Coping with Grief
We would like to offer our sincere support to anyone coping with grief. Enter your email below for our complimentary daily grief messages. Messages run for up to one year and you can stop at any time. Your email will not be used for any other purpose.
Douglas M. Adams, 56, of Nutley formerly Montclair passed away peacefully after a hard-fought battle with cancer on Friday, January 12, 2024, with his devoted wife Liz and his beloved sons, Riley and David by his side. He was affectionately known as “Doug” or “Dougie” to his family and friends.
As an all-hands-on dad, Doug took tremendous pride in coaching the Nutley Youth Lacrosse program while his sons played lacrosse. After a few years, he was elected president and dedicated 11 years to the program, even after his sons graduated from the program. Doug never missed his son’s games: He traveled up and down the mid-Atlantic during the fall and summer months cheering his kids on at travel lacrosse tournaments. “Doug took a struggling youth lacrosse program and built a program that is striving and successful. Many of his players went on to play in high school and in college,” a parent of the Nutley Youth Lacrosse program recently said.
Doug was an avid fisherman and cherished time fishing with his boys. Doug often bragged to work friends that his sons caught bigger fish than he did. He loved saltwater fishing in Old Saybrook, CT, where he spent summers at his family home as a child. Years later, Doug, Liz and their children deemed Old Saybrook their “happy place” and they spent countless summers fishing, going on family bike rides, watching sunsets over the Long Island Sound and eating pizza from their favorite spot, Pizza Works. Together, they’d spend their “summer finale” on Block Island, where they’d eat donuts every morning, dine at their favorite restaurants, and top it off with ice cream from their favorite haunt. They’d spend their days exploring the beaches on the island fishing, hiking and squid jigging. Doug also loved surf-casting at the Jersey Shore; his favorite spot was at the Pump Station in Deal.
Doug spent his career in sales and made tremendous relationships with clients from Long Island to Buffalo. Doug wasn’t only a charismatic guy—he was the kind of man anyone could talk to, making friends with everyone he met.
Prior to his sales career, Doug co-owned La Villa Pizzeria & Ristorante on Broad Street in Bloomfield. Not surprisingly, he became a pizza aficionado and would often make pizzas and sausage rolls for friends and family.
Doug loved to cook. His favorite dishes to whip up for the family were meatballs, fried eggplant, pasta alla vodka, breaded chicken cutlets and chicken marsala. Liz coined him “Dougie Crocker” because he loved to bake, especially around Christmas making cookies, and his infamous blueberry and goat cheese pie that he discovered on the television show, Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.
He was a passionate golfer. He began playing golf in high school and continued to play until he was unable. He treasured playing golf with his mother-in-law, father-in-law and brother-in-law and friends. His favorite course to play was Bowling Green at dusk. Later in life, he introduced his sons to the love of the game. Doug loved being outside and would spend countless hours doing yard work at his home in Nutley and Connecticut.
Doug was a voracious reader, avid news watcher and enjoyed discussing current events and politics with his kids at the family dinner table. Also in his wheelhouse: watching Sunday golf events on television, various shows on the Discovery and National Geographic channel plus every rerun of Seinfeld, The Office and Curb Your Enthusiasm.
Doug was diagnosed with aggressive kidney cancer in 2022. His bravery and strength was remarkable: Doug faced the illness head on, fighting tooth and nail each step of the way. Doug and Liz always searched for a positive note or a “win” as they would call it, even under the most dire of circumstances. He made everyone feel at ease when they were at a loss for words. Doug and Liz were a team until the end, balancing each other out. They had a profound love for each other. He was Liz’s rock and was an incredibly calming force, not just for her, but for everyone who knew him.
Doug was born on September 27, 1967 in Montclair to Francis Merrill and Joan Frances Adams. He was raised in Upper Montclair and graduated from Paul VI High School in Clifton; he later graduated from Seton Hall University.
In addition to his wife Liz of 23 years and his sons, Riley and David, Doug is survived by his brother George of Boynton Beach, Florida; his sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Theresa and Eman Hosseiny of Nutley; his nieces Isabella and Marcella; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, David and Margaret Toth of Caldwell. Doug will be missed dearly by his many close friends and relatives.
Visiting will be Friday from 2- 5:45 at Bizub-Quinlan Funeral Home, 1313 Van Houten Avenue, Clifton with a service to commence at 5:45. A celebration of Doug’s life, and his love for pizza, will follow at Mario’s Restaurant, 710 Van Houten Ave, Clifton. In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions in Doug’s name to Memorial Sloan Kettering (mskcc.org), The Kidney Cancer Association (kidneycancer.org) or the Nutley Youth Lacrosse Program.
To plant a beautiful memorial tree in memory of Douglas M. Adams, please visit our Tree Store.