Wm. H. Scott Funeral Home

1100 Greenleaf Ave, Wilmette, IL


Hall Adams Jr.

July 28, 1933June 25, 2020

Cap was born in Chicago to Hall and Lenore Adams and raised in Winnetka, IL, in the red-brick house later made famous in the movie Home Alone. Having skipped the 2d grade, he was the youngest member of the illustrious New Trier High School Class of ’50, where he played a passable center- field, developed a lousy golf swing that tormented him regularly for the next 60 years, and made friendships that he cherished for the rest of his life. In ’17, he was inducted into the New Trier Foundation Alumni Hall of Honor.

After New Trier, he graduated from Williams College in ’54 and then served in the U.S. Army, from which he earned an Honorable Discharge in ’56. During his tour of duty, PFC Adams put uncanny hand-eye coordination to use in defense of his country, winning dart-throwing competitions in pubs across Germany.

Cap then started a career at Chicago-based ad agency, Leo Burnett Co., Inc., during which he distinguished himself by his warmth, wit, wisdom and integrity. He claims to have been hired because he was “the biggest applicant” to carry boxes during the agency’s move into the Prudential Building. He rose to be Burnett’s worldwide Chairman/CEO during ’86 – ’91. During that time, the agency enjoyed unprecedented growth, earned industry “Agency of the Year” honors, and built and relocated to the Leo Burnett Building. Cap, a rare servant-leader, characteristically credited “a great team” for these achievements. In recognition of his leadership and service to clients, Cap was inducted into the American Advertising Federation’s Hall of Fame.

After retiring from Burnett, Cap served on the Boards of Directors of Sears Roebuck & Co., McDonalds Corporation, Dun & Bradstreet, Moody’s and Rush Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center. He loved Chicago and was an active and generous philanthropist, favoring causes that offered opportunities to at-risk children and persons with illness or disabilities.

Cap is survived by son, Hall Adams III (Julie), daughter, Cristine McNaney, Psy.D., three grandchildren, Marie and Ellie Adams and Joe McNaney, brother, Alex Adams, sister, Tonia Simon, and wife, Kathleen.

A fitting celebration of Cap’s life will be deferred until after COVID-19 concerns pass. For now, observances will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Perspectives Charter Schools, (www.pcsedu.org), which teaches young scholars values that Cap exemplified.


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Hall Adams Jr.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Barbara Carson Edwards

July 18, 2020

I started as an account management trainee at LBCo in 1988, so Cap Adams was the first CEO I ever knew. He set the bar so high! A disgruntled magazine rep once reached Cap to complain about being left off our DewarsScotch print media plan and Cap called me directly to let me know. I was mortified but he just said, “I’m sure the guy is a real pain but do me a favor and call him back.” Oh my. Class act. Scott and I were fortunate to live next door to Hall and Julie Adams for a few years and see Cap occasionally. What an extraordinary life he led and legacy he leaves behind.

Bob Cloutier

July 14, 2020

I was a classmate of Cappy's at Williams, class of 1954. There are few of us left, so it is important for those remaining to mourn the passing of a truly unique guy, a friend and one who is included in my best memories of college days.

He was a very decent man, full of humor and kindness. Even at this remote distance from being undergraduates together, I remember him well and I will miss him.

I send Cappy's family my condolences and share their sadness at his death.

John Miller

July 3, 2020

When the McDonald's account was new I reported to Cap directly...thousands of stories come to mind, all that's important was that Cap was a brilliant adman and the best boss I ever had who become a great friend.

Had lunch with Cap a few year's ago...nothing had changed, still the true gentleman who easily shared a great story and wonderful laugh.

I was blessed to know and work for him.

Maureen Sharkey

July 3, 2020

Bigger than life, he was! A great big gregarious lovable man! I am grateful to have known him, as I was an art director/illustrator at Burnett.

Maureen Sharkey

July 3, 2020

Bigger than life, he was! A great big gregarious lovable man! I am grateful to have known him, as I was an art director/illustrator at Burnett.

Bob Welke

July 1, 2020

Kudos to whomever wrote the article about Cap. It captures the kind of man he was extremely well. Self-effacing, encouraging, a true team player and captain. Inspirational in a very sneaky way. And always a joy to be around. It's good to note that he got the recognition he deserved and some time to enjoy life after his tour of duty. May he rest in peace. And smiles.

Monica Eorgoff

June 30, 2020

Cap was at the helm of the Leo Burnett Agency when the organization I worked for awarded them with our business...the Beef Industry Council. Burnett developed the iconic “Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner” marketing campaign under his leadership.
A fine gentleman and great leader.
Heartfelt condolences to Cap’s beloved family.

Wally Petersen

June 30, 2020

Back in 1989, shortly after my dad died, there was a big Open House at the brand new Leo Burnett Building for employees’ families. It was a fun and festive day for all, but still tinged with sadness for me, my mom, my sister and some nieces and nephews. With 2,000 - 3,000 people (or more) milling about, Cap took the time to approach my mom and offer his sincere condolences. It was a kind and genuine gesture that has stuck with me all these years. She was touched. I was touched. And it’s but one small example of the wonderful man Cap was. The example he set loomed large and lives on in many of the people lucky enough to know and work with him. Deep condolences to his family for their loss.


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