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William "Bill" McAdams '75 August 24, 2022 10:27 AM updated: August 24, 2022 10:33 AM

William Lee McAdams
July 20, 1953 - August 12, 2022

Judge William Lee "Bill" McAdams went to his heavenly home on Friday, August 12, 2022.

Bill was born on July 20, 1953 in Huntsville, Texas to Doyle Frederick McAdams and LaDell Westmoreland McAdams. As a young boy, Bill loved sports. He was a good athlete and was the starting star pitcher for the Pee Wee League Champion team, the Huntsville Elks. He started playing golf as a preteen and was on both the Huntsville Hornet and Texas Aggie golf teams. He was in the Walker County 4-H Horse Club, a Cub Scout and a Boy Scout. He loved music and played the drums in the band. From the time he was ten, he had a passion for reading the newspaper and staying up to date with current events.

He graduated from Huntsville High School in 1971. He then went on to become a proud member of the Fightin' Texas Aggie Class of 1975. While attending Texas A&M, he was on the Varsity Golf Team and a member of the Corps of Cadets where he served as Senior Cadet Captain and Executive Officer of Company C-1. In 1974, he was elected to the Ross Volunteers which is the honor guard for the governor of Texas and the oldest student organization in the state. As a Ross Volunteer, he was in Austin for the inauguration of Governor Dolph Briscoe in 1974 and was also the first unit in line for the King Rex parade at Mardi Gras that same year. After earning his B.B.A. in Management from A&M he moved to Houston, Texas where he drove a concrete truck and worked in a convenience store while deciding which law school to attend.

Bill attended South Texas College of Law before transferring to Baylor University School of Law where he graduated in 1979. Bill then joined John Connally's presidential campaign and went to Washington, D.C. He worked for Connally's communication director, James Brady. When Brady became Ronald Reagan's campaign press agent, he asked Bill to join him on the campaign. Bill decided against it and returned to Huntsville to practice law.

Bill practiced with Ken Keeling until 1982 and then opened McAdams and Ridley in May of 1983. Hal and Bill were law partners for six years until Bill was elected in 1988 to the 12th Judicial District Court. He then served 5 terms spanning 20 years as a State District Judge in the State's highest Trial Court. Upon his retirement, he served as a part-time trial judge and a full time attorney, mediator, and arbitrator.

Bill was very active in the community and served on numerous boards over the years. He was a lifelong member of the First United Methodist Church of Huntsville where he served as a member on the Board of Trustees. He was President Captain for the Sons of the American Revolution Captain John McAdams Chapter. Bill was a devoted member of the Texas Prison Museum Advisory Committee, Chamber of Commerce of Huntsville-Walker County Board of Directors, United Way of Walker County Director, Planning Commission of the City of Huntsville as both Vice Chairman and a member, Huntsville Leadership Institute President of Alumni Association, American Cancer Society Walker County Unit Committee, Sons of the Republic of Texas, Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, Walker County Fair Association, and Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Committeeman. He started the Rita B. Huff Humane Society Board in 2014 and served as Vice President for many years. Bill was also a partner in the family business, McAdams Cattle Company, that had been ranching the same land since the 1880's. This was a legacy that Bill held close to his heart.

Bill was a respected jurist, a loyal Texas Aggie, avid reader, sports enthusiast, dog lover, history buff, and most importantly a loving husband, father, grandfather and friend. He was an excellent writer with great attention to detail and always intentional with his words. He thoroughly enjoyed being with his grandchildren who brought him so much joy and laughter. He made a profound impact on those that knew him, and he will be greatly missed.

Bill is survived by his loving wife of 20 years, Shan Walley McAdams; daughter, McKinsey Kelton McAdams Copeland and husband Baron Kyle Copeland; grandchildren, Emery Kate Copeland, Walker Kyle Copeland, and Madison Kelton Copeland; brother, Jim McAdams and wife Dr. Molly McAdams; and nephews, Will McAdams and John Kohl McAdams.

Visitation will be held at the First United Methodist Church of Huntsville on Friday, August 19, 2022, at 12:00 p.m. and the funeral service will follow at 2:00 p.m. Interment will be at Oakwood Cemetery in Huntsville.

Serving as pallbearers are Baron Copeland, Chris DeMilliano, John Kohl McAdams, Will McAdams, Drew Park and David Toney.

Honorary Pallbearers are Ben Aguilar, Sam Burris, Dr. T.C. Cole, Jr., Bruce Green, David Hammit, Johnny Holland, Kevin Knight, Brock Lively, Jim McAdams, Mike Park, Hal R. Ridley, George Spentzos, David Speich, Buck Thomason, Edwin Thomason, and Jimmy Wood.

The family would like to give special thanks to Corinthian Merchant and Janet Crawford for taking such loving care of Bill.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to the First United Methodist Church of Huntsville Foundation, 1016 Sam Houston Ave., Huntsville, Texas 77320 or Rita B. Huff Humane Society, 530 Bearkat Blvd., Huntsville, Texas 77340.

 



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