Jerry Ellis Adams

Published 2:18 am Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Jerry Ellis Adams, a family man and grandfather, died Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, at the age of 79.

Born June 24, 1934, he was a member of Westside Emmanuel Baptist Church in Bogalusa. This playground was the Pearl River Swamp, where he enjoyed a lifetime of fishing and hunting with his many friends and family. But as much as he loved the hunt, he thoroughly enjoyed sharing and cooking his catches at local fish fries for his beloved family and church friends.

A native of Washington Parish, Adams was well-known for his craftsmanship in building custom-made fishing boats. He also enjoyed spending quality time with his hunting buddies at the deer camp in Prentiss, Miss.

Adams, also known as “Snake” early on in his life, began his career working as a meat-cutter for Rushing Grocery Store on Pleasant Hill, a trade he mastered in his agriculture class at Bogalusa High School. Later, he was employed by the Gaylord Paper Mill in Bogalusa, until he retired after 42 years of service as head operator in the Power House. During his tenure as a paper mill employee he acquired the nickname “Jug,” which stuck with him to the end.

Adams and his wife donated the property where the Clayton W. Byrd 7th District Fire Station is located in the Ben’s Ford community, where he proudly served on the Civil Service Board.

He is survived by his loving wife of 59 years, Betty Lynn Byrd Adams; one daughter, Lorrie (Keith) Bickham of Varnado; a son-in-law, Jerome “Jay” Ryan of Bogalusa; one sister, Phyllis Adams Nielsen, and one brother, Bruce (Debbie) Adams, all of Bogalusa.

He was “Big Papa” to five grandchildren, Bent Bickham of Poplarville, Miss., Adam (Kristie) Ryan of Covington, Wil (Heather) Bickham of Hattiesburg, Miss., Amber Ryan of Bogalusa and Larke Bickham of Poplarville; three great-grandchildren, McKenzie, Blake and Averie Leigh Ryan, all of Covington. Although he was known for his love for the outdoors, Adams was his grandchildren’s strongest advocate and most faithful supporter in their many endeavors throughout their lives.

Adams had numerous other loving family members including Carol and Alan Hillier of Franklinton.

He was preceded in death by one daughter, Kathye Lynn Adams Ryan; one infant son, Jerry Ellis Adams Jr.; his parents, Ellis and Irene Adams; and as one infant brother.

Relatives and friends of the family were invited to attend the visitation, which was held Monday, Oct. 14 at Poole-Ritchie Funeral Home from 6-9 p.m.

Visitation continued on Tuesday at Westside Emmanuel Baptist Church 9 a.m. until time for the funeral services at 11 a.m., with the Rev. Marcus Rosa officiating. Interment followed at McGehee Cemetery in Bogalusa.

In lieu of flowers, the family requested donations be made to the American Cancer Society or Westside Emmanuel Baptist Church.

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