Charles Adams
January 23, 1943 - May 19, 2023

Charles Raymond Adams, 80, passed from this life Friday, May 19. The son of Raymond Gibbs Adams
and Maybelle Forrest Adams, he was born in New Bern on January 23, 1943.
In the early 1960s, Charles was among the first staff members of what was then known as the Tryon
Palace Restoration. Under the tutelage of the Tryon Palace director, Miss Gertrude Caraway, he served
as a greeter and guide and learned the identity, provenance, and style of every original item in the
palace collection. His love for the subject led to his major in interior design at Mount Olive College and
shaped his business career.
A long-time and successful antiques dealer and appraiser in New Bern and Wilmington, Charles became
known as an expert in collectibles including fine art, china, crystal, silver, period furniture, and nautical
artifacts. He possessed a near encyclopedic knowledge of New Bern history and could recite the
genealogies of the founding families, the ownerships of each historic home, building, and church, the
chronology of events, and the names and locations of the city’s historic places.
His sparkling wit and hearty laugh will be missed by all who knew and loved him.
He is survived by his life partner of 48 years, James Cleveland Keeter, Jr.; triplet daughters, Nancy
Kennedy Adams, Sarah Katherine Adams, and Mollie Adams Bales; and one sister, Susan Adams Byrd.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, June 5 at 3:00 p.m. at Christ Episcopal Church in New Bern.


  • Dean H. Posted May 23, 2023 5:45 pm

    Rest in piece, Antique Man.

  • Carlette Stanley Posted May 24, 2023 4:15 pm

    Oh Katherine I am so so sorry. Damon & I will keep you in our prayers.

  • Melanie alexander Posted May 24, 2023 7:04 pm

    Jimmy, Nancy, Mollie and Catherine. So sorry to hear about Charles. remembering all the fun times we had downtown and on our bus trips! Rest in peace Charles🙏

  • Vickie Whitford Posted May 24, 2023 7:29 pm

    Rest In Peace my dear friend.Things are so much better where you are now .God Bless all the family and friends

  • Sherry Demas Posted May 24, 2023 8:09 pm

    We loved Charles. We will miss him so much. He gave us so many good times.

  • Connie Nelson Posted May 27, 2023 2:28 pm

    Charles was known for his intelligence and kind, fun, generous spirit. He often led group history tours of Wilmington when Bob Jenkins needed extra guides. He will be greatly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with Charles’ daughters, family and friends.

  • Phyllis Carpenter Posted June 2, 2023 8:08 am

    Mollie & family I am so sorry for your loss His memory of New Bern events was incredible Prayers and hugs being sent

  • Tim Holden Posted June 19, 2023 3:10 pm

    You are missed. Thanks for your kindness and rest in peace.

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