Life leaves lasting impression

Kelly Copeland
Assistant editor

Linfield is mourning the loss of a long-time professor who was known for his love of life and dedication to his job and students.Adjunct Professor of Business, Clemens Ady died Jan. 25 from lung cancer. He was 66. Although he had been a heavy smoker since college, Ady’s death came as a shock to his family, friends and the Linfield community. His wife of 43 years, Jean Ady, said he didn’t even appear to be sick until he became fatigued during a recent trip to Mexico. Jean said she has received more than 100 letters since her husband’s death, telling her how much he was appreciated and how much he will be missed. “I think the most powerful words I have received have been from students,” she said. “It’s a real comfort to me that he was loved so much.” Ady graduated from Washington State University, where he and Jean met. He attended Willamette University Law School, and after eight years of practicing criminal and personal injury law, changed courses to attend the University of Miami and study maritime law. Jean said Ady’s love for the ocean sparked his interest in the subject. As a maritime lawyer, he defended the rights of fishermen involved in accidents. She said Ady also had an interest in sailing; he once convinced two men in Miami he could sail, when in fact he had only read books on the subject. “Clem always believed if you studied something long enough that you could put it into action,” Jean said. “He was a very unique person, and I think that came from having a very dynamic mind.” After studying maritime law, Ady started teaching law. He came to Linfield in 1994. Jean said it was natural for him to take the position. “He loved the association with professors, and he loved the academic environment,” Jean said. “He expected students to be active and engaged citizens.”Ady taught Business Law I and II, International Business and International Finance. He was known for his sense of humor, accommodating nature and experience in his field.“He had a great business knowledge, and he could communicate well with his students,” Professor of Business Malcom Greenlees said. Sophomore Russell Austin, who took business law with Ady, said he appreciated his light-hearted attitude and encouragement. “He had great sense of humor,” Austin said. “He always knew what he was doing.” Senior Molly Nelson, who took Business Law I, International Business and International Finance from Ady, attended his memorial service on Feb. 10 because she wanted to pay her respects.“I felt like he had touched my life,” Nelson said. She said Ady was well liked by students because he used real-life experience to make the learning process easier. He was popular among students who smoked as he could always be found smoking outside Taylor Hall between classes.In the classroom, Nelson enjoyed his dry humor, as he told funny stories about his family and about his dislike of Texas. “I feel he really loved his job,” she said. “He (and his students) had a mutual respect and that’s what separated him from other professors.” Jean said although her husband’s death was sudden, they wouldn’t have done anything different had the diagnosis come earlier. “He had such a full, rich life,” she said. “He wasn’t the type of guy to wait until later in life to have fun. For as beautiful and passionate man as he was, I don’t think any time would have been enough.”