Robert E. Adams, a Gainesville business owner who helped build one of the largest moving companies in the Southeast, died Thursday at age 85.
He passed away following an extended illness. A funeral service was held Sunday morning.
Described by family as honest and compassionate, Adams played a major role in forging the success of the Adams Transfer and Storage Company, a moving business founded by his great-grandfather. In 2008, he received a lifetime achievement award from the Georgia Movers Association; the only one ever bestowed.
“He enjoyed business, the moving industry and he enjoyed his customers,” said Adams’ son, Jim Adams.
Robert Adams continued his family business after college by opening an Adams Transfer and Storage in Gainesville as well as an Atlanta office in 1964. For 30 years, his son said he commuted back and forth between the two cities to manage the company’s three offices.
“What started with wagons and chain-drive trucks became a modern fleet and one of the largest moving companies in the Southeast by the 1980s,” Jim Adams said.
He graduated from Athens High School and went on to attend the University of Georgia. During his college years, Adams was a lineman for the football team and a member of Lamda Chi Alpha. However, at the outbreak of World War II, Robert Adams left school to serve his country in Italy for the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1946.
Upon his return, Robert Adams continued his education at the University of Georgia and earned a degree in business. In 1947, he married Jo Ann Trapnell and the couple settled down in Gainesville.
Robert Adams joined the American Legion Post 7, serving as commander from 1954 to 1955 and again from 2000 to 2001.
He was a member of Voiture 1317 of the Forty et Eight, serving as grande chef de gare, and was a lifetime member of the Elks Club. He was also an active member of First Baptist Church and enjoyed spending time with his Anglers Sunday school class.
As well as family and church, Jim Adams said his father’s biggest interest was poker. He played every Thursday with several of his closest friends.
Jim Adams said his father was well-respected in his industry for running a quality moving company and he was often modest about his accomplishments.
“A lot of things he did no one ever knew about, and he preferred it that way,” he said.