Roll of Honor

Thelonious “Theo” Adams

Thelonious “Theo” Adams

  • Captain
  • Las Vegas Fire Department
  • Nevada
  • Age: 54
  • Year of Death: 2018

Theo Adams was born December 31, 1963, in New Orleans, Louisiana. His oldest brother preceded him in death; he is survived by two sisters, his mother, and his father. He is also survived by his only child, Zion (Ty) Adams and his two-year-old grandson, Kyrie Adams.

He began to show interest in the fire service after getting to know a number of local firefighters that frequented a banking institution where he was a bank teller. He was energetic and attended classes in the evening put on by CCFD Deputy Fire Marshal Sam Smith at Native Son Bookstore. He was hired by Las Vegas Fire & Rescue (LVFR) on November 13, 1990. After getting hired by LVFR, Theo would often return to the bookstore and assist with mentoring future firefighter candidates to achieve their dream of having a career in the fire service. His dedication continued as a captain by offering support and encouragement to subordinates who had a desire to promote within the LVFR.

Being from New Orleans, his interest in music, good food, and the arts continued after moving to Las Vegas in 1986. He would return annually to New Orleans to attend Jazz Fest and the many festivals that showcase the diverse culture of New Orleans. He would tell anyone, if you wanted to have a good time and enjoy good food, his hometown was the place to visit.

He had an eclectic taste in music ranging from smooth jazz, classic rock, R&B, and even a little country. His favorite artists were Prince and Lenny Kravitz, with a little Bob Marley and The Wailers mixed in to give that relaxed Caribbean feel he represented. In his spare time, he taught himself how to play the congas and acoustic guitar. He also had a competitive streak for tennis, which he had never played prior to joining the fire department.

Even after his accident on that unfortunate night of October 31, 2003, he did not let being a quadriplegic dampen his spirit, extract his confidence, or deter his ability to still offer a warm smile and a word of encouragement to strangers, family, and friends. Up until his passing on May 1, 2018, 15 years after his traumatic injury, his outlook remained positive about the challenges ahead of him. One of his proudest moments to witness prior to his passing was the birth of his grandson.