Robert Adams IV

Robert Adams, VI, of Wavering Place Plantation and Columbia, SC, died on January 26, 2019. Adams, age 55, was a preeminent Statehouse lobbyist, a noted conservationist, and a civic leader.

Robert is survived by his beloved wife Shana Voll Adams, to whom he was devoted. He is also survived by his sons PFC Joel Adams and Robert Adams, VII, as well as his parents Ambassador Weston Adams and Elizabeth Nicholson Nelson Adams, PhD. He is also survived by his brothers Weston Adams, III (m. Elizabeth Boykin Adams), the Rev. Daniel Wallace Adams-Riley (m. Gena Adams-Riley), and Julian Calhoun Adams, II. His nieces and nephews are: Isabel Hope Adams, Edward Weston Boykin Adams, Patrick Henry Nelson Adams-Riley, Fin M’Coul Adams-Riley, and Elizabeth “Libba” Wentworth Adams. Further, he is also survived by his uncle Dr. Julian Calhoun Adams, his aunt Martha Whaley Adams Cornwell, his uncle James Emerson Smith and his aunt Nina Geddes Nelson Smith, his aunt LeGrand Moorer Nelson, and his cousins former Rep. James Smith (Kirkland), Helen Calhoun Stanton-Adams (Danielle), Charles St. George Sinkler Adams II, William Shannon Nelson III (Lori), Francis Pickens Nelson, Caroline LeGrand Nelson, and countless other kinsmen. Additionally, he is survived by Bonnie Drake Loomis, who is the mother of Robert’s two sons, along with her husband Chris Loomis, and Bonnie’s and Chris’s daughter Anna Leah Loomis.

Adams was born July 3, 1963 in Columbia. He was the grandson of Patrick Henry Nelson and Elizabeth Nicholson Nelson, and the grandson of Robert Adams, IV and Helen Calhoun Adams. His family’s history included many men and women who, like Robert, worked selflessly for the well-being of the local community, the State of South Carolina, and the nation. Through the generosity of his uncle Dr. Julian C. Adams, Robert and his brother Weston together owned their family country place, Wavering Place, carrying on an unbroken line of Adams family ownership there dating back to 1768. Robert descended from Joel Adams, known as “Joel of All”, who settled at Wavering Place in lower Richland County in 1768. Robert’s other notable ancestors included Governor James Hopkins Adams, Governor John Sheppard, Governor William McWillie, U.S. Senator John Hunter, Revolutionary War General Richard Richardson, South Carolina authors Julia Peterkin and Edward Clarkson Leverett Adams, and Elizabeth “Betsy” Griscom Ross, the maker of the first American flag.

Robert was educated at the Hammond School and Clemson University, and was a devoted attendee with his sons at Clemson sporting events. Further, Robert’s 13 summers at Camp Deerwoode in Brevard, NC, where he was a camper, Junior Counselor, Counselor, and ultimately Camp Director, were a formative influence on Robert’s life. Camp Deerwoode’s owner Bill Mayes, who instilled in all Deerwoode boys a strong work ethic twinned with an instinct for adventure, was a powerful influence in Robert’s life, and in the lives of all Deerwoode boys.

Robert was inspired to enter Republican political life by the sterling example of his father Ambassador Weston Adams, who was a South Carolina State House Member, and who served as the U.S. Ambassador to Malawi under President Reagan. Robert ultimately was a Statehouse Lobbyist with McGuire Woods Consulting, where he worked with former Governor Jim Hodges, Billy Boan, and other close friends. He started his political career as a Republican campaign consultant, working on President George H.W. Bush’s successful 1988 campaign for president. He also worked for the Republican National Committee in Washington, DC. Robert went on to run campaigns for U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond, Governor David Beasley, and Congressman Joe Wilson, among others. Additionally, he served in the administrations of Governor Beasley and Governor Mark Sanford, before beginning his lobbying practice.

Robert was also a noted conservationist. He was instrumental in his family’s decision to give the Congaree Land Trust a conservation easement on Wavering Place, and also served on the Congaree Land Trust’s Board of Directors. Additionally, he served on the Board of Directors of the Kensington Plantation Foundation. Most notably, he skillfully led the political campaign which successfully opposed the Green Diamond Development, which was a controversial planned community proposed for the Congaree River floodplain just north of the Congaree National Park’s rare virgin bottomland forest. Adams worked tirelessly for the continued protection of the Park’s virgin bottomlands, which had been part of the Adams’ original landholdings in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Most fundamentally, Robert was a loyal, dependable, and loving friend to many people. He was the keystone of many different social groups of which he was a member. He served as President of the St. Andrews Society of Columbia. Likewise, he served as the President of the Town Club, being only the third President in that dining club’s 100 year history. He also was the perennial organizer of the Annual Camp Deerwoode Boys Reunion in Brevard, NC. Further, he was an active member in various clubs, including the Society of the Cincinnati (Charleston), the Columbia Cotillion Club, the Society of Lower Richland, the Forum Club, the Welcome Society (Philadelphia), and many others.

There will be a private interment at Robert’s ancestral church, St. John’s Episcopal, Congaree, SC, Thursday January 31, 2019, followed by a funeral service for all friends and family at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Columbia, SC, at 2:00 PM that same day. The Adams family will then hold a reception at Trinity’s Satterlee Hall immediately following the funeral. Shives Funeral Home, Trenholm Road Chapel, is assisting the family.

Memorial gifts may be made to the Congaree Land Trust, a 501c3 organization that works towards the conservation of Robert’s beloved native lower Richland County.

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