Taffy Adams
12/23/1927 - 01/10/2013


Arlene “Taffy” Adams


Arlene P. Adams passed away peacefully on January 10, 2013 surrounded by her loving family. At the time of her death she lived in a unique community in Niantic, CT known as Giant’s Neck. Before retiring to Niantic, she lived for 45 years in Short Hills, NJ, where she raised her six children.


Taffy attended Russell Sage College in Troy, NY where she earned a degree in fashion merchandising, and the nickname “Taffy”, that she has retained to this day. Following her graduation, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1949, she worked for the Specialty Stores Association in New York City.


Taffy was very involved in her community through the years. She was a member of the St. Rose of Lima Ladies Auxiliary, the Essex Skating Club, the Millburn PTA and the Racquets Club. In 1972 she launched her career in real estate, working initially with the Dalzell Company and Allsopp Realtors in Millburn-Short Hills, before becoming the branch manager of the newly opened Burgdorff Realtors office in Short Hills, NJ in December, 1977. In collaboration with Jean Burgdorff, the highly respected owner of the company, Taffy grew the office from 5 realtors to more than 60 realtors at the time of her retirement in March, 2000. Noted for her passion and work ethic, Taffy earned many distinctions. She became a member of the Million Dollar Sales Club in 1978, earned the Certified Residential Broker designation in 1980, and she managed the first real estate office in the area to collaborate with Sotheby’s International that year as well. In 1982, Taffy served as Vice-President of the Millburn Chamber of Commerce and was named Realtor of the Year by the Board of Realtors of the Oranges and Maplewood. In 1995, she was elected to Who’s Who of American Women.


Family always came first for Taffy and she inspired her 6 children and 15 grandchildren on a daily basis. Leading by example, she instilled in each a strong sense of values emphasizing the importance of honesty, integrity, empathy in their daily lives.


Her retirement to Niantic in 2000 marked the beginning of a new chapter of commitment and service. Until December, 2012, she served on the Giants Neck Zoning Board and as a Trustee of the East Lyme Public Library.


She is survived by her loving children Pam Dougherty, Chip (Nanci), Cindy, Suzanne McHugh, John (Kirsten) and Mark (Maureen). She will be dearly missed as well by her adoring grandchildren Suzanne, Brian and Michael Dougherty, Carly, Doug, Margie and Eliza Adams, Lindsay, Travis and Lauren McHugh, Summer and Trey Adams, and Casey, Matthew and Kendall Adams. She is also survived by her sister, Bette P. Risedorf of Granby, CT.


Funeral services will be arranged by Bradley Smith & Smith in Springfield, NJ with viewing on Friday, January 18 from 4:00-8:00 pm. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at St. Rose of Lima Church in Short Hills, NJ on Saturday, January 19 at 10:00 a.m.


In lieu of flowers, donations to Smile Train and the American Heart Association would be most appreciated.


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