Thanks for reading Chatham County’s leading news source! Making high quality community journalism isn’t free — please consider supporting our journalism by subscribing to the News + Record today.

Unlimited Digital Access begins at $4.67/month

Print + Digital begins at $6.58/month


August 8, 1932 ~ August 29, 2022

John Drury Adams, 90, of Fearrington Village, N.C., passed away Monday, August 29, 2022, at UNC Medical Center, after a courageous battle with lymphoma.

Mr. Adams was born in Elizabeth, N.J., on August 8, 1932 to Howard and Bernice Adams. He grew up in the Midwest, in Illinois and Iowa, and graduated in 1954 from the University of Iowa, where he played basketball for the university, earning a degree in Geography. He married Jean Scott Peatross of Washington, D.C., in 1955, and later served for two years in the U.S. Armed Forces, stationed in Heidelberg, Germany. Upon return to the U.S., John and Jean moved to Peoria, Illinois, where Mr. Adams worked as a city planner and designer. Several years later, the couple moved to Alexandria, Virginia, as Mr. Adams began a career with the U.S. Department of Education lasting over 35 years. John and Jean, married for over 50 years, raised three children in Virginia. He and Jean retired to Fearrington Village, in Pittsboro, in 1999.

Mr. Adams maintained a decades-long passion for barbershop quartet and chorus singing, and was a member of a several internationally-acclaimed quartets and choruses. During his years of barbershop involvement, Mr. Adams sang at a number of distinguished events and locales, including the White House, the Kennedy Center, Washington football team home games, events attended by the Supreme Court and members of Congress, and other special honorary occasions. He continued singing into his 80s, traveling to national conventions throughout the U.S., where his barbershop groups won national awards.

Mr. Adams was also known for his love of people, U.S. history, genealogy, travel and his deep devotion to family and friends. He had a gift for encouraging and uplifting those around him, and enjoyed meeting people and sharing life stories. He had a wonderful sense of humor. Mr. Adams was an active philanthropist, and was a member of local boards and committees in Pittsboro, N.C.

He was proceeded in death by his wife Jean Peatross Adams, and is survived by his three children, Paul Howard Adams, Cynthia Adams Quant, and Andrea Adams; five grandchildren, Caroline, Charlotte and Catherine Quant, Lauren Rozumalski, and Trevor John Adams; and many friends.

A Celebration of Life will be held at University Methodist Church in Chapel Hill, N.C., in October. Mr. Adams will be interred at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., where his wife Jean is also interred.

In lieu of flowers, the family would ask that friends contribute a memorial contribution to their favorite charity or non-profit organization.