John and Laurene Adams
John and Laurene Adams were among the first to establish an endowed fund at the Charlevoix County Community Foundation. A graduate of Williams College and Harvard Law, John came back to his home in Kalamazoo Michigan to practice law in 1945. There he met and married a vivacious Kalamazoo, College graduate-Laurene Wheeler. Together they began to raise a family.
John soon distinguished himself among his peers by reason of “his excellence in problem solving and vast knowledge of taxation, trusts and estates.” Laurene was often described as the “personification of a ‘lady’, always having a kind word, a hug and a beautiful smile”.
An accomplished sailboat racer, John loved the water and boats. So it is no surprise that when he read about Beaver Island, he had to see it. He came for the first time in the late 1950’s and fell in love instantly with its beauty and its people. Soon after he bought property and built a waterfront cabin. From then on all family summer vacations took place on Beaver Island and John visited often in the off season.
John and Laurene couldn’t wait to retire to Beaver Island in 1983. Shortly before John’s death in 1993 they were approached by then C3F president Bob Tambellini. Those at the meeting when Bob gave his pitch remember John grilling him with astute questions. Bob must have had good answers; because shortly afterwards John and Laurene established an endowed fund in the fledgling organization to benefit Beaver Island. Today, a quarter century later, the couple’s children know they would be pleased with C3F ‘s great success and the good their fund is still doing and will always do for the island they loved.