In Memoriam: Bert N. Adams

Bert Adams

NCFR Past President, Bert N. Adams, Ph.D., passed away on January 6, 2024, at the age of 91. Dr. Adams was NCFR's 41st president from 1983-84, and an NCFR Fellow. He was a member of NCFR for over 40 years, and was instrumental in multiple advancements in NCFR. 

Dr. Adams earned his bachelor's from William Jewell College, master's from Southern Seminary, his doctorate in sociology as well as a postdoc from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Adams joined the sociology faculty of University of Wisconsin at Madison in 1965 and for nearly 50 years, taught courses on social theory and large lecture classes on marriage and the family. From 1970-72, Dr. Adams served as a senior lecturer and researcher at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda, and his book, An American Family in Amin's Uganda, chronicles those experiences. Dr. Adams was named a professor emeritus of sociology at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

Dr. Adams was a leader who significantly contributed to the discipline of Family Science. His research focused on marital relations, mate selection, and kinship systems. He authored several books and textbooks, and served as co-editor of the series, Understanding Families with NCFR member, David M. Klein, Ph.D.

Dr. Adams chaired several NCFR award committees and appointed a committee to study and improve the entire NCFR award structure. Additionally, he contributed to the development and planning of the Family Theory Workshop, now known as Theory Construction and Research Methodology (TCRM). Further, he arranged a task force for the development of a family discipline, that ultimately was named Family Science.

Dr. Adams was a renowned musical performer and even sung with the opera — he would often lead musical comedy numbers and sing at NCFR events, such as the annual conference.

You can read his full obituary here.

Dr. Adams will be eulogized during the annual memorial service at the 2024 NCFR Annual Conference. The names of any NCFR members who have recently died are read aloud at this service. Members who have served as an NCFR board member, journal editor, or are conferred NCFR Fellow status are given a eulogy.  

If you learn of an NCFR member who has passed away, please email [email protected]