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Monday, January 30, 1995 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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John Adams Iii Brought Sense Of Style And Good Taste To NW

John L. Adams III's passing is enriching two Northwest landscapes:

Not only did the restaurateur and art collector's death foster a plan to create an AIDS memorial park in Seattle, but he had his ashes spread on the grounds of his Portland villa.

These ends fit the man, who died Jan. 22 of cancer at 52. His passion was designing and working in gardens and interiors.

His home and park-like yard were featured in Sunset magazine, and his C.C. Slaughter's nightclubs and Cadillac Grill restaurant earned kudos for decor as well as food.

"We're trying to get the triangle park across from our Cadillac Grill at 15th Avenue and Madison Street designated a National AIDS Foundation landmark," said his son John Adams IV of Portland.

"He wanted to honor homosexuals and call attention to the plight of people with HIV/AIDS. To that end, we ask that remembrances be made in his name to the AIDS Memorial Park Fund at any SeaFirst Bank."

Good taste mattered greatly to Mr. Adams. He filled his restaurants and night clubs with prints by Chagall, Miro and Calder, and dealt in art as a sideline.

Born and reared in Idaho, Mr. Adams excelled in speech and drama in school. He also painted.

After moving west and getting married then divorced in the 1960s, he opened his first nightclub with a western theme in the 1970s in Portland. He opened C.C. Slaughter's North and the Cadillac Grill at a shared site in Seattle about 1 1/2 years ago, according to his son.

He would hire people with HIV-AIDS, people too sick to work other jobs, for errands to give them a lift in life. He offered a good word, his home or a handout to those in need.

"He was known for his impeccable taste, integrity, flair and compassion," his son said.

Mr. Adams' aunt, Shirley Pollard of Burley, Idaho, said he discovered landscaping as an adult and took to it wholeheartedly. He landscaped her yard.

"He had a tremendous amount of drive," said his sister Debbie Lewis of Yakima. "He liked to have nice things around him, such as fine art. He had an eye. He knew what was going to be hot next - in colors, fashions, plants." She said he was fond of bamboo, and grew orchids and bonsai plants.

His brother, Michael Brunker of Renton, said, "The city had to put in a traffic light in front of his (Portland) house because there had been so many accidents from people stopping to look at the house."

Brunker said each room in the house, locally dubbed "The Pink Palace," was designed differently, as were sections of the garden.

"It was quite an experience to walk through them," he said. "It was right out of a magazine."

Other survivors include Mr. Adams' son Rod Adams of Seattle; his father and stepmother Jack and Emma Jean Adams, Paul, Idaho; his mother and stepfather Dicy and Tom Brunker, Renton; his uncle Bob Pollard, Burley, Idaho; his sisters Jackie Fairchild, Oakley, Idaho, Christy Tacheril, Hayburn, Idaho, Cindy Dalsogleo, Sandy, Utah, and Jane Adams, Cincinnati, Ohio; and his brothers Scott Adams and K.C. Adams, Burley, Idaho.

Copyright (c) 1995 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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