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Charles Ross Adams

June 23, 2021


Charles Ross Adams, aged 91, active in local, national and international insurance business for over 50 years, died Wednesday, June 23, 2021, passing peacefully at home according to his loving wife of over 65 years, Olga Dudyak Adams.  The Adams’s live at Bluefield Manor, Auburn, NY, and summered in Big Moose Lake, NY.

Mr. Adams was a product of Auburn schools and a graduate of Syracuse University, as well as graduate of several Insurance Company schools and courses.  For many years he also held a securities license.

Born and raised in Auburn, he was active in the family insurance firm for over 50 years and was instrumental in establishing subsidiary firms in Hong Kong, Singapore, Montreal, and managed an interest in a Lloyd’s brokerage firm in London.  The Adams Insurance Firm was founded by his grandfather, C.G. Adams, in 1900, and is currently led by his sons D.K. Adams and P.C. Adams--the fourth generation to head the company.

Adams was the first American to serve on the Board of BIPAR, the Bureau International des Producteurs d’Assurances et de Reassurances, the International Insurance Intermediaries Association.  He ultimately became Vice President of that Association.  He was also instrumental as a founder of the World Federation of Insurance Intermediaries which was formed in 1998.

In the world of Industrial/Economic Development, he was the First Chair of The Cayuga County Industrial Authority; Former-President of the IDF (Industrial Development Foundation) and the Cayuga County Economic Development Council. 

In addition to leading the insurance brokerage, Mr. Adams was involved in a number of community service projects and activities.  For many years, he coached in the Auburn Youth Hockey Club, specializing in Beginner’s level of instruction.  He held a private pilot’s license, was a former member of both the Owasco Country Club and the Auburn Country Club.  He was a member of the Cayuga County Natural Gas Development Committee and served on the board of the Upstate Office of Small Business Association.  He served as a member of the Board of Deacons and of the Board of Session at the Westminster Presbyterian Church.  He was a former member of the Auburn Masonic Lodge #124 and Damascus Shrine Masons, Kiwanis, Elks, and served on the Board of the United Fund.

As an avid fly fisherman and bird enthusiast, Mr. Adams’ love of the outdoors was a cornerstone of his life and the foundation he laid for his children. 

Charles Adams’ storytelling enthralled people over the years, sharing stories of growing up and spending 88 summers on Big Moose Lake.  Whether as Captain on the tour boat “The Grace” from 1999-2008, or as docent at the Adirondack Experience, The Museum on Blue Mountain Lake, or as a Guide on Big Moose Community Chapel Camp Tours, his passion for history and the people who came before was intoxicating.  During his tenure serving as Chairman of the “Grace Brown 100th Anniversary in 2006, Mr. Adams was instrumental in having an historical marker placed near The Glenmore Hotel. 

When serving as Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Big Moose Community Chapel in the Adirondacks, he resurrected the Adirondack Guide’s Supper as a BMCC fundraiser, having the crowd serenaded by a Barbershop Quartet from Syracuse, NY.

Mr. Adams was a performer in the original Waterski Show in the Adirondacks (1946-1952), famous for his juggling on skis act.  Subsequent years had him on top of the Dunn’s Marina boathouse as MC as his own children performed waterski pyramids, ski jump tricks and other daring feats. 

Mr. Adams is survived by his wife, Olga, and daughters Kathryn (Jim Orbanek) of Rochester and Winifred of Malibu, and sons Peter (Diane Northway) and Douglas, both of Skaneateles, along with seven grandchildren.  He was predeceased by son Arthur in 1982. 

Calling hours will be at 12PM on Saturday, June 26, at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 17 William Street, Auburn followed by a 1PM Funeral Service and then interment at Fort Hill Cemetery.

Plans will be made for a future Celebration of Life at Big Moose Community Chapel.

Arrangements by Brew Funeral Home.

In lieu of flowers, Memorials may be made to Big Moose Community Chapel or the Hospice of Central New York and of the Finger Lakes. 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Charles Ross Adams, please visit our floral store.


June 26, 2021

12:00 PM to 1:00 PM
Westminster Presbyterian Church
17 William Street
Auburn, NY 13021

Funeral Service
June 26, 2021

1:00 PM
Westminster Presbyterian Church
17 William Street
Auburn, NY 13021


Hospice of Central New York & of the Finger Lakes
990 Seventh North Street, Liverpool NY 13088
Tel: 1-315-634-2159

Big Moose Community Chapel
P.O. Box 209, Eagle Bay NY 13331

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