Passings: Kenneth Adams, 88; Veteran, Attorney

Kenneth Coogan Adams, a man with many passions and talents, died on September 12 at his home in Pacific Palisades. He was 88.

Ken was born in Piedmont, California, in 1928 to Helen Coogan Adams (1891-1984) and Robert Gemmel Adams (1890-1948). He had one sibling, brother Robert G. Adams, Jr. (1925-99).

After graduating from Piedmont High School in 1946, Ken attended UC Berkeley, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in business and a minor in philosophy, psychology and literature. He was an Eagle Scout, president of his high school class, and also president of his fraternity, Delta Kappa Epsilon.

Kenneth Adams

Ken joined the Air Force during the Korean War, flew missions as a navigator, held the rank of first lieutenant and received the Distinguished Flying Cross. After his military service, Ken entered Columbia Law School and graduated in 1958. He returned home to San Francisco and worked in various industries including insurance, music and subscription TV over a span of several years.

In 1962, Ken married his first wife, Camille “Mimi” Cummins (1933-2006). They lived in both Los Angeles and San Francisco until moving back to Los Angeles for good in 1971 to raise their children Julie, Ash and John.

Ken worked as an attorney of counsel for Great Western Bank, and later became vice president of counsel at U.S. Life Savings and Loan. In 1979, he moved on to private practice in Santa Monica until his retirement in 1994.

In retirement, Ken remained active by engaging in his passions of running (he was a regular in the annual Will Rogers Run), biking, travel, music (especially opera) and pro basketball. He took up the piano at age 65 and received his first lessons from sister-in-law MaryAnn Cummins.

After the passing of his beloved wife Mimi in 2006, Ken received the gift of meeting Ann Kerr in 2007 through mutual friends, Andy and Maria Kelly. Ken and Ann found that they shared many interests and had an instant and deep connection. They married in 2008, living happy and fulfilling years together in Ann’s home in the Palisades.

Ann’s children John, Susie, Steve and Andrew, along with their children Nick, Maddy and Matthew Kerr, Derek, Johan and Willem Van de Ven, and Leila and Levi Kerr, were all dearly beloved by Ken. The Kerr and Adams families celebrated many joyful holidays together at Ann and Ken’s home on upper Chautauqua.

Ken is survived by his three children Julie, Ash and John; son-in-law Brian Eamer; brother-and sister-in-law Paul and MaryAnn Cummins; sister-in-law Kathleen Phillips-Hellman; grandchildren Jordan, Garrett and Audrey Eamer and Sienna Ashton Lee; and nieces Liesl Erman, Julie Hansen and Anna and Emily Cummins.

Ken was a beacon of warmth, kindness, generosity, intelligence, reverence and humor. His gentle yet courageous spirit was never more evident to his family and loved ones than during the final years of his life, when he battled numerous health issues with a steadfast strength and singleness of purpose. He loved his friends and family with all his heart and treated all with warmth and genuine affection.

Friends and relatives gathered for a celebration of Ken’s life on Sept. 17 in the Kerr-Adams backyard, overlooking the ocean.

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