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Businessman enjoyed lifelong love of music

| Sunday, July 13, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
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Henry C. Adams, a former business owner from Emsworth, died Friday. He was 81.

Henry Adams loved a good joke, his family said.

“Everything was always funny … he could light up a room with his laughter,” said his daughter, Susan Miller of Reserve.

Henry Clyde Adams, formerly of Emsworth, died of complications from diabetes in Little Sisters of the Poor's nursing home in Brighton Heights on Friday, July 11, 2014. He was 81.

Mr. Adams was a family man and longtime business owner who had a passion for music, said his son, Michael Adams of Emsworth.

“He was still singing in the choir at the Little Sisters of the Poor in their chapel — every Sunday,” he said.

Mr. Adams was born Feb. 2, 1933, to Clyde and Angela Adams. When he was about 8 years old, Mr. Adams, his siblings and parents moved from Avalon to Emsworth, Michael Adams said.

He graduated from North Catholic High School and went on to earn a bachelor's degree in music from Duquesne University.

He met his future wife, Anne Williamson, when they were performing in a community music group, The Musicaneers. They married on Feb. 13, 1965.

Mr. Adams worked for his father in a petroleum distribution company, Pennsylvania Oil and Lubricating Co., before taking over the company in the early 1970s, his son said.

When that company dissolved, Mr. Adams and his wife in 1984 co-founded AW Adams Petroleum Products. He retired in 2001.

“He loved the business. He loved his customers,” his son said.

While attending Duquesne University, Mr. Adams played drums, xylophone and cymbals in the concert and marching bands, his son said.

In the 1960s, Mr. Adams and his uncle performed in a Dixieland band, Hen Loading and the Wildcats.

Mr. Adams was the choir director of Sacred Heart Church in Emsworth from about 1963 to 2004. He was the former marching band director for the Emsworth Volunteer Fire Company, which he joined in 1958 and continued in for 56 years, Michael Adams said.

Mr. Adams often volunteered to help with the fire department's fundraisers and taught firefighters how to drive the firetrucks, his son said.

He was a 3rd degree member of the Knights of Columbus No. 1400.

In addition to his children, Mr. Adams is survived by his wife, Anne Adams of Brighton Heights; siblings Shirley Cratsley of Ross and Robert Adams of Emsworth; and grandchildren Brandon and Mackenzy Miller. He was preceded in death by a brother, Col. John E. Adams.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday and Monday in Lawrence T. Miller Funeral Home Inc., 460 Lincoln Ave., Bellevue. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Tuesday in Sacred Heart Church, 154 Orchard Ave., Emsworth. Interment will be private.

Tory N. Parrish is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach her at 412-380-5662 or tparrish@tribweb.com.

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