"The council is losing a great person, not only a great person but a history maker," was the comment of the late Clarence H. Du Burns, who was then president of the council and later Baltimore's first black mayor. "You have served as a role model for many blacks in the city."

As word of her death spread, there were many accolades.

"Victorine was a trailblazer. She served the citizens of Baltimore with great distinction," said Clarence Bishop, Mayor Martin O'Malley's chief of staff. "She was a role model and a great example of a true servant of the people. The city has lost a great leader."

Comptroller William Donald Schaefer - who served on the council with her - remembered Mrs. Adams as "a very wonderful council lady."

He said that with the fuel fund, she "saved many a person from being cold."

"The lady always looked out for people in need. Always," said state Sen. George W. Della Jr., who served on the council with Mrs. Adams. "That is what she was in public office to do, to make things better for those in need and she did a great job."

"She was a giant among civil rights leaders in Baltimore and nationally," said Councilwoman Mary Pat Clarke, another contemporary in office.

Raymond V. Haysbert praised Mrs. Adams for her ability to work with the community by deferring credit to others.

"Victorine was one of the shrewdest people I've known," said Mr. Haysbert, who has known Mrs. Adams and her husband since 1952. "Her currency was the quality of life of the community. That was what she dealt with."
--David Michael Ettlin and John Fritze
Originally published January 10, 2006