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Robert L. Adams

August 29, 1944 ~ November 2, 2021 (age 77)


The Life Story of Robert L. Adams


Robert Lawrence Adams was born on August 29, 1944 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to the late Frank Otis Adams, Sr. and the late Sarah Collins Adams.


Robert loved education: From his early years as a student at Comegys Elementary School to his graduation from West Philadelphia High School, Robert was a fastidious student. He continued his studies at LaSalle University earning a Bachelor’s Degree and later graduated from Temple University with a Master’s degree in Education.


Robert loved to serve: He joined the Army just out of high school and served his country as a chaplain’s assistant for 2 years. Upon returning to Philadelphia, Robert took a position with the City of Philadelphia serving the citizens as a surveyor and later found his first full career as a Philadelphia Firefighter. He would often tell young children, “I save lives for a living”.  For over 22 years, he worked alongside his fellow firefighters ensuring the safety of others and educating the public about emergency life saving measures. After he retired from the Philadelphia Fire Department, Robert took another opportunity to serve, this time as a teacher in the School District of Philadelphia. He relished in his assignments at some of the City’s more challenging schools.  Along with lessons in Math and English, he shared wisdom and encouragement with students who seemingly had very limited prospects. After retiring (again), Robert continued to serve as a substitute teacher in New Jersey.


Robert loved life: He enjoyed traveling with his family and friends both domestically and internationally. One of the highlights of his retirement was the family trip to Dubai planned by his sons. A sports enthusiast, he enjoyed watching boxing, burning up the floor at the roller rink and cheering on Philadelphia teams…Go Eagles! “Yeah Boyeee”! He couldn’t moonwalk, but Robert was the biggest Michael Jackson fan. There wasn’t a MJ song that he didn’t like and he was proud of the fact that they shared the same birthday. He also enjoyed working out and listening to the “oldies but goodies”. 


Robert loved God: He was baptized in the Christian faith early in life and, at the age of 50, rededicated his life to Christ at the Zion Baptist Church in Philadelphia. As a member, Trustee and Chairman of the 1999 Men’s Day Committee, Robert showed his faithfulness and support for over 30 years. He so enjoyed serving as an usher and making sure he stayed in step as they marched. Whatever his hands found to do, he did with all of his heart. He would often encourage himself and others to take it “One day at a time”.


Most of all, Robert loved Family:  He was reared in a multigenerational household which included his grandparents. “Fallon Street” and “936” were the spaces where many memories were made with his siblings Frank, Jr., Henry, James, Sheppard, Sally, Linda and Michael. Each made their transition before him.  Upon completion of his military service, Robert met and married the wonderful love of his life, Jacqueline Zoe Douglas. What a tremendous love and partnership they shared for over 50 years!  With an enduring commitment to family, they were blessed with two incredible sons into whom they poured their love and insight. Robert was a proud grandfather and shared an immensely close bond with his granddaughter, Taylor, with whom he shared chess matches, video games, books and old records.


Cherishing his memory are: his wife, Jacqeline Adams; sons, Atiba Adams of New York and Khary Adams of Philadelphia; grandchildren, Taylor Adams and Asher Adams; mother-in-law, Reba Reel; aunts, Rose Harris and CoraYoung; cousin, Rosemary Eady; daughter in Christ, Cynthia Bookhart Adams; a host of nieces, nephews, friends, godchildren and students.


Submitted With Love,

The Family



To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robert, please visit our floral store.


November 11, 2021

9:00 AM to 11:00 AM
Zion Baptist Church of Philadelphia
3600 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19140

Celebration of Life
November 11, 2021

11:00 AM
Zion Baptist Church of Philadelphia
3600 N. Broad Street
Philadelphia, PA 19140

Video is available for this event


Ivy Hill Cemetery
1201 Easton Rd
Philadelphia, PA 19150

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