Glenn Jay Adams Jr. of Augusta, talented journalist and all-around nice guy, died Jan. 1, 2021, at Maine Medical Center in Portland from complications following surgery.
He was born on Dec. 14, 1950, in Woodbury, NJ, to Glenn Jay Adams Sr. and Dorothy (Schuler) Adams, and had just celebrated his 70th birthday with a Zoom party so he could chat with many relatives and friends.
Glenn had a wonderful life full of adventures that took him above the Arctic Circle and as far south as Cape Town, South Africa, and Queenstown, New Zealand. He flew in a Blue Angels F/A-18 Hornet at the Brunswick, Maine, Naval Air Station and bungee-jumped from The Ledge in Queenstown.
The writing bug bit him early, and he penned a column about the Phillies in the Woodbury Daily Times when he was 14.
He graduated from Woodbury High School, where he was a star runner, in 1969 and went on to the University of Maine (B.A. 1992). There, he found his niche in journalism, becoming the editor of the Maine Campus newspaper 1972-73, and moving on to Tuesday Weekly in Ellsworth, Maine.
The Hollywood (Florida) Sun Tattler was the next stop, and then he became a reporter at Today’s Post in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, where he met fellow reporter Betty (Elizabeth) Holman.
The two married in Exton, Pennsylvania, June 11, 1977.
Glenn spent six weeks in Japan - meeting then-Crown Prince and later Emperor Akihito - and a few days in Guam thanks to a Rotary-sponsored Group Study Exchange Program. Then he and Betty climbed aboard his 1973 R75/5 BMW motorcycle for a 12,000-mile mile trip around the perimeter of the United States, with stops in Canada and Mexico, sponging off relatives where possible and calling parents collect about once a week to allay their fears.
Next up was the 1978-79 “Dream Job” where the two co-edited the QE2 Express, published daily aboard the Queen Elizabeth 2 ocean liner. The voyage included a cruise around the world in 80 days.
The couple lived in Ottawa, Ontario, for most of 1980 where he was a self-proclaimed “house husband” and freelance journalist while Betty worked on her master’s degree at Carleton University. In a bright yellow canoe bearing a maple leaf sticker, he navigated the Gatineau River - once finding a timber-filled log boom bearing down on him - and the Rideau Canal, where he also ice-skated in winter. A train trip brought them to the wilds of Moosonee at the southern tip of the James Bay.
Following a brief stint as a reporter/editor in his hometown Gloucester County Times, he joined the Associated Press as newsperson at the Maine State House Bureau in Augusta, covering five governors in turn. He retired as correspondent after 32 years there.
During those years, he and Betty traveled to Ireland, Greece, Turkey, Australia and New Zealand, and rode a motorcycle through the Valley of Fire in Nevada, the Florida Keys, the Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia and Gaspé Peninsula in Quebec, writing about it all. Back on cruise ships, they traveled through Germany, Austria and Hungary and sailed across the North Atlantic again, stopping at Iceland and Greenland, and later cruised up the Inside Passage of Alaska.
He was a self-taught Nordic and alpine skier, and his goal was to ski all the ski areas in Maine. He almost made it.
His drive to travel and to write continued after retirement, and he contributed travel stories to the Associated Press and elsewhere and authored articles for Maine Trails and the Maine Town & City magazines.
Glenn, known as Buzzy to many, enjoyed writing fiction as well, and put a collection of those stories and his nonfiction works on www.buzzardsbooks.com . On Facebook, his Travel Buzz page is an eclectic series of columns about travel by all means of transportation.
Through social media he kept up with the many friends he met at work, at home and in his travels, and recently coordinated with grade school classmates on a book reminiscing about St. Patrick’s School.
In his free time, he fashioned kitchen cabinets from a downed oak tree for their cottage on Pleasant Pond in Richmond, and he meticulously maintained numerous trails linking his Augusta property to the Great Sidney Bog.
He volunteered with the Kennebec Historical Society, where he was co-chair of the Membership Committee and a member of the Development Committee. This year, he began volunteering with the American Red Cross, and he and Betty worked helping evacuees sheltered in hotels in New Orleans, Louisiana, and Dallas, Texas. He was also president of the Lakefront Drive Road Association.
In prior years, he was active with the Cony High School All-Sports Boosters, the Boy Scouts and Augusta North Little League.
Glenn was an artist as well, using found and recycled materials. His “House of Cards” is on display in the State House Welcome Center.
He is survived by his wife Betty of Augusta, two sons: Glenn John Adams and wife Heather and grandchildren Hannah, Leah, Reed and Noah, all of Oakland; Paul Marshall Adams of Augusta, and daughter Elizabeth (Lizzy) Adams and partner Warner Cook of Austin, Texas.
He is also survived by his sisters Vicki Smith (Marty Friel) of Egg Harbor Township, Rosemary Adams of Woodbury, and Julie Colella (Vinnie) of Sicklerville, all in New Jersey, and brother Patrick Adams of Sanatoga, Pennsylvania, as well as many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents and sister Marilynne Dos Reis, of Greenbelt, Maryland and Costa Rica.
Services will follow restrictions in effect because of the pandemic, with arrangements by Plummer Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Kennebec Historical Society, 107 Winthrop St., Augusta, Maine 04330 or the American Red Cross at redcross.org .