Funeral arrangements set for writer Chuck Adams

01/05/2011 11:00 AM |

RANDEE DADDONA FILE PHOTO | Author Chuck Adams in 2009 speaking at his Mattituck home about the release of his first novel, "Something More."

Update: Funeral arrangements have been set for Times/Review sportswriter and author Chuck Adams.

The family will receive visitors Friday, Jan. 7, from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. at Defriest-Grattan Funeral Home, Mattituck. Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 8, at Mattituck Presbyterian Church.

Author, sportswriter and businessman Chuck Adams of Mattituck died Tuesday at Peconic Bay Medical Center. He was 55.

A cousin, Lori Wulffraat of Riverhead, said the family was awaiting an autopsy, but they believed Mr. Adams died from a reaction to medication.

Ms. Wulffraat described her cousin as “outgoing, upbeat, smiling, happy, living for the day,” and said his two daughters, Rebecca and Bridgette, were his life.

“He had such a strong will for life and happiness. He was going to live to at least 75,” she said.

On his Facebook page on New Year’s Day, he wrote, “To all my family and friends, this has been a difficult year in so many ways, so I want to thank all of you for your love and support … Happy New Year!!!”

Another posting on his Facebook page hours after his passing summed it up for many who knew Mr. Adams. Alison Hallock wrote, “I will miss you so much. RIP, Chuck, you have been a beacon of hope for so many people including me.”

Just a year ago, Mr. Adams published his first novel, “Something More,” a story that paralleled his own life so closely that his parents had difficulty separating him from the book’s main character, Bobby Sanders, he said in an interview at the time.

But the author and his fictional character differed greatly in one major way, he said. Bobby Sanders sometimes expressed frustration with his life as a paraplegic and contemplated suicide, while Mr. Adams said he himself embraced life with zest.

“Success isn’t driven by your arms and legs; it’s driven by your heart and head,” he said. He described “Something More” as “a story of determination.”

Mr. Adams’ paralysis was the result of a breech birth that severed his spinal cord. He wasn’t diagnosed until he had started to crawl and his parents realized he was using his arms to pull himself along. As a toddler, he spent close to a year at St. Charles Hospital while doctors explored what to do for him. But he remained in a wheelchair.

In recent years, Mr. Adams underwent a number of surgeries. With the last one, in January 2010, he told his doctors he wanted 10 to 15 more years to pursue his dreams, one of which was to publish two additional Bobby Sanders books. The second, written last year, is expected to be published soon, Ms. Wulffraat said. Mr. Adams had been working on the third book in the trilogy for the past year.

For some 20 years, Mr. Adams was a freelance sportswriter for Times/Review Newspapers; his day job was as a corporate sales representative for BJ’s Wholesale Club. Earlier in his career, he was vice president of marketing and public relations for Riverhead Savings Bank. He also co-hosted the weekly sports cable television show, “The Hot Stove League.”

His co-host, Doug Wald, said Mr. Adams “lived for sports and lived for music. I just remember his penchant for life. He was one of those guys who never let his challenges hold him back. He just had a strong presence.”

Mr. Wald called his friend “an absolutely lovely guy” and said, “There was not a bad bone in his body. Chuck was all heart.”
Besides his daughters, Mr. Adams is survived by his parents, Antone and Georgia Adams, and his brother, Greg Adams.

[email protected]

Bob Liepa contributed to this story.



11 Comment

  • Chuck was a class act. His talent and spirit made it difficult to view him as disabled. I will miss seeing and talking to him at local sporting events.

  • Very sad news about a guy who always was upbeat when I spoke to him. His passing is a reminder that ever day is a good day.

  • My heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. He truly was a wonderful, caring human being. His beauty and sincerity really shined from within. If only more people had his attitude, pleasant, positive disposition and helpfulness towards everyone as he did what a better world this would be! RIP in God’s Love.

  • Chuck was an amazing man. I worked well with him at RSB. Rest in peace Chuck I will miss you.

  • although i met mr adams and spoke briefly on a few occasions a long time ago i saw a man whos direction and confidence in himself and his ability to communicate in a way that i felt few people could would take him a long way in life.peace and goodwill to his family.

  • I know Chuck for 26 years. He was an awesome guy, wonderful father, and a true friend. He will be missed and loved . He is now in Heaven with his best friend, my late husband, Demetrios. May you both rest in peace with God. Love and Prayers to his family!


  • Another scare tactic…cut all the pensions for teachers and admis. in at least half..think of how much more the kids would get and how much lower our taxes would be.

  • While figuring this BS out, Please consider an earlier NSS article dated 11/22/10 which follows;
    Mount Sinai superintendent made $400K last school year
    By Samantha Brix | November 22, 2010 in News


    Mount Sinai superintendent Anthony Bonasera earned the fourth highest salary of all superintendents in New York State — $402,944 — for the fiscal year that ended June 30.

    That figure included a $224,000 advance he took on severance pay he would have been entitled to in three years, when he plans to retire. The advance saved the school district $37,000 over what Mr. Bonasera would have been able to claim if he’d waited three years.

    He received half of the advance in June, soon after the board of education approved it at a June 16 meeting. He’ll receive the rest during this school year.

    School officials insist the district benefitted in the long run from the early pay out.

    “It would have been extraordinarily difficult for the district to give out in one year” the full $261,000 Mr. Bonasera would have been entitled to if he’d waited, said Mount Sinai board of education trustee Jeffrey Segal.

    Board president John Wittpenn said at a Nov. 17 board meeting that economic conditions may be no better in three years. “We have no idea where we’ll be in 2013,” he said. “We would have owed that money regardless.”

    Parent Teacher Organization president Ellie Marino said she was in favor of the early payout. “If things are legal, that’s fine,” she said.

    Dr. Bonasera, who was hired as deputy superintendent in 1982, defended his high salary at the meeting, noting that the academic program had grown, a high school had been built and athletics and extracurricular programs had been expanded during his tenure.

    “My obligation in accepting that salary is not only to manage the district and grow the programs, but to lessen the financial impact on taxpayers by finding ways to reduce costs or increase revenues, hopefully at a level to totally offset my salary,” he said in a statement. “That has occurred.”

    Dr. Bonasera said when he resigned as deputy superintendent and became superintendent, he accepted a $100,000 reduction in money, to which he was entitled, including half of his unused sick days, all of his unused vacation days and 40 percent of his salary. He noted that two central office positions have been eliminated — deputy superintendent in 2008 and assistant superintendent in 2009 — since he’s been superintendent, which resulted in more than $400,000 in savings each year.

    Dr. Bonasera acknowledged the fact that his salary is high and told parents and community members he didn’t take it for granted.

    “I’m doing this job because I enjoy it,” he said. “I appreciate the salary I make.”


    It’s High Time to examine the REAL problems in our local education [read- HIGH TAXES!] and state funding. WE have and give way too much. They’ve constantly gotten away w/ mis-spending it throughout of our lives.

    When do we ever say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH?

    I’m ready, right now.

  • Perhaps the district should consider cutting adult education and making families pay the full cost of driver education to save programs that are more central to the education of its students. The district pays several thousand dollars to the adult education director alone. Leave adult education to the libraries. Also, shouldn’t the community be questioning why we have some of the highest paid administrators in New York State?