OBITUARY

Henry Clay Adams Jr.

February 22, 1934November 16, 2020

Henry Clay Adams, Jr., age 86, passed away surrounded by family on November 16, 2020. A sixth-generation Texan and fourth-generation Houstonian, Henry was born on February 22, 1934 in St. Joseph’s Hospital, the eldest of three children and the only son. As a youngster, Henry lived with his family in a house on Prospect Street in the Riverside Terrace neighborhood, not far from the University of Houston. In 1939, they moved across town to a house on Meadow Lake in River Oaks when he was about five years old.

Henry attended River Oaks Elementary School and Lanier Middle School. He also spent a year at Lamar High School before transferring to the new upper school at St. John’s, just across the street. At this new school, Henry thrived – as a scholar, an athlete, a musician and a singer. A member of the class of 1952 – the second graduating class at St. John’s – Henry was guided by the steady hand of then-headmaster Alan Chidsey. As Henry used to tell it, “When Mr. Chidsey told you where you were going to college, that’s where you went.”

So he found himself at Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts, where he spent four years making lifelong friends and majoring in English. He graduated in 1956 and immediately returned to Houston and to the Rice Institute, where he received a master’s degree in geology. However, convinced that an MBA would provide an even bigger boost to his resumé, Henry applied to and was accepted at Columbia University.

It was in New York, which he always claimed was “so crowded you can’t see the stars,” that he met his future wife, Norah Garcia Merino, at a party. He arrived in New York in the fall of 1958 and left in the spring of 1960 with an MBA and a fiancée. Norah and Henry were married on August 20, 1960 in Havana, Cuba and welcomed a daughter in May of 1961. A son arrived seven years later. Henry went on to forge a career in investments at First City National Bank and Underwood Neuhaus, and subsequently in the family oil & gas business.

If there’s one thing anyone who knew him could say about Henry, it’s that he loved being outdoors. An avid hunter and fisherman, he planned his weekends from September through January around duck and goose hunting season. He loved tromping through rice fields at five-thirty in the morning; keeping company with his dogs (Yock and Jessie) after a successful hunt; casting for speckled trout off Port O’Connor; flushing bobwhites out from the underbrush; epic whitewing hunts in Mexico; or just kicking back with a glass of chardonnay under sky full of stars. He shared those pleasures with family and friends, whether that meant taking them on the hunt or supplying the main course for a gourmet meal. Indeed, his duck gumbo was the stuff of legend.

Henry was old school -- a fine, ethical, honest, decent man, and he will be missed every minute of every day.

Henry C. Adams, Jr. is predeceased by his parents, Henry Clay Adams, Sr. and Mary Ellen Lusk Adams, as well as his sisters, Nancy Adams and Marjorie Adams Curtis. He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Norah; his daughter, Cristina Maria Adams, her husband, Christopher Brian Wlezien, and their sons, Nicholas Christopher Wlezien and Alexander Matthew Wlezien; his son, Henry Clay Adams, III his wife, Jutta Schmitt Adams, and their daughters, Catherine Merino Adams and Sarah Elisabeth Adams; his nephew, David Harwood Curtis, Jr. and niece, Rinda Scott Curtis; his sister-in-law, Norma Garcia Rayment; his nephew, Roland Victor Rayment, Jr, his wife, Jacqueline Mulrooney Rayment, and their sons, Roland Victor Rayment, III and Henry Michael Rayment; and many more Adams, Lusk, Crain and Haggarty cousins from Kauai to Boston.

Henry was a member of the Houston Country Club, the Houston Club, the Petroleum Club and the Garwood Hunting Club.

Given the ongoing pandemic, the family will hold a small, private memorial service at St. John the Divine on Thursday, December 10, 2020 at 11:00 am.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Ducks Unlimited (https://www.ducks.org/) or to the charitable organization of your choice.

  • FAMILY

  • He is survived by his wife of 60 years, Norah; his daughter, Cristina Maria Adams, her husband, Christopher Brian Wlezien, and their sons, Nicholas Christopher Wlezien and Alexander Matthew Wlezien; his son, Henry Clay Adams, III his wife, Jutta Schmitt Adams, and their daughters, Catherine Merino Adams and Sarah Elisabeth Adams; his nephew, David Harwood Curtis, Jr. and niece, Rinda Scott Curtis; his sister-in-law, Norma Garcia Rayment; his nephew, Roland Victor Rayment, Jr, his wife, Jacqueline Mulrooney Rayment, and their sons, Roland Victor Rayment, III and Henry Michael Rayment; and many more Adams, Lusk, Crain and Haggarty cousins from Kauai to Boston.

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Services

10 December

Funeral Service

11:00 am

St. John the Divine Episcopal Church

2450 River Oaks Blvd
Houston, Texas 77019

Memories

Henry Clay Adams Jr.

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Nell Richardson

November 19, 2020

Bill, Rob, Henry, and Sidney.

Roland Rayment

November 19, 2020

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

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