Judge J. Kent Adams
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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.

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Published in Houston Chronicle on Oct. 19, 2014.
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Memories & Condolences
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46 entries
October 25, 2014
Judge Adams just recently made a huge difference in my life when he chose to take the time to listen to the real facts after he had judged on a case, and he reversed his own order. It was 3 days after I lost my father, and my husband lost his father also, in late May. He was the example of strength, meekness, and honesty that we hope to find in our earthly judgement seats. My heart goes out to his family, friends... and our community, because he will be sorely missed!
Victoria Parker
October 24, 2014
Kent TANK Adams was a great wonderful person. I played Right Half at Kinkaid when he was an outstanding Tackle. I always told him he was the guy who made me look good by his great blocking. Sad to see him go. Fantastic Guy. Amen, Johnny Webb
October 23, 2014
I have had the privilege of working for Judge Adams for 12+ years; I already had a deep respect for him both as a Judge and as an employer. After his service today and hearing from his family I have an even deeper respect for him as a man. My sincerest condolences to the entire Adams family, my prayers and thoughts are with you all.
Ruby Kyser
October 23, 2014
All citizens of Northwest Houston have lost an honorable leader and advocate. You will be sorely missed. Thank you for your many years of service and friendship sir.
Pamela Aman
October 23, 2014
My prayers go out to the family and all of the Harris County family for their loss. Judge Adams was very passionate about helping youth and families. He was a strong family man who always mentioned his wife, children and grandchildren, who are such a joy to him. May God bless you all.
Keisha Bundage
October 23, 2014
May God Bless your family.
Steve Hatcher
October 22, 2014
Prayers for you and the family
Valerie Hill
October 22, 2014
Very sorry for your loss.
Don Hemme
October 22, 2014
My thoughts and prayers are with your family. Judge Adams was one of a kind, and I will always remember the many conversations we had when I was in his court for trials. He was a true savior for many young adults struggling to make it through the tough years of adolescence. His tough brand of compassion probably saved many from going down the wrong path in life. Judge Adams truly respected the position he held and used it to better the community he served. I am honored to have known him and will miss dropping by his office to say hi and catch up.
Sgt. Adam Lightfoot, Harris County Sheriff's Office
October 22, 2014
What a great person and mentor, Judge Adams, you will be missed.
William McLellan
October 22, 2014
I am shocked to hear this - my condolences to his family. Judge J Kent's sincere and attentive personality will be missed.
Carol Fox
October 22, 2014
Kent was a wonderful friend and mentor to my wife Marilyn and myself. He will be sorely missed and remembered in our Community for his wise council and leadership.
Robert Hillery
October 22, 2014
I had the wonderful opportunity of working with Judge Adams, an amazing man who will truly be missed.
Edie Jackson
October 22, 2014
Dearest Pauline and family,
Please know our love, thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. Judge Adams was such a great friend to all and an influence for good in our community. We will miss him tremendously. The impact he has made in so many lives is to his eternal credit.
Andi Cook
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Andi Cook
October 22, 2014
Deepest condolences to the family of Judge J. Kent Adams.
Sandra Lenk Haddock
October 22, 2014
My heart is just broken. As a former truancy officer at Spring ISD, I enjoyed watching Judge Adams in action, changing the lives of many kids and their families. Education was of the utmost importance to him. Off the bench he was a kind, loving man who I admired greatly. On the bench he was professional in making a difference in the community.
Judge, you were always my favorite judge to present my cases to...and my heart is heavy with your passing. But I know that you have earned your Angel wings, and heaven has inherited a beautiful new Angel. Rest in Peace, my friend.
Mary Thompson
October 21, 2014
Pauline and family, our prayers to you and your family. What a Blessed Aasurance that he is with our Lord. Our community and your family has suffered a great loss and he wil be missed. Knowing him for many years, I know he is in heaven telling my Mom his latest joke. We will all be together again in heaven. Judy and Steve Crocker
Judy Crocker
October 21, 2014
My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time.
Kerri Lea Keels
October 21, 2014
JP4-1 will never be the same without you. You will be missed. It was a pleasure serving as your bailiff.
Robert Avila, Jr.
October 21, 2014
Judge Adams was a wonderful person as well as being a wonderful Judge. I know he will be missed by many friends, colleagues, and family alike. He had a very human touch during all the years I practiced before him. He will be greatly missed and I count it a blessing in my life that I was able to practice before such a great Judge.
Lisa Cockrell
October 20, 2014
To the Adams family. Kent Is still smiling, he has gone on to the better place all Christians believe," Eternal Life with Jesus" I will miss him, we served many years back on committees. I was even in his chambers on an issue and his motion was against my plead, but he and I understood, we where friends regardless.
He supported my wife and I during times of illness and he said " just call me anytime"
A great man, Texan, father, husband and true servant to our community.
If I never told you, Kent, Loved you as a brother in Christ.
Patrick Clark, God Bless all during your loss of Kent.
October 20, 2014
J Kent, your smiling face will be missed at the NWFRW luncheons, I always looked forward to seeing you every month. You set the standard for our public service and we will make you proud. Our love goes out to Pauline and your children, we will hug them often.
Craig & Pam Bailey
October 20, 2014
October 20, 2014
His wonderful sense of humor will be missed by all who knew him! What a person to want to "be like" when you grow up!! What a Guy!!
Billie Bedingfield
October 20, 2014
Dear Pauline and Family; Kent was a caring family man, fine gentleman and patriot. He was an inspiration to all of us fortunate enough to have known him. He is in perpetual light now with our Lord, and you have the remainder of your lives to cherish his wonderful memory. Love & condolences on your loss.
Patrick Broderick
October 20, 2014
What a wonderful person,and great leader the
family and community lost in J.Kent.
I had the honor to first meet him while I worked for the Houston N.W. Chamber of Commerce.He was such a delight and inspiration to all of us.
His warm personality and smile will be missed. Our prayers are with you, and your family.
Hannelore Briggs
October 20, 2014
Our community has lost a dedicated and compassionate public servant. Judge Adams will be sorely missed by all who knew him and especially by the young people in trouble who will not have the benefit of his "tough love" guidance.
Tony Sortino
October 20, 2014
Pauline, I was so blessed by knowing and working with you for the re-election of your beloved Judge J. Kent Adams. Both of you brought so much to the community and I am a better person for knowing you both. God Bless You and Your Family during this time of loss.
Brenda Jackson
October 20, 2014
Beth and I send our most sincere condolences to Allen and all the Adams family in this tough time.
Randy Carroll
October 20, 2014
What a wonderful man Kent Adams was. I was fortunate to be his secretary for about 8 years when he and Sandy had offices in the Wells Fargo Building and then on Sugarpine Drive. He was someone I always knew I could call if I needed to. I shall miss this sweet man. My prayers and thoughts are with his family.
Louella Bernard
October 20, 2014
As a parent appearing in his court with a troubled child, I found an ally in tough love. His help to my family made a huge difference, and he will be missed
Cyndi Smith
October 20, 2014
Sincere condolences to the family.
Jeana Cooksey
Pct 5/2
October 20, 2014
Irv and I feel this great loss and we send our sympathy and prayers to you and your family at this sad time.
Nancy and Irv Grayson
October 20, 2014
Grief can be so hard, but our special memories help us cope. Remembering you and your loved one today and always.
Sonia Kovar
October 20, 2014
In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always.
Sonia Kovar
October 19, 2014
Judge J. Kent Adams was dedicated to so many causes including those significant to Klein ISD--future citizens, the young people of our area. The work he and Pauline have done for the community will always be appreciated.
As a tremendously positive individual, he will be missed by many! His life made a difference!
Liz Johnson
October 19, 2014
God has a new angel!! Rest in Peace "Judge"
Pam and Bob Hughes
October 19, 2014
Sorry for your loss from his Garden Villas friends, Ray Scarborough was a close friend who also lived on Brace.
Carolyn Kenyon Fields
October 19, 2014
True comfort comes from knowing that death is never the will of our loving Creator-Romans 5:12.
October 19, 2014
Judge Adams was a great leader and the educational system in Spring ISD benefited greatly from his love for what he did! My condolences to his family and I will be praying for you!
Shawanna Thompson
October 19, 2014
So terribly sorry for your loss, Pauline and all the Adams families. We were honored to be in your Lake Livingston home for Easter weekend, 2009. Please accept our condolences.
With Sympathy,
Eddie and Rosalie Pinson
Eddie and Rosalie Pinson
October 19, 2014
Sending my condolences to the family . May you take comfort in knowing that your love one is at peace.
Ecclesiastes 9:5
October 19, 2014
Our hearts are breaking for the loss of such a great man and friend. My family sends prayers to Pauline and to the family.. We will always miss his big grin and his teddy bear hugs.. Love from Jeff (Red ) and Vicki Brown
October 19, 2014
Sending love to all of the family at this sad time. A wonderful man, who was a special part of my life, will be greatly missed.
October 19, 2014
We are so sorry for your loss, Pauline. May our Lord give you the peace only He can give. Our sympathy and prayers are with you and your family. Bill and Dolores Rock
Dolores Rock
October 19, 2014
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