Share. Connect. Love.

Posted 2014-03-25T00:27:55Z

Adam's Obituary as published in the Albuquerque Journal, March 18, 2014

STERN, ADAM Adam Stern, beloved husband, father, uncle, son, brother, son-in-law and loyal friend, passed away peacefully on March 14th at home with his loving family by his side. Adam was 55 years old. He was born on June 24, 1958 to Charles and Sonia Stern in Flushing, NY. Adam spent his childhood years surrounded by the bustle of his dad's home photography studio, Russian literature so important to his grandparents, his mom's vibrant artwork on the walls, his precious dogs, Beau and Cuddles and dear childhood friends who remained vital throughout his lifetime. Adam attended high school at the Windsor School in Flushing, New York where he was the photo editor for his high school's literary magazine and acted in high school stage productions. Adam earned his BA degree in The Writing Seminars from Johns Hopkins University and an MA in Broadcast Communications from Boston University. He followed with a second Masters Degree in Counseling Psychology from Antioch University, New England Graduate School. Adam combined his education, wisdom and kind gentle manner to serve others as a counselor. Adam began his career working at Strafford Guidance Center in Dover, New Hampshire, followed by Corporate Health Resources in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 1999, Adam became a founding partner and chief clinical and operating officer of The Solutions Group, a New Mexico based company offering Employee Assistance and Wellness Programs for over 14 years. Adam was highly respected statewide and in the Albuquerque community for his expertise as an EAP counselor and substance abuse professional, including his service on the DWI Planning Council and the Care Fund Committee at Presbyterian Hospital. Adam and his wife, Denise Harmon, were married in 1990 in New Hampshire. Here they began their careers and the summer tradition of boating and playing with family and friends on the beaches of Maine and New Hampshire. In 1994, after extensive worldwide travels, they moved to Albuquerque inspired by New Mexico's diversity and wilderness. They shared a love of adventure, film, music and laughter, creating a nourishing, loving home with their two cherished sons. Adam was a devoted father whose passion for intellect inspired in his children a love of reading and critical thinking about the world. Adam deeply appreciated his sons' musical talents, relentless teasing about the New York Yankees, athletic abilities and generous hearts. Adam was a kind man who brought to all his relationships wit, respect, compassion, astute intelligence and a good dose of humor. He committed to memory almost every poem he ever read, songs he loved to sing and multiple Russian expressions. Adam treasured his family dogs, Lucie, and Emma and cats, Mija and Luna. Fencing, tireless reading, practicing his guitar, listening to jazz, watching the Celtics, Patriots, Yankees and especially Lobos basketball were all integral facets of his life. Adam was preceded in death by his mother and father and is survived by his wife Denise, and their two sons, Noah (17) and Benjamin (14). The memorial service will be March 19, 2014 at 11:00 a.m. at the First Unitarian Church, 3701 Carlisle NE, carpooling for services is recommended. For those who wish, in lieu of flowers memorial donations may be made to a scholarship fund for Adam's sons: the "Adam Stern Memorial Fund" in care of TD Bank, 184 Route 101 Bedford, NH 03110. Please post your memories, stories and/or donations at www.posthope.org/sternfamily [...]

Posted 2014-03-22T17:00:34Z

Read by Carol Murray at Adam's Memorial Service

My name is Carol Murray and I'm a friend of Adam & Denise's from when they lived in NH.  I was student at the University of NH when Denise was a Hall Director there. Although we had common social connections I'm not sure we ever met or at least neither of us can recall. Denise says she may have heard about me which frightens me slightly about what she might have heard.

Our social paths would cross again though several years later forging a friendship that has lasted almost 25 years.  After receiving my Masters Degree in 1990, I applied to a community mental health center in Dover, NH where Denise and Adam had gotten hired as well. Adam in the adult outpatient department and Denise in the youth & family department. I recall going into my interview in the Adult department. They were a great group of folks who clearly all enjoyed one another's company, laughing, smiling and telling great stories.  Adam with his beard and bald head looked liked Freud so I figured he must be a therapist who really knew what he was doing. The group hired me and it was a job that I loved, as much for the friendships that developed that have fueled my life as the good works that we were doing. I loved working with Adam as did others throughout the agency. He was a funny, bright, ethical, kind, gentle and an honorable man. And everyone at the Agency knew this about him because of the respectful ways he walked amongst all of us. He was an outstanding therapist who cared deeply about helping his clients mend their broken spirits.

He was a trusted & beloved friend to me and to many others right from the very beginning. I just loved Adam and have always felt a dear connection with him, referring to him always as my big Jewish Brother. I could tell Adam anything no matter how trivial or personal. He and I never shied away from laughing & telling the grossest of stories that would make others laugh out loud & roll their eyes at us. Adam & I and the other folks in our group would sit at the office in between ct's, at lunch or after work and talk about what really mattered to us in life. He was a wonderful playmate when any of us needed a break from the days grind. I've been in touch with several of the folks that worked with Adam during those years at the mental health center and they are all equally heartbroken at his loss. They send their love to all of you for losing such an amazing guy.

I wanted to share with you that Adam was fascinated by my hair. When Adam & I worked together my hair was thicker and had a bit more bulk to it. Invariably in a work day or if we were out to dinner at some point he would come over to me, put his hand on my head and pat my head. He'd do this with the curiosity of a scientist trying to understand the bounce factor of my hair. He'd say, "So So Fluffy... Carol you have such thick hair." And in kind, at some other time, I would walk by him or stop by his office & rub his bald head and appreciate it's shininess with him. When we saw Adam a couple of times this year, just like always he patted my head complete with commentary. It warms my heart just to think of it.

One last story to leave you with that lacks a little social grace, but it was so Adam or it was Adam at that time anyway... Many years ago my former partner, Lauren and I flew out to Albuquerque before Noah and Benjamin were born to go on vacation with Adam & Denise. Sometime soon after arriving we were all hanging out, visiting & talking about our upcoming trip to Canyon deChelly when Adam not so subtly picked his nose. Of course we had to needle him about this a little and Adam turned it into an opportunity for a nose picking seminar for Lauren & I. While laughing & joking he provided us with a live glorious dramatic demonstration of nose picking as he explained that he was only trying to normalize that it was ok to pick your nose in the Southwest because of the dry climate. Then Denise joined in laughing heartily with her own interpretation reassuring us not to feel badly about doing it because everybody apparently picks their nose here. We were all so young, so silly and so excited about the adventures that life had in store for us.

I will miss my friend Adam for the rest of my life. No one will ever take up that place in my heart that was reserved just for him; that silly, tall, wonderful man who lovingly patted my head, my big Jewish brother.[...]

Posted 2014-03-21T05:06:00Z

Read by Susan MacLean at Adam's Memorial Service

18 plus years ago I met the most unusual, soft-spoken, compassionate man.  He was a tall, bald, goofy character.  I didn’t know him well at first.  We were co-workers and our paths crossed infrequently.  As time passed an opportunity arose to start a business.  There were three of us willing to take the leap of faith – two Jews and a Mormon.  We were an unlikely threesome – we called ourselves MJ squared.  If you asked me at the time, I never would’ve imagined that Adam and I, J squared, would be the surviving owners - but that was the way it was meant to be. We got to a point early on where it was clear only two of us would survive which presented a tremendous hurdle.  We were forced to ask our other partner to leave and I will never forget telling Adam that I would do the dirty work, but he had to have my back.  From that point on he ALWAYS had my back.  He trusted me.  He supported every business decision I made even though I am certain some of them kept him up at night.  And yet, we ran a successful business for 14 plus years.[...]

Posted 2014-03-20T12:07:33Z

Read by Mari Snow at Adam's Memorial Service

When I think of Adam, I think of the “Gang of Five” and the Three Stooges. For me, this is such a fitting metaphor for this precious lifelong friendship. Because that’s what it’s always been like when any combination of Ad, Les, Charlie, Frank and Mark get together. A fifty year-long slap stick comedy routine full of poking, prodding, headlocks, tickling fun.  Verbally and physically, they revert back to child-like silliness as soon as they are within arm’s length of each other. And of course, in this, Adam always had the advantage.[...]

Posted 2014-03-17T15:35:18Z

The Adam Stern Memorial Fund

Adam's family has set up The Adam Stern Memorial Fund as a means for Adam's friends, colleagues, family and well-wishers to pay tribute to and show remembrance of Adam. This fund will be dedicated as a scholarship fund for Adam's sons, Noah and Benjamin, to provide assistance with future educational costs. In lieu of flowers, if you so choose, Adam's family asks you to consider a donation to this fund.[...]