James Gary Adams passed away suddenly following cardiac arrest on Monday, January 21st at the age of 66. Born in Dallas, Texas, August 4th, 1952, Gary spent his childhood years in Dallas and lived in Sweetwater and Mineral Wells as a teenager. He was the only child of James A. Adams and Dorothy Nell Smith. He grew up in a close–knit family, surrounded by grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins.
Gary attended the University of Texas at Austin. After college, he stayed in Austin, where he met and married his devoted, dearly loved wife of 32 years, Carol Ann Ball. He and Carol were married in 1986 and moved to New Orleans in 1988. In New Orleans, Gary and Carol had their first daughter, Annie Ryan Adams, and returned home to Austin in 1990 to raise their family. In 1994, Gary and Carol welcomed their second daughter, Holly Lauren Adams, to the family.
What began as a college job at Tom Thumb Supermarket both shaped his career and led him to meet his wife, Carol. Gary worked as a retail manager for many years. He was one of the early employees of Whole Foods Market, and jumped at the chance to be part of the expansion when they opened their first out of state store in New Orleans. He went on to work as a store manager for Sony Electronics, and later returned to the grocery business, working for Sunflower and Sprouts.
Gary loved mountains, history, traveling, barbeque, the Tour de France bicycle race, and college football. He was a craft beer enthusiast, and in 2018, after discovering kolsch beers on a trip to Germany, he made it his mission to find and evaluate all the local kolsches when he returned to Texas. He was a lifetime fan of Longhorn football, but adopted the Aggies as his secondary football love when his daughter Holly went to A&M.
Gary was known for clever offbeat comments and his sense of humor, and loved making his friends and family laugh. He loved to prank his wife Carol and daughters Annie and Holly. Once, after accepting a furniture delivery, Gary texted Carol a picture of the piece of furniture Photoshopped red, complimenting Carol for her “bold choice.”
He was intensely proud of his daughters’ accomplishments. Gary beamed with pride at his girls’ college graduations. He was their biggest fan at all their childhood activities and sporting events, and especially loved the football games where they performed in the high school marching band. He was a playful father who loved to spend time outside with the kids. Gary shared his generous and kind spirit with his girls, and he encouraged them to pursue their interests, treat others with compassion and respect, and to never take life too seriously.
Gary was preceded in death by his father, James A. Adams, mother Dorothy Nell Cross (neé Smith), and beloved stepfather James L. Cross. He is survived by wife Carol Adams, children Holly Adams, Annie Adams-Roselle and her husband Alex Roselle, and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.
An informal celebration of his life will be held at the Avery Northwoods Amenity Center, 13908 Carolina Lane, Austin, Texas, 78717 on Saturday, February 9th, at 1 pm. In lieu of flowers, family and friends may make donations to the American Heart Association (http://www2.heart.org/goto/JamesGaryAdams), the National Park Foundation (https://www.nationalparks.org), or a charity of their choice.