Lenore Thomas Adams


Lenore Thomas Adams died peacefully, surrounded by family, on March 2, 2020. She was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on Feb. 7, 1929, the only child of Nellie Elizabeth (Barns) and Gordon Frederick Thomas. After a childhood in Erie, Pennsylvania, she attended Flora Stone Mather College for Women of Western Reserve University. There she majored in Spanish, Psychology, and a young man named Robert Adams. They were both in their freshman years (he at Case Institute of Technology) when they met. They were married four years later on Sept. 9, 1950. Lenore and Bob had three children. 

Lenore was an active member of First Unitarian Church of Cleveland, now the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Cleveland, on Shaker Boulevard. She was an avid supporter of reproductive rights. She and Bob volunteered for Meals on Wheels for many years. She also was part of several church social and discussion groups, most notably, and recently, a perfect group for Lenore: a laughter group. She was known for her smiles and joyful laughter.

Lenore’s favorite place on Earth was her family cottage within Chautauqua Institution, where she spent part of, if not all of, every summer of her 91 years. The family had a tree planted by the Institution in her honor in a beautiful setting on the Chautauqua grounds last summer. 

She was pleased to be able to serve in various volunteer positions for the UU Fellowship of Chautauqua for many years. Lenore spent both July and August at her lovely cottage. The porch on Bowman Avenue will not be the same without her.

Her major self-described occupation was as “domestic goddess,” attending to her husband, family and many good friends. She liked gathering people together, loved to organize social events, and had the gift of being able to start conversations and get people talking.

Lenore and Bob spent 15 years wintering in Tucson, Arizona, followed by many more winters in the San Francisco, California, area where their sons Tom and Jim resided. But their permanent home remained in Chagrin Falls for 64 years.

Lenore was preceded in death by her son, Thomas Brewster Adams, in 2016. She is survived by her husband Robert, daughter Alison Wohler and son James Adams, grandchildren James Wohler (Federica Proietti Cesaretti), Elizabeth Wohler (Julian Halliday) and Cody Adams, and great-grandchildren Doria and Ricky Wohler.

A memorial service was held on May 2 at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Cleveland. There will also be a gathering of Chautauqua friends this summer on a date to be announced.

Memorial gifts may be made to Planned Parenthood (, the UU Congregation of Cleveland (21600 Shaker Boulevard, Cleveland, OH, 44122) or the UU Fellowship of Chautauqua (PO Box 622, Chautauqua, NY, 14722).

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