James L. Adams was born Sept. 26, 1920 to C.H. and Jessie Adams in Rector, AK, and passed this life Jan. 9, 2015 at the age of 94.
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Visitation services will be held at Rose-Neath Marshall St. Funeral Home on Friday, Jan. 16, 2015 from 3:30 to 7:30 p.m. A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015 at 1 p.m. at Broadmoor United Methodist Church. Rev. Conrad Edwards and Rev. Greg Davis will officiate. Graveside services will follow at Centuries Memorial Park Cemetery on Mansfield Road.
Growing up, Dad loved the outdoors, horses and playing tennis. He graduated from Bastrop High in 1937 and later met his future wife Dorothy Walters while at Northeast Louisiana College in Monroe, and they married in 1943 while Dad was home on leave during the war; a marriage that would last 69 years until mom's death. As a young Lieutenant he was a B-24 bomber pilot between 1942-1945 in the 2nd Air Division, 8th Army Air Corp, and 98th Bomber Squadron. He first flew out of North Africa until finally stationed in Norwich England where he flew 34 combat missions over Western Europe, including "D" Day. Amongst his numerous medals, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, Presidential and Air Forces Commendation medals, he qualified for France's Liberation medal, but never sought recognition. Like many of his generation, he rarely spoke of the war and what they went through. Only in his later years did he reveal stories of missions he'd carry with him forever. Dad eventually retired a Lt. Colonel from the Air Force Reserve, but stayed active at Barksdale in the Order of Daedalians.
After the war he and mom settled in Shreveport and lovingly raised four boys: Jimmy, David, Tommy and Mark. Dad had several passions…talking, playing tennis, quail hunting, talking, his family and the outdoors in general and not necessarily in that order. Did we mention talking? If it was quail season the dogs knew it and so did Dad. No telling how many pointers and setters we had over a period of about 70 years. There was always a dog or three in the backyard pen…..and bless her heart, mom put up with Dad and his dogs. If indeed there is a "dog heaven," they'll be waiting for him to whistle up and hit the fields. Till his late 80s, dad could out walk any man that hunted with him, including his boys. He was an avid tennis player and was on the courts until he was 93. He played college tennis and won the state doubles championships late in his 40s and 50s. In his late 80s and early 90s, it was not unusual for Dad's playing partners and opponents to be 10 to 20 years younger.
Dad was the "S&H Green Stamp Man" for North Louisiana, East Texas, parts of Mississippi and Alabama. It contributed to his significant success that he had an easy way about meeting people, and his "gift for gab" was well known. Dad always had a story and could relate easily to just about anyone, and he carried no airs. He was raised as a conservationist by his lumberman father and folks trusted him to respect their property. He appreciated this and would often "drop a few birds" off with the landowner on his way out.
Dad was a "gentleman" and committed to helping others. In his travels, he would come across families suffering difficult times. He would stop in occasionally on them with extra groceries and if there were kids, presents at Christmas. The impression of his giving and the gratefulness of those families has never left us. He was always involved in the community and gave his time to numerous charities. He was active with the Boy Scouts, youth athletic programs, The Food Bank and coordinated the Annual Ice Cream social for regional retirement homes for at least a decade. Oh, did we mention he liked ice cream almost as much as he liked to talk? If you ever talked with him, you might not believe it, but it's the truth. Dad was an incredible "networker." He called on friends and acquaintances in most of the retirement homes in the Shreveport area for years and was on the phone regularly checking to see how people were and who needed help.
Dad and Mom were devout Christians with a strong belief in Jesus Christ and they made sure their boys were raised in the Broadmoor United Methodist Church. He and mom were very involved in the church for many years, both attending and leading Sunday school classes and youth programs.
Dad was preceded in death by his parents and by his loving wife, Dorothy Walters Adams. Dad was a loving "Gramps" to his daughter-in-laws, Phyllis and Ginger, grand-kids Kim, Ashley, Kara, Paul and Leah, as well as family additions Jamie, John, and Pedro. Great grandchildren included, Bryan, Sarah, Harrison, Ella, Knox and Sutton. As an only child he felt blessed to have his family and numerous friends, and we were so blessed to have him.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to the Broadmoor United Methodist Church, 3715 Youree Dr., Shreveport, LA 71105.
Cox Funeral Homes
611 N Washington St
Bastrop, LA 71220
Published in Bastrop Daily Enterprise from Jan. 14 to Jan. 16, 2015