house in Etna, NH, excursions from which took the family repeatedly onto trails in the White Mountains. He braved New England as a Yankee fan, and the U.S. as a Tottenham Hotspur fan.

Married to Ann Macdonald in 1962, he never stopped enlightening her. As father to Peter and Hanno, he reveled in their successes: academic and athletic, but, above all, personal. He was an adored Gramps to Sofia and Timothy, who relied on him for jokes, tutoring in writing, and partnership in crosswords.

He is survived by his wife, his sons Peter in Beijing and Johannes in Honolulu, his grandchildren, Sofia in Portland, OR, and Timothy in Northfield, MN, and his daughters-in-law, Chinling and Paula. There will be a funeral service on August 20, 2022 at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Hanover, NH.
Published by Valley News on May 25, 2022.