Janet Nair Adams

February 1, 1922December 12, 2012

Janet Nair Adams (née Janet Cook Nair) passed away in peace December 12, 2012, hands joined with her two daughters. A loving wife, mother, step-grandmother and great-grandmother, chemist, homemaker, world traveller, antiques dealer, shop owner and collector, Janet was passionate about life and remained forever young at heart. To celebrate Janet’s life, the family will have a Witness to the Resurrection service at White Memorial Presbyterian Church, 1704 Oberlin Road, Raleigh, NC, at 11 am on Saturday, December 15th and greet friends afterwards in the Jane Bell Gathering Space behind the sanctuary. A private family burial will have been held prior to the service.

Janet was born February 1, 1922, in Syracuse, NY, daughter of Dr. John Henry Nair and Claire Cook Nair. She lived in Syracuse until the age of eleven, when her father was transferred by the Borden Company to Decatur, Georgia. She travelled back north to attend Northfield School for Girls in Northfield, Massachusetts, where she graduated in 1940. Following graduation, she began her college education at Agnes Scott College in Atlanta, Georgia, transferring two years later to UNC-Chapel Hill where she met the love of her life, Clarence Leonidas Adams, a WWII veteran and son of a family with deep roots in Southern history. She completed her B.S. degree in chemistry and married Clarence, who, at the time, was a Naval officer stationed in Florida, in 1944. Janet and Clarence moved north to Boston, Massachusetts where Clarence was assigned duty on a sub-chaser during WWII. Janet consequently went to New Jersey to stay with her parents for the birth of the first daughter, Karen, who was born on VE Day, 8th May 1945. Clarence was relieved of duty with the European end of the War, and the couple moved south, to Clarence’s hometown of Raleigh, NC. Their second daughter, Susan (Suzi) was born in Raleigh in 1950. Clarence preceded Janet in death in 1979 at the age of 56.

In Raleigh Janet briefly had a toddlers’ school in their home on Franklin Street and later worked in a Raleigh laboratory for the NC State Highway Department. She was a homemaker for many years, taught Sunday school, and later assisted Clarence in establishing Clarence Adams Realty Company when he branched out into commercial and land real estate upon leaving Adams and Terry Realty. A good businesswoman, Janet acquired a broker’s license after Clarence’s death and continued to run Clarence Adams Realty until her death. One project she oversaw to fruition along with partners Bob Robinson of Charlotte, NC and Edith C. Lumpkin (deceased) of Louisburg, NC was the creation and development of Weatherstone PUD in Cary, NC. Through her passion for history and by reading and studying most mornings with Clarence in their living room, she became a knowledgeable and avid collector of Chinese and English porcelain. With partner and long-time friend Joyce Allen Cockerham (deceased) of Raleigh, NC, she co-owned Adams-Cockerham Gallerie, later to become Janet Adams Antiques and was a founding member of the Raleigh Antiques Dealers’ Association. She enjoyed lecturing on 18th century English Staffordshire pottery and most recently was planning this presentation for the New Year at The Cypress of Raleigh.

Janet lived her life with gusto, traveling worldwide, including multiple visits to many countries in Europe, especially England (and all of Great Britain), various Central and South American countries, China, Alaska, Mexico, Morocco, Scandinavian countries, the Holy Land, Caribbean Islands, much of the United States and Canada. She always maintained a thirst for knowledge and was a voracious reader (in particular, historical novels). She kept up to date with technology and was the first in the family to have and use a computer in 1979, on which she created many greeting cards and posters, plus enjoyed playing games. She could efficiently use 3 remote control devices simultaneously to play DVD’s through her cable system. ‘Skyping’ (via a camera she bought and installed herself) with her daughter and grandchildren in England became a favorite past time. She had purchased the original Kindle to use for reading in bed at night; and most recently had acquired and become proficient in using an iPhone and iPad.

Janet had multiple hobbies and community interests. She was passionate about her rose garden and flower arranging, for which she previously had won many ribbons, among them a tri-color; enjoyed the camaraderie of the Coley Forest bridge club and bridge groups at The Cypress; was one of the founding members of the Coley Forest Garden Club; held a variety of offices in the Colonel Polk Chapter of the DAR; participated regularly in her Circle at White Memorial Presbyterian Church; was a member of Carolina Country Club; loved the N&O crossword puzzles and ‘funny papers,’ taking time for these daily over morning coffee; and was a long-time board member of Genesis Condominium Homeowners Association at Pine Knoll Shores, NC. She loved the beach and spent happy times there with family and friends all her adult life. With Clarence, many years ago in their days of boat ownership, she completed the Power Squadron Nautical Navigation courses and acquired her certificate. She was a meticulous seamstress and creator of most anything that involved sewing, knitting, crocheting and crewelwork. Her daughters often joked with pride, “Mother sewed us through high school.” She could decipher how to ‘fix’ or make anything, such as the lamps with interior Christmas lights she designed and produced from wine bottles. She was a ‘true blue’ Carolina fan and cheered the Tar Heels through thick and thin for 70 years. She loved to entertain and was quite famous for her annual Christmas Eve open houses and themed Halloween costume parties.

Janet lived in Coley Forest in Raleigh, NC, independently for 52 years before moving to The Cypress of Raleigh in 2011 – a home she had grown to love, where she enjoyed activities with numerous friends, new and old. Her regular circle of friends and loved ones also extended ‘over the pond’ to many in England’s villages and cities. Janet’s family includes her daughters Karen Adams Fox (wife of John Peter Fox (deceased) of Thurstaston, England) and Suzi Adams Bowden (wife of John Hearn Bowden (deceased) of Raleigh, NC); numerous nieces and nephews of the Nair and Adams families; 5 step-grandchildren, John Michael Bowden (Jamie Lynn Bowden) and Kate Elizabeth Bowden of Raleigh, NC, Dr. Thomas Peter Fox, Katherine Fox Rosier (Christopher Rosier) and Dr. Jacqueline Fox, all of England, UK, and 9 step-great-grandchildren of Raleigh and England.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to UNC-TV, P.O. Box 600067, Raleigh, NC 27675.

Arrangements by Brown-Wynne Funeral Home, 300 Saint Mary’s St. Raleigh. Condolences may be made through


  • Funeral Service Saturday, December 15, 2012

Janet Nair Adams

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Lynne Plaza

January 12, 2013

If luck is a raindrop, I'd send you a shower. If hope is a minute, I'd send you an hour. If happiness is a leaf, I'd give you a tree. And, if you need a friend, you will always have me.
Fondly remembering your mother, her Halloween party and Suzi's finding 'the dead squirrel' when we were clearing her attic.

The Lumpkins

January 12, 2013

The Lumpkins are heartbroken .
Janet was the dearest of friends (and business partners)…a reliable and trustworthy “confidante”…a second mom…one of the rare GRAND OLD GALS!
We loved her, and we love you & Suzi

Patty Adams

January 12, 2013

Hi Dear Cousins. Wow.. don't know what to say to you about Aunt Janet..other than I am honored to have loved her and to know that she loved me. She was so much life, so much love, and so much spirit. I have tried to remember my 'favorite' Aunt Janet memory...and i just can't. So many. I guess my earliest are those at Grandma Adams', her coming and going. I remember her always being dressed so perfectly. I remember going with her, and members of her garden club, to view and judge Christmas decorated houses. I remember her and her Beautiful GingerBread house. At the bottom of the steps of the Coley Forest house. I remember her on Thanksgiving Day at her home... after moving those thanksgiving dinners from East Lane St.. being the gracious hostess. I remember her with me, after my Daddy died at the funeral home ... me not wanting to go in 'to see him' her whispering in my ear that it would be ok...that i should... wiping my tears, my fears. Aunt Janet being there with me. It was ok.. I did go in that room. And to this day, I'm glad I did.. A secret.. only Aunt Janet and I know, til now, Aunt Janet 'helped' me write a note to my Dad and we slipped the note in his coffin..Don't even remember exactly what that note said, but just remember the gesture. I remember Aunt Janet with great love, admiration and affection. She was one special person.
I just want to let the two of you know that I love you both and my heart is so saddened about Aunt Janet. I love the memories that I have of our fabulous Savannah 90th birthday celebration.
love love love you..

Jane (Adams) Price

January 12, 2013

My thoughts and Prayers are with you and Suzi. Aunt Janet was "one of a kind" and will be so dearly missed.
Love, Jane

Anne and Richard Turner

January 12, 2013

What a life! So full and active, really almost to the end. To go peacefully and calmly with her daughters beside her was a good way to leave.
We are thinking of you.
Anne and Richard

Bettina, Nico and Johanna Tria

January 12, 2013

We are glad to hear that your mum was allowed to pass away at home and in peace with you and Suzi being with her.
We send you and Suzi our condolences with all our heart and wish you a lot of strength to go through all that is to be organized and done in the next weeks.
We are very thankful that we were able to come and see your mum in her new home last year and spend such wonderful time together. Johanna still remembers the wonderful witch in front of the door and all the little things to look at in the flat.
Lots of love from us all and a big, big hug,
With Nico and Johanna

Janet Bagnall

January 12, 2013

Love to you both at this very sad time. Janet was an amazing lady and she had two wonderful daughters. Loving thoughts, Janxx

Gene, Jenny, Hannah Tougher

January 12, 2013

Our thoughts are with you at this sad time. But know that your beloved mother will be with you both, always.
Deepest Sympathy.
Gene, Jenny & Hannah

Manorette Conteh

January 12, 2013

Dear Karen and Suzi,
I will always keep you both in my prayers. I will not be able to attend the funeral. I will always be thinking about you all. Thanks again.
Stay bless,
Manorette Conteh

Mary Kamotho

January 12, 2013

hallo Karen and Suzi
I pass my sympathy to you two and entire family at this most difficult time.
Just want to say my thoughts and prayers are with you . It was too hard to be told this morning. Have the peace of God.
love, Mary Kamotho