Kelley Kim

Clark Adams, North Redondo Beach business owner, dies at 61

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Six-foot-three Clark Adams always wore a smile and “was dedicated to making life better for everybody,” as Councilman Pat Aust remembered. Photo Courtesy of Clark Adams Windows and Doors

Six-foot-three Clark Adams always wore a smile and “was dedicated to making life better for everybody,” as Councilman Pat Aust remembered. Photo Courtesy of Clark Adams Windows and Doors

Clark Adams, a dedicated family man and celebrated owner of Clark Adams Windows and Doors on Artesia Boulevard, died on July 26 of a brain aneurysm while in Snowbird, Utah for a family reunion. He was 61.

“We felt blessed that we were surrounded by family at the time,” said Adam’s wife, Jill.

Adams, a tall, trim man who often dressed in a simple green button-down and khaki slacks, founded his business 34 years ago. The business today employs 45 people. He was the president of the North Redondo Beach Business Association (NRBBA) for eight years and ignited a cultural renaissance among businesses in the then-blighted North Redondo Beach area. Every day for lunch, Adams would try a new restaurant in the neighborhood, which inspired the creation of Dine Around Artesia, an annual event founded by Adams that showcased sample restaurant fare and encouraged a vibrant dining community in the Artesia Boulevard business corridor. Adams was also instrumental in current plans to create a business improvement district in North Redondo.

“There was never a more diplomatic, professional person on Earth then Clark,” said Kathy Swift, NRBBA secretary.

Clark Adams, third from left holding hat, and North Redondo Beach Business Association board members at WalkAbout Redondo on May 18, 2014. Photo Courtesy of NRBBA.

Clark Adams, third from left holding hat, and North Redondo Beach Business Association board members at WalkAbout Redondo on May 18, 2014. Photo Courtesy of NRBBA.

Frank Canko, owner of Bogey’s Sports Bar & Grill on Artesia Boulevard, remembers Adams’ dedication to the North Redondo community. During a recent Dine Around Artesia, Adams came to show his support for Bogey’s wine and cheese party even though practicers of the Mormon faith aren’t allowed to drink alcohol.

“His religion didn’t allow him to drink, but he came in and supported the event even though he didn’t have to,” remembered Canko. “He was doing it because he wanted to make a difference….You don’t run into people like him all the time in business.”

“Clark was just a real selfless guy who was dedicated to making life better for everybody,” said Councilman Pat Aust, who got to know Adams when Aust’s son moved in across the street from Adams 14 years ago. At NRBBA fundraisers, Aust remembered Adams as “the first one there and the last one to leave.”

Adams brought a sincere joie de vivre to every encounter. Colleagues remember his “Clark”-isms, original metaphors he would use that would brighten quotidian conversation, such as “more nervous than a cat’s tail in a rocking chair store” or “hotter than a frog on a Georgia wood pile”.

John Gran, NRBBA treasurer, likened Adams’ disposition to that of Andy Griffith from the Andy Griffith Show – an amicable, positive gentleman who had “high morals.”

Adams enjoyed growing cacti and peppers, the latter of which he would dry, crush, and sprinkle over food. His wife describes him as a “trivia and knowledge buff” who didn’t want to waste time with fiction, so he only read non-fiction. Adams is survived by his parents B.J. and Clark G. Adams Sr.; his wife Jill; his three daughters Ashley, Lindsey, and Hayley; and a grandson who is expected in December.

Memorial services for Clark Adams will be held August 9 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at 22605 Kent Ave. in Torrance, beginning with a viewing at 10 a.m. and funeral at 11 a.m. His family asks that donations be made to the Los Angeles Times Family Fund, which provides education and literacy programs to disadvantaged kids.
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