In Loving Memory

Margaret “Sister” Dugins Adams

October 5, 1928 - October 23, 2020


Margaret Kay Dugins Adams passed away peacefully on Friday, October 23, 2020.  Born in Tuscaloosa on October 5, 1928, she was nicknamed by her beloved older brother, Bobby (John Robert Dugins, Jr.), and known by all as “Sister” from that day forward.  Sister married John William Adams, Jr. on May 5, 1949.  In August 1951, shortly after welcoming their daughter Cynthia, Sister and John moved to Mobile, where their second child, Will, was born.  In addition to raising her children, Sister was involved in many civic organizations, and especially dedicated to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.  At St. Paul’s, Sister led St. Margaret’s Guild for more than 30 years, where she oversaw the restoration and maintenance of the Old Church (circa 1859) and it’s surrounding gardens.  Sister felt that worshiping in the Old Church brought her closer to God, and she hoped to preserve that experience for generations to come.  In addition to her civic work, Sister was known for her beautiful flower arrangements, her skills as a bridge player, and her undying devotion to the Alabama Crimson Tide.

Sister was predeceased by her parents, John Robert Dugins, Sr. and Margaret Cynthia McDade Dugins, her husband, her brother and sister-in-law, Melville Neilson Dugins, and her son-in-law, Douglas Tappan, MD.

She is survived by her daughter, Cynthia Adams Tappan of Pensacola; her son, John William Adams, III (Mary Pat Martin) of Louisville, Kentucky; her granddaughters, Kay Middleton Tappan of Pensacola and Margaret Brinkley Tappan (Edward Brough Holzwanger) of Washington, DC; her great-grandsons, William Hedges Holzwanger and Theodore Brough Holzwanger; her nieces, Bess Dugins Miller, Margaret Dugins Pippin, and Melville Dugins Newman; and her nephew, John Robert Dugins, III.

Her family wishes to thank all who made Sister’s last days joyfully full of calls, cards, visits and flowers, and also the staff of SAAD Hospice and Retreat Center, who cared for her so well.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Sister’s memory to the Old Church of St. Paul’s, 4041 Old Shell Road, Mobile, Alabama 36608, or to Wilmer Hall, 3811 Old Shell Road, Mobile, Alabama 36608.

A graveside service will be held in Tuscaloosa at a later date.

Expressions of condolence for the family may be made at  Hughes Funeral Home, 26209 Pollard Road, Daphne, AL, is assisting the family.


  1. Mary Todd Tate Davis

    Cynthia and Will, I have so many fond memories of your mother when y’all were on Upham Place all those years ago. I love the picture you chose of her. She was a beautiful person in many ways. Love, Mary Todd Tate Davis

  2. Elsie Holmes

    May the God of all comfort wrap you in loving arms- Sister was truly an angel that touched so many – Elsie and Broox Holmes

  3. Suse Patton

    Cynthia and Will,
    I too remember your darling mother who was a our friend and neighbor on Country Club road. She hosted great “coke parties” with strawberries rolled in sugar. She shared her swimming pool with the multitude of Donald family! She was heavenly good to my mother in her declining health.
    She will always be a happy, bright spot in my life!
    Prayers and love,
    Suse Donald Patton

  4. Diane Tappan Horst

    As Cynthia’s sister in law, her husband, Doug Tappan’s, sister, I met and learned to love Sister, when Cynthia and Doug’s relationship grew.
    Sister and John were also close neighbors in Spring Hill. As a life long member of St. Paul’s Church, Mobile, I had yet another connection to Sister.
    She was, without doubt, one of the amazing souls we are fortunate enough to know alone life’s path, who inspires, cultivates and nourishes all that is good and valuable within us. Sister was unselfishly giving in so many ways; an exemplary example for all who knew her.
    God Bless. Diane Tappan Horst

  5. Larry bryant /yardman

    Lwill and Cynthia you have my deepest sympathy your mother was a kind and thoughtful lady she will surely be missed I hope that you and your family be safe

  6. Dr. David Nelson

    She was a Tuscaloosan first, and then Mobile’s gain! I know both of the Fay Ottses considered her soulmates for life. With my deepest sympathy.

  7. Cynthia Tappan

    Dear Larry,
    Thank you for your kind words. One of her last requests was that I call you. The number in her book 382-7182 will not go through. I am so sorry I have not spoken to you directly. You did so much for her over the years. Thank you always for that.
    I hope you are doing well. I’m going to keep calling.


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