November 7, 1938 - December 7, 2020
UTICA - Mr. Burnie Adams, Jr., age 82, went home to the Lord on Monday, December 7, 2020 at MVHS at St. Luke’s Healthcare after suffering a stroke. At the time of his passing, his wife and sons were by his side. Born in Quitman, Georgia on November 7, 1938, Burnie was the son of the late Burnie Sr. and Essie (Mobley) Adams. He was raised and educated in Georgia. As a young man, he came to Utica to live with his father and step-mother for a better life and to be with family. A veteran, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and was discharged in 1956. His family and friends thought it would be a good idea to introduce him to a young lady named Melvina Reed, so they did. And they clicked. But Burnie had to be patient until she completed her college education, so he was. When they got back together, they were still in love, and on July 27, 1963, Mel and Burnie were wed. They created a comfortable, loving relationship, Mel and Burnie were their own people, but when it came back together, it was a truly tight fit. Their children saw them as role models to commitment. The real success to their relationship was that they always worked things out. Burnie worked at Ray Benson Chevrolet, which was an opportunity for him to show his work values and his initiative. He later accepted a position at the FX Matt Brewery where his duties and responsibilities began in the garage maintaining the trucks. In response to his exceptional work ethic, Burnie advanced to Driver assigned to local routes and the New England area. He also operated the Trolley Car. When he retired in 2002 after 35 years of service, he was the lead man of the Racking Room. Fred Matt/President of the F.X. Matt Brewing Company summed up Burnie’s attributes: “He was very devoted and did an awesome job. I would say ...[he] was beloved by our customers as well as all the FX Matt Brewing Company Team”. A humble man, Burnie was honest and generous to a fault, and if someone needed anything, he attended to it, and Mel “often” had to remind him of his generosity. As a dad, Burnie taught his kids strength, humility, and attentiveness, and he stood by their side. When his boys played a sport, he was an active member from the stands or officiating as an Assistant Coach because his kids were always front and center in his life. He was honest, fair, and strict, but laced with humor, too. He was a proud PopPop and Grandpa to Max, Bryan and Florence’s son, who was his pride and joy. He was his first grandchild after a long wait for the next generation. Jason’s son, Jalen, was like a third son to him; they shared in a wonderful relationship because they lived so close. Burnie had love and patience for his grandsons and he was a great influence in their lives. They could never do anything wrong. An avid sportsman, Burnie embraced a sport for every season. He was a bowler for many years at Vista Lanes. He was a Utica College Basketball fan and a member of the Jones Athletic Club whose members supported local sports. In his love for the sport of golf, he frequented the Valley View Golf Course and many prestigious courses in the state. His accuracy and precision was evidenced by the hole-in-one he made at the Woodgate Pines Golf Club and the 2nd place trophy he received from the Black Ministerial Alliance. He enjoyed the strategies of playing the card game, Bid Whist. The Syracuse Orange was his passion and in his post-retirement years he worked as an usher at the Syracuse Dome. He and his son Jason were part of the field Down and Distance “Chain Crew” for over 10 years for Utica College football. When Jason played football for University of Buffalo, whether it was a home game, or away, Burnie was there and there were no boundaries to his travel. Staying close to family was important to Burnie, and he never forgot his relatives living in the South. He traveled to visit them, and took in some golfing on the verdant fair weather fairways while there. At home, he barbecued and started dinner for Mel in later years, and what a delight it was when he prepared black-eyed beans, collard greens, honey-fried chicken, and barbecue ribs, just to mention a few. He also loved and looked forward to the holidays. Burnie was a beloved and faithful member of St. Paul’s Baptist Church where he served on several of the men’s committees at the Parish. Burnie was also a proud member of the Teamsters Union and a member of the Oneida County Veterans Association. Burnie is survived by Mel, his best friend and wife of 57 years; his sons and daughter-in-law, Bryan Reed Adams and his wife Florence Barrau-Adams, and Jason Adams; grandchildren, Maxen Burnard Adams, and Jalen D. Adams; sisters and their loves, Hazel Strange, Mary Lou Henderson, and Burma “Brenda” Adams and Eddie; brothers and sisters-in-law, Willis and Pearline Adams, John Adams. He also leaves a host of nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, beloved aunts and uncles, and cousins; and in-laws, Andrew Bowles, Margaret Reed-Shelton (Eugene), and Darlene Shelton, Fred Reed Jr. and his wife Carla Sorey Reed. Burnie was a man who earned the moniker “unofficial Mayor”! He was a friend to many, …some long lasting, some instantaneous. He was predeceased by his daughter, Laverne; sister, Delia Mae Bowles; brothers-in-law, Earl Strange, and Bernie Shelton; and his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Fred and Emma Lou (Brown) Reed. The family is grateful to Burnie’s physicians, Kunkel Ambulance staff, MVHS at St. Luke’s Healthcare ER and ICU staffs, Neurovascular Floor personnel, nurses, and staff. All were compassionate, kind, and understanding to Burnie and his family during this difficult time. The family will honor and commemorate Burnie’s life at a private time. In lieu of flowers, those wishing to express an act of kindness in Burnie’s honor may make a donation to St. Paul’s Baptist Church by mail to 219 Leah St., Utica, NY 13502. Interment in Forest Hill Cemetery at the convenience of the family. During this time of social distancing that we are all experiencing, please take a moment to connect with Burnie’s family through the “Memories” section of his obituary. Our prayers go out to all as a sign of our continued support.
UTICA - Mr. Burnie Adams, Jr., age 82, went home to the Lord on Monday, December 7, 2020 at MVHS at St. Luke’s Healthcare after suffering a stroke. At the time of his passing, his wife and sons were by his side. Born in Quitman, Georgia... View Obituary & Service Information
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