William L. "Bill" Adams, 77, loving husband, father, retired chairman and chief executive officer of Union Pacific Resources, passed away at home Monday, Feb. 12, 2007, following a chronic illness.
Funeral: 11 a.m. Saturday at Ridglea Presbyterian Church. Private entombment: Greenwood Mausoleum. Visitation: 6 to 8 p.m. Friday at Greenwood Funeral Home.
Memorials: In lieu of flowers, donations in his honor may be made to the Longhorn Council of the Boy Scouts of America, Box 54190, Hurst, Texas 76054-0190, or Texas Christian University, Energy Institute, Box 297044, Fort Worth, Texas 76129.
Mr. Adams was a U.S. Navy veteran of the Korean War, renowned and well respected petroleum geologist, prominent oil industry executive, community leader and philanthropist.
Mr. Adams, a member of numerous professional organizations and boards, was the retired chairman and chief executive officer of Union Pacific Resources. He was an active former member of the TCU board of trustees and an enthusiastic supporter of the Boy Scouts of America.
Born in 1929 in Clay Center, Kan., and raised on the family farm, Mr. Adams was the sixth of eight children of Glenn and Elizabeth Adams. Upon graduation from the University of Kansas in 1951, Mr. Adams entered the U.S. Navy where he served as an officer on the USS Badoeing Strait during the Korean War. While serving in the Navy, Mr. Adams met and married Betty Ann Froehlich in Los Angeles, Calif., where he completed a master's degree in geology at UCLA.
Following his graduation from UCLA, he joined Stanolind Oil Co., later Amoco Production Co., as a staff geologist. In 1963, he published an award-winning technical paper considered a landmark piece of geologic research referenced extensively by numerous textbooks. He rose to the position of vice president and regional manager at Amoco New Orleans, leaving in 1981 to join Champlin Petroleum in Fort Worth as executive vice president and then in 1982 became president. In 1986 Mr. Adams was named chairman and chief executive officer at Champlin, later UPRC, where he remained until his retirement in 1993. He was a director and member of the executive committee of the American Petroleum Institute and a director of the National Petroleum Council and numerous other energy industry organizations.
Throughout his career Mr. Adams was an active supporter of numerous civic, corporate and philanthropic boards and organizations. He served as an active member of the TCU board of trustees until 2006, when he was named an emeritus trustee. The William L. Adams writing center at TCU was named in his honor. Bill chaired the student relations committee and was a member of the executive committee of the board. TCU honored him with the Honorary Alumnae Award in 1987 and the Royal Purple award. His alma mater, Kansas University, honored him with the Haworth Award in 1991 and he was named manager of the year in 1992 by the National Management Association. Bill and Betty shared a love of classical music and the fine arts, which he supported as chairman and director of the Fort Worth Arts Council. In 1990, Bill was honored as the Fort Worth Business Man of the Year. Mostly recently, he was honored as a Legend of the Industry by the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers.
Bill was a member of the national executive board and executive committee of the Boy Scouts of America for many years and served as vice president program. He was instrumental in the development of the National Sea Base program in the Florida Keys, where the conference center was named in his honor. He was a member of the executive board of the Longhorn Council, BSA and a trustee of the Longhorn Foundation and was named Distinguished Citizen of the Year by the Longhorn Council. The Boy Scouts of America awarded him the Silver Buffalo Award in 1992, which is the highest honor given to a volunteer by BSA, for his extensive service to the organization.
Despite his success and activity in industry and philanthropy, the most important foundation of Mr. Adams life was his wife and extended family. He memorialized his youth growing up on a family farm in Kansas in his book, "E Pluribus Unum," and remained extremely close to his seven siblings and many of his nieces and nephews throughout his life. He truly cherished his children and grandchildren. He demonstrated his love and admiration for his family in his every action. His wise counsel, acerbic wit and sage advice will be dearly missed by his entire family. He faced death as he faced life with a commanding presence and ready wit.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Paul; brother-in-law, Vaughn; and granddaughter, Julia.
Survivors: He leaves his wife, Betty Ann Froehlich Adams; sons, Glenn and wife, Melinda, Craig and wife, Patty, Drew and wife, Corinne, and Kenneth and wife, Cristina; grandchildren, Will, Greg, Lauren, Andrew, Anna, Douglas, Connor, Jacqueline, Nicholas, Carissa, Katrina, Derrick, Alexander and Angelica; and brothers and sisters, Bernice, Ralph and wife, Neva, Leora and husband, Don, sister-in-law, Maurine, Roger and wife, Lorraine, Dwight and wife, Marilyn, and Nolan and wife, Joyce.