James Everett McAdams

March 27, 1949 - January 9, 2018
James Everett McAdams

James Everett McAdams died at home on Tuesday, January 9, 2018 after a hard-fought battle with cancer. Faith, hope and love for others carried him through treatments, surgeries and even in his last days he lifted others up. He cared deeply for those around him and filled his days with laughter and reminiscing of a life well-lived.

James was born on March 27, 1949 the son of the late Everett Merron and Viola Bell Monk McAdams. He was preceded in death by his first wife, Andi Whichard McAdams and sister, Rita M. Johnson.

He is survived by his wife, Donna Brooks McAdams; three sons, Chad McAdams and fiancée Rachel Whitaker of Winnabow, NC; Julius McAdams and wife Angie of Creedmoor, NC; Spencer Dawkins of the home; daughter, Caroline Dawkins of Durham, NC; one granddaughter, Amelia McAdams; three brothers, Milburn McAdams and wife Shirley, Ronald McAdams and wife Peggy, Royce McAdams and wife Donna; sisters, Mary M. Day and Ruth M. Smith and husband Dale, all of Texas.

James “Mac” McAdams was a servant leader who dedicated four decades of his life to cultivating and impacting the lives of students through education, leadership and athletics. James knew first-hand how pivotal the connection between family and school could be for children and was passionate about creating an environment where students, educators and coaches alike could thrive.

Beyond Mr. McAdams the principal, James “Poppy” McAdams was a passionate family man. If you asked him, family was number one and he filled his days making memories with them. He enjoyed golfing, was an avid coin collector, history buff and loved classic cars.  James’s love for old westerns and football was rivaled only by his love for his wife, siblings, children and granddaughter. James had an insatiable sweet tooth, loved to bake and would never turn down a big bowl of ice cream. He also cherished impromptu adventures with his wife in search of the perfect hole-in-the-wall restaurant or quality antique shop.

James was loved by many and had an immense amount of love for all those he came in contact with. He spent each day believing in others, he truly believed that the work he was doing mattered.

Memorial service will be conducted at 2:07 p.m. Sunday, January 14, 2018 at Brogden Hall of New Hanover High School. The family will greet friends following the service.

In lieu of flowers, the McAdams’ family would appreciate donations be made to New Hanover High School c/o MacHope Award for Perseverance and Endurance Scholarship.  This scholarship will be awarded to exemplary New Hanover County student(s) in honor of the legacy of James E. McAdams. Donations can be made online to either www.tmcfunding.com or www.k12paymentcenter.com, search MacHope or by mail to New Hanover High School, 1307 Market Street, Wilmington, NC 28401

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Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 1535 S. 41st Street, Wilmington NC 28403



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  • January 12, 2018
    The McDills says:
    Sending our love and prayers to Julius, Angie and Amelia.

  • February 06, 2018
    Duygu Doherty says:
    Mr. McAdams was a great principal and a role model. McAdams' family and friends, please know that you’re in my thoughts and prayers. My sincerest condolences for an incredibly great loss.

  • January 17, 2018
    Teena Kirby lit a candle:
    Lit since January 17, 2018 at 1:07:28 AM

  • January 17, 2018
    Teena Kirby lit a candle:
    Lit since January 17, 2018 at 1:48:32 AM

  • January 15, 2018
    Jeanette Suggs says:
    so sorry to learn of Mr. McAdam's death. I worked with him at NBHS in Leland for many years. He gave me support, a kind ear to listen to any concerns and always was a joy to be around. Since we have not had contact in many years, I did not know of his health problems. He was a good guy to work with and I recall many happy talks with him. May God bless his family because he always talked about them and he looked forward to leaving work to spend time with them.