“My dad had an amazing ability to connect with people no matter what their station,” his son, former Brentwood Union School District superintendent Douglas Adams, said Monday. “That was one of his gifts. He was of that generation that fundamentally believed you give to your community, and he did. I asked him once why he did so much and he said, ‘It’s my duty.’”
The senior Adams’ upbeat personality was something most who met him remember the most about him, including longtime friend Emil Geddes.
“He was warm, positive, and laughed a lot,” Geddes said. “He had a great sense of humor and could really tell a joke,” he said, adding with a smile that Adams’ jokes sometimes tended to the ribald.
Geddes also said that Jack, along with wife Jeanne, were fixtures in the local community. “Every activity, every fundraiser there was, they happily supported and worked. They were such warm, caring people, totally dedicated to their community.” Jeanne passed away in 2010.
Brentwood Mayor Bob Taylor also remembered Adams’ humor and distinctive laugh.
“What a wonderful man,” Taylor said. “He was always a scholar and a gentleman, and I never heard one discouraging remark from him. He was always up-spirited, and he and his lovely bride were probably the most community-minded couple I ever met. I think he left a legacy in Brentwood.”
That legacy includes his four decades of serving as the play-by-play announcer for Liberty High football games. The press box at Liberty’s home field was dedicated in his honor a few years ago.
The family name also graces Adams Middle School, though it was named after Doug. Nevertheless, said Geddes, Jack and Jeanne’s contributions touched everyone.
“I don’t think there was ever a couple that was more loved by everyone than Jack and Jeanne Adams.”
Jack Adams was born in El Centro, Calif. on July 10, 1921. He was raised on a farm along with his brothers Albert, George, Ralph and Rudy. He attended schools in El Centro, began college at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and finished college at University of California at Davis.
On the first day of college, he met his future wife Jeanne. They were married May 10, 1943 in Berkeley and made their first home in Presquel, Maine while Jack served in the Army Air Corps during World War II.
Following the war they moved to Santa Cruz, where Jack worked as a radio engineer and announcer. In 1949, they relocated to Brentwood, where they owned a farm and Jeanne taught in the Brentwood schools. Jack also worked for the State of California Department of Employment. He would retire as manager of the Brentwood office in 1981 and he and Jeanne continued to live in Brentwood until she passed away in 2010.
Jack served his community for almost 60 years. He joined the Lions’ Club in 1951 and was elected to every office, including president, zone chairman and deputy district governor. He was honored twice as Mr. Lion for the entire area. For more than 40 years, he coordinated the Lions Club Junior Speaking Contest, and he and Jeanne remained active in the local and regional Lions activities until 2010.
He was also very active in other community and school organizations. For many years, he and Jeanne helped with numerous Liberty High School activities. Jack enjoyed serving most for more than 40 years as the play-by-play announcer for the high school football games. In 1993, he was inducted into the Liberty High School Athletic Hall of Fame for his support of the athletic program. In the year 2000, the new press box at the football stadium was also named in his honor.
Jack continued to serve his community throughout his life. In his later years, he helped co-found the SIRS local chapter, served on the Liberty Hall of Fame committee and the city of Brentwood Agriculture Core Committee. In 1986, Jack and Jeanne were honored for their community service as Co-Citizens of the Year for the city of Brentwood.
Jack is survived by his son, Douglas; daughter-in-law, Jackie; granddaughters, Vanessa and Sarah, and their husbands, Todd and Cagney; and by his great granddaughter, Annabelle. A private gravesite service was held at Union Cemetery in Brentwood. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Jack’s name to the J. Douglas Adams Middle School Library Fund at 401 American Ave., Brentwood, CA 94513.
– Douglass Adams contributed to this story