Bruce Edward Adams, 63, of Chattanooga, Tenn. died Monday, Oct. 18 at Erlanger Hospital of complications from cancer. He was born in Seattle, Washington, Sept. 12, 1947 to Walt and Fran Adams, who eventually moved south with Gulf States Paper Corporation. Bruce graduated from Demopolis High School in 1965 and graduated from Birmingham Southern College with a BA in Business Administration in 1969. While there he met Nancy Henry of Pleasant Hill and they were married while Bruce was completing his MBA at the University of Alabama. He began his career with First Union Bank (now Wells Fargo), serving in the Charlotte, Greensboro and Rocky Mount, N.C. offices as credit workshop coordinator in the Training Department, as a credit analyst in the International Department, as coordinator for the Commercial Development Program for new recruits and as a senior commercial officer. In 1981, he moved to Chattanooga when he joined First Tennessee Bank. He currently served as the Executive Vice President of its Business Group, with responsibility for Chattanooga’s Commercial, Corporate, Cash Management, Governmental, and Commercial Real Estate Departments.
Previously, he had served as the region’s Senior Credit Officer, managed the Corporate Department, and was a commercial relationship manager.
He was deeply committed to serving his community and did so by sitting on the boards of Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprises, the YMCA, Contemporary Performing Arts of Chattanooga, the Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies, now, a minority small business investment corporation, the Dodson Avenue Southside Community Health Centers, UTC College of Business, Valley Capital Corporation, and the Chattanooga Chamber of Commerce. He also served as a trustee of the Hamilton County Hospital Authority for eight years and as chairman of the Board of Trustees for one of those years.
A committed husband and father, he was a long-time member of Signal Crest United Methodist Church on Signal Mountain, where he was a favorite reader in the annual Christmas service, was a member of Indian Guides with son Ben, and was fondly known as Big Bear in daughter Elaine’s Indian Princess tribe. His beloved Nancy died of breast cancer in 1993, and in 1996, Bruce married Judith DeWitt, a dancer, choreographer, and teacher from Atlanta and a former high school classmate.
He is survived by Joyce DeWitt; his mother, Frances Adams; his sister, Jean Adams and her life partner, Carolyn Woodard; daughter Elaine Adams; son and daughter-in-law Ben and Amanda Adams; and granddaughters Emerson and Raleigh Adams.
Visitation was held Friday, Oct. 22 from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. at Heritage Funeral Home on East Brainerd Road. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, Oct. 23 at 2 p.m. at Signal Crest United Methodist Church, Signal Mountain, TN, with graveside services to follow at Chattanooga Memorial Park.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society, Signal Crest United Methodist Church, or Clifton Sanctuary Ministries of Atlanta, GA.