Judge J. Kent Adams a 5th generation Texan, was born in Houston on October 23, 1939. He passed away on October 18, 2014, in Livingston, Texas, of cancer. He was predeceased by his parents, Laoma Elizabeth Rice Adams and Capt. James Byron "J.B" Adams. Kent's family arrived in America from England in the 1650's. Kent's 2nd great-grandfather Zachariah B. Rice moved the family into Lamar County, in the Republic of Texas, in 1837. J.B. Adams, a sea captain, moved to Houston just after World War I, where he and Laoma raised Kent and his late brothers Duane Byron Adams and Ronald Dean Adams in the family's home on Brace Street in Garden Villas. Kent's half-brother John Leben Adams and half-sister Alpha Alice Adams, children of J.B. Adams' first marriage, also lived in Houston. The Adams' family has resided in Texas continuously for 177 years, and continuously in Houston for 95 years.
Judge Kent Adams grew up playing with his brothers on the banks of Sims Bayou. Kent was a football standout at The Kincaid School. He graduated from the University of Houston with a B.B.A. in 1963. Kent served in the U.S. Army on active duty during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Following his military service, Kent built a career in insurance, while also attending the South Texas College of Law, graduating in 1972. Kent began practicing law in "the 1960 Area" in 1972 and was in private practice until he was appointed Justice of the Peace in 2001 by the Harris County Commissioner's Court. Kent was very active in business and community affairs and was a founding member and first president of the Northwest Harris County Chamber of Commerce, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2014. Among others, Kent received the "Book of Golden Deeds" award from the Exchange Club of 1960-North Houston, the "Citizen of the Year" award from the Houston Northwest Chamber of Commerce, the "District Award of Merit" by the Boy Scouts of America and the "Community Leader of the Year" award, presented by the North Harris County Economic Symposium.
Kent was married to Eliza Jane Payne in 1958. Their children are Jon Kevin Adams and his wife Sara, and their children Ashley, Megan, Katie and Cole, of Memphis, TN; and their daughter Wendy Adams Riley and her husband Kevin, and their daughters Caitlin and Ella, of Raleigh, NC. Eliza passed away in 2004.
Kent was married to Sandra "Sandy" Lee Parker in 1968. Their sons Lee Cameron Adams, his wife Jennifer and their children Cameron, Hailey, Aiden, and Reese, reside in San Antonio, and Allen Kent Adams, his wife Jackie and their children Beau and Mary Kate, live in Panama City, FL. Sandy died in 1991 after a brave battle with breast cancer.
Judge Kent Adams was married to Pauline Dunlap on September 14, 1995. Together they were an unstoppable team in Republican politics in North Harris County. Judge Adams passed away with Pauline, and several of his children at his side, at their second home on Lake Livingston.
Kent is survived by his wife Pauline, her son Jerry, whom Kent called his "fourth son", Kent's children and their families, and his nieces and nephews Cheri Adams Hall, Kent Morrison Adams, Susan Adams Pluhowski, Anne Adams Broderick, Q. Mark Adams, M.D., Keith Adams and Tammy Adams, and their respective families.
Judge Adams' family was no stranger to public service. Judge Adams served the citizens of Harris County, Texas as Justice of the Peace, Precinct 4, Place 1, for the past 13 years. His' great uncle Elvis Calvin represented Houston in the Texas Legislature early in the last century. Kent's 2nd great-grandfather Zachariah B. Rice served as a county commissioner in Lamar County, Texas, both prior to and following the Civil War. On his father's side, Kent's great grandfather J.H.P. Adams, and J.H.P.'s father William Adams, a decorated hero of America's War of Independence, both served as Justices of the Peace in Bedford County, Pennsylvania for a combined total of more than 50 years. Judge Adams' niece, Sarah Davis, wife of his nephew Kent Morrison Adams, currently represents Houston in the Texas House of Representatives.
Kent's family was incredibly important to him. Kent enjoyed nothing more than spending time at Lake Livingston with as many of his children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews surrounding him as possible. Kent's annual Easter egg hunts were legendary, and along with the extended Adams family, the hunts often attracted others far and wide. Kent's father J.B. Adams taught his sons the value of hard work, often proclaiming "Honest effort is never wasted," a lesson Kent learned at a young age, practiced every day of his life and passed on to his children. Never one to be idle, Kent learned welding just a few years ago, and there are now many proud owners of his artistic creations. On the bench, Judge Adams was known and respected as a fair jurist who took his responsibilities seriously and who tried to improve the lives of countless troubled young people who came before him. Perhaps what most who knew him will best remember about Judge Adams was his warmth, his smile, his acts of kindness, his sense of humor, and his great love for the life that God gave him.
The entire Adams family extends its undying gratitude to the doctors and nurses of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, the wonderful folks on the courthouse staff, the prosecutors, defense counsel, constables, police officers, deputies and state troopers who appeared in his court, and most importantly to the young people and their parents who in so many cases left his courtroom in a better place than when they arrived. The family is eternally grateful to Constable Ron Hickman, Judge Ed Emmett, Commissioner Jack Cagle, and the remaining members of the Harris County Commissioner's Court, for their undying support for Judge Adams. Finally, the Adams family wishes to thank all those for the love, kindness and support shown to their late Patriarch James Kent Adams and his family. That support allows this family to endure this terrible loss and to gain strength to continue from where Judge Adams left off. Funeral Services will be held 11 am Thursday, October 23,2014 at Cypress Creek Christian Church,6823 Cypresswood Drive Spring, TX 77379.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the ARK Program (Adults Relating to Kids) a tough love program at Cypress Creek Christian Church that helped rescue many of the youngsters and their parents who appeared before Judge Adams.