Carl R. Adler - Smithfield

Carl R. Adler - Smithfield

Carl R. Adler, a resident of Greenville since 1954, passed away suddenly on the family farm on Oct. 2, 2013. He was 82.

Born in Pawtucket R.I., in 1931, a son of the late Walter and Edna (Hammer) Adler, Mr. Adler had become widely known and respected throughout the town and the state as a farmer and agriculturist, businessman, community leader, and the patriarch of a family that included his wife, Barbara, eight sons and seven daughters-in-law, 14 grandchildren, and one great-grandchild.

Mr. Adler was owner and operator of Adler’s Photo in Providence, which provided photographic services and supplies to families, professional photographers, major local corporations and small businesses, various state of Rhode Island departments, photography and arts students, and many others. Adler’s Photo was a legacy that Mr. Adler and his brother Walter inherited from their father, a German immigrant who came to America in the 1920s.

Mr. and Mrs. Adler purchased a former apple orchard in the outskirts of Greenville in 1954. Over 60 years, Mr. Adler transformed the land into Clear Acres Farm, his vision of a home for his family, a haven for wildlife, and a working farm that made common sense, ecologically sound use of approximately 100 acres of open space featuring protected wooded areas and three ponds fed by natural streams.

The farm produced alfalfa, timothy, and clover hay for dairy farmers, horse breeders, and other purveyors of livestock. For many years, Clear Acres was the home to a cordwood production business managed by Mr. Adler and seven of his sons.

Residents of Greenville and surrounding towns became familiar with the sights (and sounds) of the farm’s dark green flat bed, pick-up and dump trucks carrying loads of hay or cordwood to customers throughout New England. In the winter, many of those trucks took on another major task: plowing snow. Mr. Adler began small by plowing rural roads in northern Rhode Island, but as his resources (and his family) grew, he developed the capability of providing a fleet of trucks to plow snow for the state of Rhode Island, clearing major roads for drivers including Route 295 during historical snowfalls such as the blizzard of ’78.

While the photo business provided the large family with its primary income and Mr. Adler built a strong reputation as a successful businessman, his work in building Clear Acres Farm remains his major legacy. His friendships, partnerships, and collaborative relationships with other agriculturists and farmers both in northern Rhode Island and throughout New England contributed to maintaining farming communities and contributed to the vitality and viability of farms throughout the second half of the 20th century.

Clear Acres became home base for Adler Bros., Inc., a company owned and operated by six of the Adler sons that has built upon and expanded the Adler “brand name” in the areas of land development, building and construction, and site preparation for both large- and small-scale businesses. Son Gerald continued the family’s traditions in photography by managing Adler’s Photo after Mr. Adler’s retirement. Son Carl Ralph is a professional writer.

Mr. Adler was an active participant in community politics, serving as member and chair of the Smithfield Town Council in the 1960s and a member of the Providence Rotary. Having served in the U.S. Marine Corps and having had long and deep respect for the sacrifices of those who serve in the armed forces, he proudly joined other community leaders on the committee that guided the construction of Smithfield’s Veterans’ Memorial.

In addition to his wife, Barbara, Mr. Adler leaves sons, Carl Ralph, Kenneth, Bruce, Michael, Scott, Gerald, Jeffry and Christopher; daughters-in-law, Daniela, Deborah, Eileen, Donna, Susan, Heidi and Lisa; grandchildren, Bryn, Caleigh, Ryan, Kurt, Nicholas, Neil, Rachael, Matthieu, Jeremiah, Marissa, Matthew, Lauren, and Caroline; and great-granddaughter, Sophia. He was grandfather to Caitlyn, who passed away in 2011. He also is survived by a niece and a nephew.

His funeral service was held Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013, in the TUCKER-QUINN Funeral Chapel, 643 Putnam Ave. Greenville. Information and Condolences, visit