K. S. "Bud" Adams Jr.

January 3, 1923October 21, 2013
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K.S. “Bud” Adams, Jr., 90, Tennessee Titans/Houston Oilers founder, passed away peacefully at his home on the 21st of October 2013, in Houston Texas. Born January 3, 1923, in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, to K.S. “Boots” Adams and Blanch Keeler Adams. Bud attended Culver Military Academy and Menlo College where he lettered in football, basketball and baseball. Bud then transferred to the University of Kansas where he lettered in football for the Jayhawks. During his days at KU, Bud met his future wife, Nancy Neville, and also began his lifelong and loyal affiliation with Sigma Chi Fraternity. In 1947 while still at KU, Bud joined the Naval Reserve. He earned his Navy ensign commission and was sent overseas where he was assigned to a PAC-Fleet Carrier unit where he served as an aviation engineering officer.

In 1946, Bud parlayed a chance stop in Houston resulting from fog that grounded his plane into a highly successful and diversified business empire which ranks him among the most prominent businessmen of the country. That same year Bud started ADA Oil Company, the forerunner of the now publicly-held NYSE – MKT listed Adams Resources & Energy, Inc., an energy company engaged in the business of marketing crude oil, transportation of liquid chemicals, along with oil and gas exploration and production.

Bud’s other interests included extensive farming and ranching, real estate, and automobile dealerships. He was a long time collector of Western and American Indian art. He was inspired by his uncle Chief W.W. Keeler to begin his collection. Bud was very proud of his Cherokee family and genealogy and nothing made him happier than to share his collection with local school children with Bud being the guide.

Bud, in his early life, was always an avid sports fan and sponsored many amateur and AAU teams in basketball and softball; he also had ownership participation in professional baseball, basketball and boxing. Football history was made in Adams’ office in Houston on August 3, 1959, where he and Lamar Hunt announced the formation of the new American Football League which began playing in 1960.

Bud, always fearless and not afraid of risk, consistently made moves that not only improved his team but improved the league as a whole. Bud enjoyed every day of the six decades that he owned the Tennessee Titans/Oilers. Football was his passion and Bud, with his competitive spirit, wanted nothing more than to win that Super Bowl trophy. Bud never gave up trying to bring that trophy home to his team’s loyal fans.

Bud, over the years, has received numerous awards and recognition for his philanthropic works. In 2008, Bud and Nancy were inducted into the Baptist Hospital of Nashville Seton Society for Excellence. In 2011 he was honored with the Lifetime Humanitarian Award by the TJ Martell Foundation. In 2012 Bud was the recipient of the inaugural “Salute to Serve” award by the NFL for his work with the military through the years. Bud was also very proud of his induction into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame, the Texas Sports Hall of Fame, and into the Menlo College Athletic Hall of Fame. Additionally, Bud was a member of many charitable, civic, and corporate organizations that allowed him to serve the community. Though Bud loved his football, nothing could compare to the love he had for his wife of sixty-two years, the late Nancy Neville. The family is greatly comforted knowing he is now with his beloved Nancy for eternity.

Bud was a wonderful father, grandfather, and friend to many. Little known except by friends and family, was what a delightful sense of humor he had. Bud never met a stranger and could instantly put a person at ease. That gift will be missed by all who knew him.

Bud was preceded in death by his wife, Nancy Adams and son, Kenneth S. Adams, III. He is survived by daughters Susie Adams Smith and husband Tommy; Amy Adams Hunt and husband Bill; seven grandchildren, Stuart Smith, Nancy Smith, Tracy Thompson, Tommy Thompson, Blanche Strunk, Kenneth Adams IV and wife Amy, and Barclay Adams; and extended family Susan and Steve Lewis, Steve Adams, Kenneth Adams, Gary Adams, Stephanie Walthall and Lisa Stinson.

The family extends deep gratitude to Brenda Saradjian, Stephanie Carlat, Francisco Martinez, and Robert Good for their loyal and compassionate care of Bud over the years.

Friends are cordially invited to a visitation with the family from four o’clock in the afternoon until seven o’clock in the evening on Sunday, the 27th of October, in the library and grand foyer of Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, 1010 Bering Drive in Houston.

The memorial service is to be conducted at one o’clock in the afternoon on Monday, the 28th of October, in the sanctuary of Second Baptist Church, 6400 Woodway Drive in Houston, where Dr. H. Edwin Young, is to officiate. Immediately following, all are invited to greet the family during a reception at a venue to be announced during the service.

Prior to the service, the family will have gathered for a private entombment at Forest Park Westheimer Cemetery in Houston.

Those honored to serve as casket bearers during Monday’s services are his grandchildren.

In lieu of customary remembrances, the family kindly suggests contributions to be directed to the Ronald McDonald House-Houston, 1907 Holcombe Boulevard, Houston, TX 77030; St. Thomas Hospital Foundation, 2000 Church St., Nashville, TN, 37236; the Cherokee National Historical Society, P.O. Box 515, Tahlequah, OK, 74465; or to the charity of choice.

More information on Bud’s life is available on


  • Visitation Sunday, October 27, 2013
  • Memorial Service Monday, October 28, 2013

K. S. "Bud" Adams Jr.

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Yvonne Eddings

September 24, 2015

I am very sorry for the loss of your loved ones. May the God of all comfort, comfort you during this difficult time. ( Psalm 83 : 18 )


December 31, 2013

To the Adams family I would like to express my deepest sympathy. You can have comfort to know that your love one is no longer suffering. And you can have hope that you can see your love ones again.

Pam Binkley

November 11, 2013

I'm so very sorry for your loss! Sending prayers for your family, the TN Titans organization and the fans! RIP Bud!

"Skipper" Ragsdale

November 2, 2013

Dear Adams Family,
I am keeping you in my prayers. May God grant you peace and continuing comfort as you adjust to your loss. I first met Mr. Adams twenty-five years ago while working at the Houston Astrodome. I found him warm, engaging and his smile was truly heartwarming. On behalf of the numerous staff he impacted over those memorable years with the Houston Oilers, you have our deepest condolence.

A Fan

October 30, 2013

May god be with ur. Family during this difficult time. He is and will always be a Legend

October 28, 2013

To all the family, I send my prayers and thoughts to you at this time. I will miss walking Mr. A out at the games. He was always special to me and I feel lucky to have gotten to know him over the last 15 years. My heart felt sad and I will miss him. Thank you Mr. Adams.

Respectfully, Sarah Jane Patton

October 27, 2013

Bud was a dear friend of our dad Ed Wieck we were deeply saddened to hear of his passing. I am sure him and dad are discussing things in heaven. God bless and help you thru this difficult time. Armella Wieck and family

Dorinda Wilson

October 27, 2013

Thanks so much for bringing the Titans to Tennessee. I am glad I was a part of this ride since the beginning. You will be missed and I hope your family feels like the Titans belong in Tennessee forever.

Janet and Earl Bentz

October 25, 2013

Dear Adams and Lewis families,
Please accept our heartfelt sympathies on the passing of Bud. We are thinking of you all at this time. Please call upon us if we may be of any assistance.
Our Love,
Janet, Earl and Amelia Jane Bentz
Mariel and Tate Rich
Camille and Aaron Barrett

October 25, 2013

Amy and Blanche, so sorry to hear about your father/grandfather. Even though you were not close, it is still a very hard time. My thoughts and prayers are with you both and the rest of your family.