OBITUARY

John Stewart Adams

July 14, 1958January 16, 2021

John Stewart Adams, 62, of Houston, Texas passed away on January 16, 2021 in Houston, Texas.

John Stewart Adams, whose enthusiasm for life’s adventures helped him excel whether he was solving technical challenges as an international computer expert, brewing beer, bicycling, skiing or scuba diving, died after a sudden illness on Jan. 16. He was 62.

John was born in Houston on July 14, 1958 to Anne Donchin and John A.S. Adams Sr. Although he didn’t graduate from high school, he was a National Merit Scholar and earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and management from Rice University in 1980.

As a teen-ager he joined Mensa, an international society for high-IQ individuals, and served on the board of Gulf Coast Mensa in the early 1980s. He later was national coordinator for the organization’s Ski and Scuba and London special interest groups.

John was a regular participant in the MS 150 Houston-Austin bike ride benefiting multiple sclerosis research.

He also was an original member of the Foam Rangers of Houston, a beer-brewing club that helped raise the profile of Houston-based Saint Arnold and other craft breweries.

Professionally, John specialized in developing and managing systems to run on platforms created by the German software giant SAP. His 35-year career began in Houston overseeing the first three SAP projects at Schlumberger, the world’s largest oil field services company. He later worked in South Korea and Germany for the conglomerate Samsung. He was among technologists around the world who strove to avert what became known as the “Y2K Problem” – the danger that computers programmed in the 1900s would not adjust to dates in the 2000s. Work by John and others prevented a crisis that might have crippled a broad range of technology-dependent industries.

From 2000 to 2015, John was based in London, where he obtained dual citizenship as a Brit and worked as a lead SAP consultant to government agencies and private companies in Great Britain and elsewhere in Europe and Asia.

In 2010, he met Helena Cheng at the London Wine, Dining and Travel Club. They married four years later in New York.John returned to Houston with Helena in 2015, and then worked with the firm AnswerThink, which helps companies and organizations match SAP products to their operations. John and Helena built their Inner Loop Houston house to the green building standards of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). The house – featuring solar panels, a rainwater irrigation system and other measures for environmental responsibility and energy efficiency – is one of the few private residences in Houston to attain LEED’s top Platinum rating.

John began scratching in the dirt as a teen-ager, earning the nickname “Farmer Adams,” and the new house provided him space for a backyard vegetable garden, whose bounties John and Helena generously shared with their neighbors.

Besides his wife, John leaves a sister, Joanne Adams of Burlington, Vermont; a brother, David Adams of Galveston; nieces Abigail Adams of Austin and Dr. Malaika Adams of Fort Worth; and a nephew, Zechariah Adams of Greenwich, Connecticut.

If you wish to remember John with a donation, please consider the MS 150 for the year 2021, of which John already registered: https://www.facebook.com/donate/3466005450121093/3466005523454419/

Acknowledging the pandemic, the family is postponing a memorial event until a later date when John’s friends and relatives can celebrate his life together.

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John Stewart Adams

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Dave Van Rooy

February 20, 2021

Very sad to hear of John's passing -- he always was a very lively, sociable, and fun person to be around. I met him in the 80's (Mensa and Valhalla) and our paths crossed many times afterwards too. I'm saddened they won't cross again.

My condolences to his wife Helena and others close to him. I know how much he'll be missed by many. John's one who helped make things better for many.

Randy Cook

February 18, 2021

Helena,

I am so sad to hear of John's passing, and my thoughts are with you now, wishing you peace and solace in this difficult time. I looked forward to seeing you and John on Christmas holidays, and grieve our loss. May peace be with you, and may you embrace the love that you shared with John.

Paz y amor,
Randy

Jan and Greg Frisby

February 6, 2021

Helena,

Greg and I extend our deepest condolences. We are so shocked that such a beautiful, vibrant man is no longer with us. He will be missed by many. It is not often that we are blessed with having people as wonderful and kind as he was in our life. So we are thankful that we had the chance to get to be around him. God bless you and your family!

Geary Surratt

February 1, 2021

Helena,

Vicki and I are deeply sorry for your loss and for the void that John’s passing leaves in all of us whose lives he touched. He will live on in our memories for the remainder of our lives. I am thankful that John found happiness during the precious years of his life he was able to spend with you and I know he loved you very deeply. Since I first met John so many years ago, he was a caring person who thought of others before he thought of himself. John was a true friend and I am fortunate to have known him.

Geary

John Gonzales

February 1, 2021

John, it seems, was always someone who was figuring in one way or another in my adult life. His brother David and I were roomies and we used to go over and hang out with John. John was always patient and put up with us and always made us feel welcome. John was also responsible for influencing me towards the realm of home-brewing. He always had a carboy of something fermenting in his closet. John and I did become mates and the more I grew to know him the more I appreciated his style of presentation and humor. John, you left too soon... See ya on the other side, mate

Kathy Schultz

January 30, 2021

Dear Helena ,💐
We are so sad to hear of John's sudden passing. Our hearts are heavy and our minds are full of memories. John shared his flat with us in London for two weeks, met up with him in NY, for Anne's 80th BD, and he stayed in our condo after skiing in Whistler.

We will miss his smile and joy for life and learning.

Warmly, with love 💜
Kathryn and Peter
cousin Kathy in Vancouver, BC Canada

Pat & Kathleen Whelan

January 30, 2021

Helena - You have our condolences! In the short time you and John were our neighbors, we grew to appreciate his wit, intelligence and warm hospitality. He will be missed!

Pablo Pereira

January 30, 2021

Helena, I am deeply sorry for your loss. It was an honor and a pleasure to build your home and I will always cherish being challenged by John’s curiosity. He was always gentle and fair to us and I’m sure that’s how he treated everyone. My sincere condolences.

Shawn Kelsall

January 30, 2021

John was a dear friend and will be greatly missed.

My condolences to his wife Helena, sister Joanne and John’s extended family.

I met John around 1990, when we each realized we had three things in common, these being: Rice University graduate in technical field with frequent reunion visits to campus, Gulf Coast Mensa active membership with participation in various club activities, and Houston Bicycle Club with a passion for long distance cycling. We frequently bicycled together for many years, plus many visits to Valhalla at Rice.

...until we each had left Houston for work in other locations (me to San Jose & John to London).

We did keep track of each other, and I did visit him both at “old” house and “new”. During most of my visits back to Houston, I also did meet up at Rice’s Valhalla for a “catch up” beer visit!

I specifically remember a Rice Reunion visit to Houston in October 2012, in which he spoke of a “very special” person he had met in London. While I rarely would offer advice on matters of the heart, I told him of my own experience of finding Lilibeth, the love of my life, in another country, and to consider all the pluses & the minuses. And while no one is perfect, wouldn’t the pluses far, far exceed the minuses...?

I believe Helena was the very positive person of his life, which made him complete. So I am thankful they did marry and did have this time together.

I am still shocked and saddened by his passing... a true friend and a great person. God be with you, John.

Allan Kirson

January 29, 2021

I was very sorry to hear the sad news. While I only knew John through the annual Mensa diving trip to Cozumel, I thoroughly enjoyed his company and sharp wit, and looked forward to the next trip. Adios amigo.