William M. Adie, age 87, of 22 Strowbridge St., Trumansburg, passed away Sunday, February 25, 2007.
Bill was born on February 10, 1920 in Scotland, son of a Norwegian mother, Hanka L. Lange of Sandefjord and James Adie of Voe, Shetland.
He was raised and educated between Edinburg and Voe Shetland. His family was the owners / proprietors of Thomas M. Adie and Sons Wool Merchants of Voe. Besides involvement in the raising and production of fine woolens and tweeds, members of his family were involved as managers in arctic and Antarctic whaling.
After hitch-hiking through Europe as a young man, Bill returned to Britain at the start of the war to volunteer for service in the Royal Airforce.
After he learned of the occupation of Norway, he asked to be relieved of duty for Britain to join the Norwegian submariner forces. Bill worked on one of four Norwegian submarines; his duties included sonar interpretation and detection. Their mission was to assist with the protection and evacuation of Norwegian militia to Lerwick, Scotland. This he did while his mother worked in Lerwick to feed and cloth the escapees. This effort became known as the Shetland Bus. Of the four Norwegian submarines, only one survived the war, all others were lost.
Following the war Bill traveled to family in Norway, where he is remembered for his hiking, cross country skiing and for giving long cross country rides to Sweden on his Royal Enfield motorcycle. It was in Oslo where he met his loving wife, Astrid.
His dream to raise his family in the U.S. with more privileges than what war torn Europe offered was realized when Bill and Astrid moved here first from Norway, then Trinidad and finally from Montreal for a quick hop into the states. They stopped off in Cobleskill and Richmondville, living near their only Norwegian family in this country. There he worked two or more jobs to provide for his family, once working on the railroad as a laborer with other immigrant workers. Moving to Trumansburg came about when a managerial position opened up in Cornell University’s Statler Hotel. He spent many happy years there, but the travel bug was still strong. He took a two-year stint with North American Van Lines, a way to see as much of America as possible. These travel assignments took him to all lower 48 states at least twice, once passing through Little Rock, Arkansas during the civil rights strikes of the mid-60’s, a terrifying and impressionable time. Fulfilled with travel, at least for a while, and longing for his family, he settled into a position as driver/clerk of the bookmobile for the Finger Lakes Library System, where he joyfully joined other philomaths until his retirement, further fueling his passion for reading. During those 25 years he made dozens of acquaintances with library patrons, watching the children grow up to become parents, bringing their own children aboard and sometimes grandchildren to take home books from the traveling library. Early on his followers nicknamed him “Scotty”, a name used lovingly for so many years that most didn’t know his real name. When it was time for retirement he donned his kilt and for two weeks enjoyed farewell parties at each stop along the scheduled way. The kilt always came out for special occasions.
Bill had an intense love of family, taking immense pride in their varied accomplishments over the years. Grandchildren came, followed by great-grandchildren. The kid in him kept him at their level for their mutual fun and pleasure. He never missed a chance to be on the floor with them, playing in their games.
His childhood passions continued until the end. Sailing was his number one love. With always more than one sailboat in the backyard, Bill and Astrid enjoyed many thrilling years at the tiller, tending the lines and sheets. With special joy they frequently joined son-in-law, Captain Brad Stahl’s outings on tall ships and restored racing yachts out of NYC and Newport, RI. Number two passion on his list was Nordic skiing. Last Wednesday was to be his last ski outing. On that day he skied with the fluidity, grace, strength, and balance of a much younger man. It was a particular thrill for him to attend the Winter Olympics held in Lillehammer of his homeland of Norway. As a teen he frequently skied with his cousins in Oslo, the two best friends of Stein Erickson, who would later win much gold for Norway in ski racing.
Bill’s love of travel found him at various points of the globe. Starting with his homelands of Shetland/Scotland and Norway, he continued on to the cities and countrysides of France and Egypt. Many years later he and Astrid would embark upon a road trip across the US, a jump across to Hawaii and Maui, then returning home across Canada. Several years later he disembarked for Antarctica, traveling in his 70’s with daughter Susan as Expedition Leader on an ecotourism ship. In his late 50’s and early 60’s Nordic skiing brought him back to Canada, for seven ventures onto the trails through the Laurentian Mountains with daughter, Louise and granddaughter, Tristin in the famous two-day Canadian Ski Marathon. Traveling nationwide regularly, Bill and Astrid filled the rest of their itinerary with frequent visits to son Klaus and family, whose moves with the US Coast Guard took them to various nationwide neighborhoods.
Bill is survived by his loving wife, Astrid; son Klaus (Charlotte) Adie of Boise, ID; daughter Louise Adie of Trumansburg, NY; and daughter Susan (Brad) Adie-Stahl of Newport, RI. Also surviving are grandchildren Tristin (Adie) and Michael Ware of Burlington, VT; Leith Adie of Springfield, MA; Brad Adie, Fairfield, CA; and Stacy (Adie) and David Skipper, Boise, ID. The sweetest of great-grandchildren are Justin, Matthew, Tula and Katelyn; Bill is also survived by a brother, James A. “Lex” (Ann) Adie of Voe, Shetland, Scotland; several nieces and nephews in Scotland and Norway, including Peter, Christopher, Sarah, Martin, Fiona, and their children.
A memorial service will be held at 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, February 28, 2007 at the First Presbyterian Church of Ulysses, 69 E. Main St., Trumansburg. A reception for family and friends will immediately follow in the church hall.
Interment will be in Grove Cemetery, Trumansburg.
“It’s an immigrant’s dream to leave where you’ve been, go where you’re going and be home again.” Michael Kelly Blanchard
Those wishing to remember William are kindly asked to consider a contribution to The First Presbyterian Church of Ulysses, PO Box 597, Trumansburg, NY 14886 or The American Heart Association, 2113 Chili Ave., Rochester, NY 14624.
Arrangements have been entrusted to the Ness-Sibley Funeral Home, 23 South St., Trumansburg, NY. For more information, please call 1-888-534-5446.
Page submitted by: Joseph L. Sibley, Director