Note: The Ellwood City Ledger, Saturday March 23, 1935
City Mourns as C.A. Adams Dies
Charles A. Adams, 310 Glen Avenue, died at 12:25 p.m. today at the Ellwood City hospital. Death followed an appendectomy performed last Sunday.
At noon today, death was believed only a matter of an hour or two at most for Charles A. Adams, one of Ellwood's most prominent and most valued citizens. Reports from the local hospital, where he underwent an operation for acute appendicitis last Sunday, were that he was in a coma and was sinking rapidly.
The knowledge that hope for his recovery has been abandoned spread a pall of gloom over the city this morning. Recognized as a sterling, upright citizen and a leader in and indefatigable worker for multifarious civic activities, there was general agreement that his passing will be a severe loss to Ellwood city. Mingled with this sentiment were expressions of concern for his family and deep regret that his is being taken before reaching the prime of life, and pride that he succeeded in crowding so much of unselfishness and of service to his fellow men in the brief span allotted to him. He is only 39.
Many places will be left to fill with his passing. These include the presidency of the Community Service League, the chairmanship of the Ellwood Anti-Tuberculosis society, a directorship in the Chamber of Commerce, the chairmanship of the Methodist Episcopal Church finance committee and a church trusteeship.
The Ellwood City Ledger, Monday March 25, 1935
Funeral Services for C.A. Adams Tomorrow
Mourned by countless friends in all walks of life here, Charles A. Adams, 39, will be laid to rest in Locust Grove Cemetery tomorrow afternoon following funeral rites at 2:30 at the First Methodist Episcopal Church.
Mr. Adams, plant superintendent of the Matthews Conveyor Company, and widely recognized as one of the most valued citizens in the entire history of Ellwood City, died at the Ellwood City hospital shortly after noon Saturday following an operation for acute appendicitis performed Sunday a week ago. The remains were removed yesterday to the family residence at 310 Glen Avenue.
He leaves his widow, Mrs. Hazel Currie Adams, a son Charles Jr., three daughters Phyllis, Averill and Peggy, his mother, Mrs. Olive Adams, this city, a sister, Mrs. Forrest Harper of Georgia, and a brother, Thomas Adams of Chicago. The funeral services at the church will be conducted by Rev. R.H. Little, pastor. There will also be a gravesite service by Masonic Lodge, of which Mr. Adams was a member.
Mr. Adams' many religious, welfare and civic activities brought him into contact with and endeared him to so many people that if a fraction of their member attend, the funeral will be one of the largest ever held here. He was president of the Community Service League, chairman of the Ellwood Anti-Tuberculosis Society, a director of Chamber of Commerce, chairman of Methodist Church Finance committee, and member of the churches' board of directors. Always a tireless worker in the annual community chest campaign, he directed one of the most successful of these drives, the 1926 campaign, when a quota of $19,300 was over-subscribed in excess of $7,000. He also was one of the founders of the fresh air camp for underprivileged children and was among its staunchest supporters.
It is a matter of pride to Ellwood that he was a hometown product. He was born here on August 27, 1895. In 1912 at the age of 17, he entered the employ of the Matthews Conveyor Company, where his worth won him various promotions until he was made plant superintendent in 1922.
The Ellwood City Ledger, March 26, 1935
Throngs Tell "Charlie" Adams Their Goodbye
Methodist Church Jammed With High and Low at Last Rights for One of Town's Best Citizens
Throats of literally hundreds croked with emotion, whispered these words today as they thronged the First Methodist church to pay their last respects to one of Ellwood City's finest citizens who was untimely called to his great reward. Nearly the whole town, from the day laborer on foot to the industrial leader in a motor car, turned out to say farewell to C. A. Adams or "Charley", as he was more familiarly known to all.
Their cars filled two blocks surrounding the church and they packed and jammed the edifice for it was the least they could do for "Charley".
The services opened with the strains of that beautiful old hymn, "The Old Rugged Cross" sang by a male quartet composed of P. W. Winter, H. E. Burns, J. H. Brown and C. H. Rabberman. Then the Rev. C. Z. Bell read a selection of scripture and the Rev. A. M. Stevenson followed with a short prayer. Mrs. Frank Hoffman sang "Open the Gates of the Temple" accompanied by Mrs. Charles G. Relph at the organ and the Rev. Robert H. Little, pastor of the church and personal friend of Mr. Adams, delivered the funeral sermon in which, speaking for the town at large, he paid a fitting tribute to the memory of a fine citizen.
"He took it upon himself a phrase from Philippians 2:7 is the title of Margaret Slattery's book which describes the Master of Men who seeing the world's need took it upon himself. This theme contains the overtone of the harmony of Charles Atwood Adams' life," said Mr. Little. He continued as follows:
"Eulogies are always poorly done, but I feel compelled to give utterance to our gratitude for what Mr. Adams was in our lives and to speak in appreciation of one who merits the gracious word of Mr. Kegel in his editorial of March 25 "one of the few really civic conscious men in this vicinity. He was a vital figure in every worthwhile organization and community movement as well as a man prominent in the industrial life of the city." One cannot name any one in the city who in a short life of thirty-nine years was so universally known that all men addressed him in a familiar, personal fashion. This was a sincere tribute to his intense humanness and it seemed the perfectly natural, indeed, the only proper thing to call Superintendent Charles A. Adams by the abbreviated name by which his mother called her son.
Our friend was born here, educated here, and grew up with the city. He came as near furnishing a pattern and an ideal for the youth of today as any man. There are three great lessons that man can teach to man, that we may learn from him. He developed the power of useful, responsible and friendly leadership. These qualities are the guarantee of success, not what is commonly so called, but of that manliness and strength in character that give an inner calm and a rich assurance that one has the dignity of a man and makes one happy. All who were associated with him felt this power. His death only increases the power he had over our lives. He leaves a great heritage to this community in his influence for the three things his life exemplified. These three principles are:
(First) To Live is to be Responsible. As a boy he learned priceless discipline, namely, that the end of life is duty and service. As a man, he lived by his boyhood lesson. He relied upon his own merit for getting ahead and depended upon no favorable circumstance. He inherited from his father mechanical genius and from his mother courage, vision, tenacity and positiveness. These qualities of the mother appeared to even fuller measure in the son.
He early commended himself to the heart and judgment of Frank E. Moore, the esteemed president of the Mathews Conveyor company. Mr. Moore counseled him to be a good man and to neither underestimate his ability nor to be conceited in his knowledge. He followed this wisdom and never lost his simplicity, honesty and grandeur. He began at the bottom of the ladder and when aged twenty-two was general foreman and at the age of twenty-six was superintendent, which position he retained until his death. He carried with faithfulness and reliability the responsibilities assigned to him.
He made articulate the fine constructive influence of the Mathews Conveyor company in Ellwood City. He expressed for the company its loyalty to and its sense of responsibility for the community. He was president of the community service league and carried the heavy burden of relief work in recent years. He was chairman of the Ellwood city anti-tuberculosis society, a director of the chamber of commerce, a director of the hospital, and one of the founders of the fresh air camp. Several times, he directed the annual community chest campaign. To this work, he gave himself without reserve or weariness. Of Emerson it was said, "Where he was at all, he was altogether." To Mr. Adams life was a full-time job with wholehearted devotion to responsibility. He succeeded because of carefully selecting important things to do and the doing of them.
We are not here to play, to dream, to drift,
We have hard work to do, and loads to lift.
Shun not the struggle, face it, 'tis God's gift."
(Second) To Live is to be Useful. How athrill with life he was! He had an eternal effervescence, which seemed to say, "I am going to drive things while there is any life in me." His body was an engine to get things done, a kind of catapult for his mind and soul. His creed was that there is no place in this world or the next for a lazy, useless person. He was the most strenuous man I ever knew. Few can attain his philosophy of one-man power, the principle of concentration and celerity.
A friend once said to Daniel Webster, "Mr. Webster, will you tell us the most important thought that ever occupied your mind?" The great statesman replied, "The most important thought that ever occupied my mind was that of my individual responsibility to God." By this he meant that life must be lived so that it will count in God's plan, through the happy use of one's self and one's resources.
Mr. Adams had a love for useful life and a profound reverence for spirit for God. His religion was not a matter of form, but of inward principle and of "a resolute purpose to serve the Great Master in some way as well as I can and to be of use to my fellowmen." He was a manly Christian. The realness of his religion was not limited to the church, but to him all institutions that served human needs were the symbols of divine life.
With flashing eyes, he saw opportunities for service everywhere. With head carried high, he overlooked the petty things which defeat small men. With a sensitive heart, he answered every appeal. He only lived through the thirties, but in heartbeats and spirit he left a legacy richer than others who live to eighty. Does life begin at forty? Keats, Shelley, Burns, Kilmer and Rupert Brooke were men who died before then having lived radiantly, fully swiftly. It is not how long, but to what noble end we live. To live truly is to forget ease and to burn the lamp of life brilliantly.
Browning's "Grammarians Funeral" is not directly religious yet it is a fitting illustration of the injunction "Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might." The scholar dies wornout, but he had set himself a task to do and he did it with a single eye and a steady hand. The poet says,
"That low man seeks a little thing to do,
Sees it and does it;
This high man, with a great thing to pursue,
Dies ere he know it.
This low man goes on adding one by one,
His Hundreds soon hit.
This high man, aiming at a million,
Misses an unit.
That has the world here-should he need the next.
Let the world mind him! This throws himself on God and unperplexed,
Seeking shall find Him."
The true man is one not coerced or compelled, but who seeing a need takes it upon himself. Love lays claim to his strength. He uses his life and avoids the pit of self-centered, pagan living. By losing his life, he finds it, and wins the Master's benediction "Well done good and faithful servant enter into the joy of they Lord."
(Third)To live to be Friendly. Mr. Adams was not a buttoned-up man. He gathered up the wa-ters of his life and let them flow out to enrich all. He was not a waster, nor a miser, but a fountain of blessing. He had a warmth of interest, which won for him the lasting affection of his friends. Quiet and unobtrusive in his manner, exceedingly affectionate, he was indeed a most loyal friend. He exemplified the ideals of friendship. He was a sympathetic, appreciative man, who would go anywhere and do any service possible for a friend. He felt he had a right to lay down his life for his friends. He disdained no one, excepting the man who was base and selfish. He had a cast of mind that made service a pleasure and hardship was a mere irrelevant detail in his eyes. In all the circles where he is today missed, his associates consider that they have lost not only a 'good part-ner', but a most dear friend.
Service may be prompted by sympathy, duty or love. Sympathy serves because it has feeling. Duty serves because it has a sense of obligation. Love serves because of its affection. The great-est of these is love. Love looks at life and says you cannot be saved alone, you must bring your friends with you. The spirit of Mr. Adams fits well the sentiment of S. W. Foss' poem-
"Let me live in my house by the side of the road.
Where the race of men go by-
They are good, they are bad, they are weak, they are strong.
Wise, foolish-so am I.
Then why should I sit in the scorner's seat,
Or hurl the cynic's ban?
Let me live in my house by the side of the road,
And be a friend to man."
Mr. Adams translated this third phase of his life into its highest form in his friendliness for God and the church. He gave himself without reserve to church affairs, he was devout and regular in his spiritual practices, he gave of his substance without stint. He had the assurance of God in his soul and with Robert Browning, he could say of himself,
"One who never turned his back but marched breast forward,
Never doubted clouds would break,
Never dreamed though right were worsted, wrong would triumph,
Held we fail to rise, are baffled to fight better,
Sleep to wake."
We today in deep humility and in yet deeper thankfulness of heart render thanks to God for the life of our friend departed. He has entered the palace of the King where he rests from his merito-rious labors in the joys of paradises. His work did not end with his passing. The intense eager, hopeful, unresting life is busy still at new tasks, in the kingdom of love which he served on earth. The world could not afford to lose such men were it not that God has a larger use for them else-where.
"Old friend, what say we say now you are gone?
That all is over-
Let us hope
That you have found a place not very strange.
Where you may sit and wait for me-
There rest, and plan what you and I will do
When I come footing after you.
Then we will rise together, with the whole of Life before us, as it used to be,
In that new land, not much unlike the old,
And walk with the old strength to march, and see
What prospects that new country may unfold."
To those most near and dear, this acknowledgment of the loss we have sustained in the passing of our loved one may seem to be inadequate. But feelings today are deeper than expression and thought stronger than words. To you, we express our sincere sympathy with the hope that life may prove braver and the will to carry on be made firmer by the memory of the love and the vir-tues of him from whom you are temporarily separated. You will discover that love can never lose its own and that the angel, called blessed memory, will brighten all your days. We pray that your stony places will be transmitted into a Bethel. And that the paths which you must henceforth tread, without the joyous and radiant comradery of your holy dead, bring you at the journey's end in the Father's house of many rooms.
Charlie's body we shall now lay to rest, on the hill overlooking the city which he loved and where all his life had been richly lived. All is well chosen for his resting place. He is at rest, at home. Just as he left us, his loved ones caught his passing smile of victory, which now is their priceless possession.
"There was a smile
Which out of his eyes blue heaven fell
As the sunbeams dart.
The beautiful smile fell into my heart,
And, falling, was folded in love's sweet shell,
And the beautiful smile became a song,
In my heart."
The selection "All the Way My Saviour Leads Me" by the make quartet closed the services after which the public had its last look at "Charlie" before he was borne away to rest on the hillside overlooking the city he loved and served so well. He sleeps, in Locust Grove cemetery tonight but he lives in the memory, not only of his family, but each and every citizen of this community who has been made the richer by his unselfish life.
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