Leroy (Jackie) Adams
Born in Glen Allen, Mississippi, on June 4, 1940, Leroy (Jackie) Adams, Jr., died peacefully in Greenwood, Mississippi, on August 18, 2022, comforted by the presence of his wife, son, and nurse. Funeral services are 11 A.M. Monday, August 22 at Greenwood Delta Funeral Home with Rev. Wally Bumpus officiating. Interment is in Odd Fellows Cemetery. Visitation is from 10-11 prior to the service.
Jackie leaves behind his wife of over sixty years, Marion Ann Arnold Adams; their daughter, Leigh Anne Adams, of Jackson, MS; their son, Leflore County Court Judge Kevin A. Adams (Tammy) of Greenwood, MS; four grandchildren, Justin Adams (Lindsay) and Jonathan Adams of Florence, AL; Jack Adams and Anne Hall Adams, of Greenwood, MS; one great-grandson, Everett Adams; one sister, Deborah Adams Lee (Bill), of Hollandale, MS; a brother-in-law, Oneal Whatley of Indianola, MS, and numerous nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, Leroy and Julia Adams and his sister Judy Adams Whatley, all of Indianola, MS.
Originally intending to pursue a career in medicine or law, Jackie ultimately decided that he could best serve his community by becoming an educator. The day after graduating from Delta State University, and only a few years older than his students, Jackie began teaching government and economics to seniors of Greenwood High School. Two months after graduating from DSU, he began his graduate studies at Mississippi State University (Masters in Education) and later returned to DSU (Advanced Masters in Education). After serving as Administrative Assistant to then Superintendent W. B. Dribben of the Greenwood Separate School District, Jackie accepted an offer to serve as the principal of East Elementary School (The Little Round School) in the Leflore County School District. There he made his reputation as an outstanding educator and administrator, raising and maintaining East School to the highest certification level of Mississippi schools. Not only an outspoken leader in the Leflore County Schools, Jackie served the state in various roles, including membership on the state committee to merge the MAE and MEA and as president of the Elementary School Principals Association. While a principal in the LCSD, Adams was twice a candidate for Leflore County Superintendent of Education.
Fascinated by the changing technology of the late 1960’s, Jackie became certified in computer science. He wrote multiple programs to aid in the education and administration at East School, as well as accounting programs for friends to use in their Greenwood businesses, before such programs were readily commercially available. He and friends would work late into the night, increasing their knowledge of this new and developing applied science. Later, as the Leflore County Courthouse was in its infancy of being computerized, Jackie accepted the position of Chancery Court Administrator for Judge Jon Barnwell. A born manager, Jackie analyzed the scheduling system used by the courts. He revised the system, and with the Judge’s approval, wrote and implemented a computerized system to schedule court hearings and court dates. Active in the Mississippi Court Administrators’ Association, Jackie was elected President of this state organization. As he had, when he was a practicing educator, Jackie again found himself serving on many state committees.
Although his focus was on the education of his students, Jackie was always active in sports. Having played high school football at Indianola High, Jackie became a Mississippi high school football official while in college. During his twenty-three years of officiating football games, he called the games in tiny towns that no longer exist, sometimes waiting until half-time to collect the $12.50, because the payment came from the snack stand revenue. Eventually, Jackie rose to the role of referee at state
championship games. He was also a member of a highly ranked team of community college football officials. In addition to being a sports official, Jackie loved the competition of being a tennis player, and a state-ranked racquetball player. Also an avid golfer, and former president of the Greenwood Country Club, he eventually decided to move to South Alabama to play those wonderful golf courses week in and out. He and Ann retired in Mississippi, moving to Fairhope, AL, in 2000. There, Jackie played golf three to six days a week.
Leaving behind many good friends and a much beloved church, Trinity Presbyterian, Jackie and Ann returned to their home state of Mississippi, due to the declining health of Ann’s mother, Mrs. Bill Arnold. This last stage of Jackie’s life was primarily focused on family, friends, and their new church, Madison Heights Presbyterian. Like his father, Jackie never left anyone a stranger; eager to meet and talk with new people at every opportunity. Particular favorites were young children and senior adults, with whom he chatted wherever he found them.
He is also survived by his extended family, dear friends, and loving caregivers. The family wishes to express their sincere gratitude to Sharon Harvey and the staff of Indywood Glen of Greenwood, for their compassion during his residency there. Also deeply appreciated are Heart of Hospice and his nurse Ashley Moore for their many kindnesses. Niki Haney, with North Sunflower Senior Care provided wonderful assistance which will always be remembered by the family. Finally, Ann wishes to thank their numerous friends who have shown their love through the expressions of support during this time.
Pall bearers will be his grandsons, Justin, Jonathan, and Jack Adams, and long-time friends Lolo Lubiani, Chad Clark and Don Sias.
Memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s memorial Hospital.
Greenwood Delta Funeral Home (www.greenwooddeltafh.com) is in charge of arrangement.