Mary Neal Adams


Mary Neal Adams, age 82, died peacefully at her home in Manchester-by-the-Sea, Massachusetts on May 10.  Mary was born in Boston, Massachusetts to the late Kirke A. and Dorothy B. Neal.

Mary attended Beaver Country Day School and received her Associates degree from Bennett College.  After which, Mary began a lifelong career of caring for others.  First with Boston Children’s Hospital, then the American Cancer Society, later Mary spent over a decade at Action Inc. in Gloucester, advocating for those in need of housing, food stamps, medical insurance, social security and fuel assistance.  Following Action Inc. she became a tireless agent for the Shaw Fund for Mariner’s Children, where she helped provide support for fishermen and their families.

Mary retired from formal advocacy in 2000.  She will be remembered by many for her kind, funny, deeply compassionate and no-nonsense approach to care for anyone in need. 

Those closest to Mary will smile remembering her mischievous streak, her mastery of trivia, and her delightful wit and charm.

She is survived by her daughter Laura S. Waxdal and her son-in-law Peter B. Waxdal of Gloucester, MA; her beloved grandchildren Erik S. Waxdal and Kathryn A. Waxdal; her sister Diane Neal Emmons and her nieces and nephews Mary Hebdon, Richard Symonds-Tayler, Elizabeth Emmons, Robert Emmons, Catherine Emmons and Annie Barton. She was predeceased by her sister Dorothy “Dee Dee” Symonds-Tayler, her husband John “Randy” Adams and her son Robert W. Crook, Jr.

A Memorial Service will be held at a later date, when all who loved her can safely gather.  Burial will be held privately.  Contributions may be made in her name to the Grace Center, 10 Church Street, Gloucester, MA.  Information at (978) 675-6240.