PORTLAND — A crow met Herbert Adams as he drove through the gates of Evergreen Cemetery in Portland nearly every morning during the 35 years he worked there as a supervisor.

He called the crow “Joe,” and fed him leftovers.

“That crow was there every morning he went to work,” said his wife, Louise Adams, of Wolcott Street. “He claimed the crow knew him. Even when we changed cars, he still came. He would say, ‘Here comes Joe.’ He loved it. He loved animals.”

Mr. Adams, who died Sunday at age 87, began working at Evergreen Cemetery around 1952. He managed a crew of about five maintenance men. His wife said he took pride in his work.

Long after he retired in 1987, Mr. Adams would visit the cemetery to feed the animals.

“He liked working outdoors and worked hard to keep the cemetery looking good,” his wife said. “He tried his best to do that.”

Mr. Adams, known by many people as “Herbi,” grew up in Portland as one of 10 children.

He was married to his wife for 62 years.

She said Monday that they met over the phone. She said he called the home where she was baby-sitting, looking for some other girl.

“That girl lost out,” she said. “I won. I guess he liked my voice.”

Mr. Adams was remembered by his wife Monday as a “perfect gentleman,” who liked to work in his garden and make day trips to coastal towns such as Ogunquit, Kennebunkport, Boothbay Harbor and Bar Harbor.

“We had an excellent life,” his wife said. “We had our ups and downs like everyone, but we had a good life.”

Tragedy struck in 1974 when their only child died in a fire at the home where she was living. Roxanne Adams was 24 years old.

“The fireplace was going. A spark came out at night and hit the rug. She died of smoke inhalation,” his wife said. “It was one of those middle-of-the-night calls. She was our only daughter. It was so hard for us. It changed him completely.”

Mr. Adams visited his daughter’s grave every week at Evergreen Cemetery. He will be buried next to her after Wednesday’s graveside service.

Mr. Adams and his wife walked around the Maine Mall a few days a week, and often stopped at the Food Court to have lunch before going home.

She said she will miss her husband dearly.

“I’ll miss everything,” she said. “I’m going to be alone. I’ll miss his companionship. He was my best friend. We did everything . . . I hate this, as you can tell. I have to learn to do things on my own, I guess.”

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at:

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