Obituary of Charles F. Adams, Sr.
In Loving Memory of Charles Adams, Sr.
(Chuck) Retired Walt Disney World Drummer
Charles Adams, Sr. (Chuck) of Woodland, Washington passed peacefully in his sleep to be with the Lord on Thursday, April 13 after a short illness. He was 78.
Chuck is survived by his wife, Deborah Adams (Debbie) and their two sons, Charles Adams, Jr. and Christopher Adams (Chris), his brother, Gene Adams and wife, Mylo, and his many beloved nieces and nephews in Stevenson, the Seattle area, South Carolina, and Texas. He was preceded in death by his parents, Sidney and Lois Adams, his sister, Virginia Adams Salvesen (Ginger), his great nephew, Michael Renner, and his niece, Kim Salvesen-Pauly.
With an outgoing, loving, and light-hearted nature, Chuck was well known and beloved in the community. He was a devoted and caring husband, father, brother, uncle, cousin, neighbor, and friend.
The middle child of Sid and Lois, Chuck was born in Portland, Oregon on December 30, 1944. He grew up in Stevenson in the family home on the Columbia River. He graduated from Stevenson High School in 1963 where he played drums in the band directed by his music mentor, John Moawad. In 1961, his father spent an entire paycheck to buy Chuck a drum set so he could pursue his dream. Chuck still has those same black caprice pearl drums. His sons had them refurbished recently as a surprise.
Shortly after high school, Chuck joined the U.S. Air Force and was assigned to the 9th Air Force Band at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina where he was stationed for all four years. It was while serving in the Air Force that he met his wife, Debbie. They were married 55 wonderful years with two fine sons. A strong Christian, he was baptized at Shandon Baptist Church in Columbia, South Carolina.
After the Air Force, Chuck served in National Guard bands for several years. In the 70s, he worked for the Skamania County Title company in Stevenson as a Title Examiner. Later, he returned to college and received an A.A. degree in History from the University of South Carolina. In 1982, a good friend from Stevenson, Bernie Griffith, asked Chuck to be his drummer for a contract gig at Walt Disney World in Orlando. A few months later, Chuck was hired permanently as a percussionist.
During their 20 years in Orlando, Chuck worked in several areas of the Park. He was a member of the Pearly Kings and Queens in the UK Pavilion at EPCOT Center for several years. Later, he became a member of the Disney's Grand Floridian Society Orchestra. During his career there, he also played in other areas, including the Top of the World at the Contemporary Hotel and the annual nationally televised Easter and Christmas Parades.
For 12 years, Chuck was also the Mapping Expert in GIS for the City of Orlando. In addition, as a member of the Calvary Assembly Church in Orlando, he was the percussionist in their 35-piece orchestra where he played three services every Sunday for 15+ years.
In South Carolina, he was a member of the prestigious Jimmy Farr Orchestra playing throughout the Southeast for country clubs, debutante balls, conventions, and special events. His "gigs" included Hilton Head conventions, Pinehurst Country Club (NC), Calloway Gardens Country Club (AL) and the Breakers Palm Beach Hotel (FL). Some of the special events included SC Governor McNair's daughter's wedding, backing Bob Hope at a charity event, the WIS-TV Polio Telethon backing a live appearance by Jerry Lewis, and the University of South Carolina retirement party for head basketball coach, Frank Mcguire.
Chuck was also a member of the Johnny Helms Jazz Quartet at the Pirates Cove, Capital Cabana in Columbia for several years where he played behind headliners, including comedian Henny Youngman and trumpet player, Clark Terry, a regular in the Johnny Carson Show orchestra.
After retiring from both the City of Orlando and Disney in 2002, Chuck and his wife, Debbie, moved back to the Northwest to be close to their sons. They finally settled in Woodland where they have a home in the country. During those years, they enjoyed their retirement on their small acreage and taking trips with family and friends, including cruising to Alaska and vacationing in Hawaii. Last August, Chuck took a memorable company cruise with his son, Chris, to Scotland and Iceland, making several wonderful new friends.
Chuck was a talented and giving man, filled with compassion and caring consideration for all who knew him. He was a light in the lives of so many, spreading love, laughter, and joy wherever he went. He will be missed by all.
Funeral services will be held in Stevenson, WA on Friday, April 21, starting at 1:00 PM at the River Christian Church. A "Celebration of Life" will follow in the Church's reception hall. There will also be a short graveside service for family and anyone wanting to attend at the Stevenson Cemetery. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Straub's Funeral Home in Camas, Washington.
"And the peace of God, which passes all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." (Phil 4:7)To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Charles Adams, Sr., please visit Tribute Store
In Loving Memory
Charles Adams, Sr.
1944 - 2023
Straub's Funeral Home
325 NE 3rd Avenue
Camas, Washington 98607
Phone: (360) 834-4563