Cornell Thomas Adams, also known as “Butch,” was born in Harlem, New York on May 15, 1948. He peacefully went to be with the Lord on May 3, 2023, in his home with his loving wife and nephew Aza by his side.
Butch was educated at Saint Catherine of Genoa until his father’s untimely death. Once he relocated, he went to Most Holy Redeemer Catholic School and Wingate High School, where he graduated in 1964. With the advice of his older brother and mentor Charles Adams, Cornell took the exam for the New York City Police Department and began his career as a member of the NYPD on October 24, 1969. In Cornell’s words, “During my twenty-five years working at the NYCPD, I was confronted with many near-life and death experiences on a daily basis. Living by faith alone, I relied on instinct and my six senses; utilizing wit alone at times had enabled me to navigate through difficult times and harrowing situations, which afforded me the opportunity to complete twenty-five years of service without any serious medical, emotional, physical, or tragic situations.”
Cornell completed his twenty-five years of service as a Second Grade Detective and worked on major cases: Organized Crime Control Bureau (OCCB) Narcotic Unit in which he went undercover, he also worked in the Missing Persons Unit and the Joint Terrorist Task Force in which he worked in collaboration with the FBI during the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Soon after, Cornell joined the FBI academy in Quantico, Virginia, where he participated in specialized training. He retired from the NYPD in 1994. In 1996, Cornell became a supervising special investigator with the New York State Attorney General, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit until 2006. To finish his career in law enforcement, Cornell transferred to the Virginia State Attorney General’s Office.
Cornell attended Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church for sixteen years here in Virginia, once he transitioned from New York.
Cornell met the woman that would eventually become the love of his life, Sharon Erskines Adams. They were married in the Bahamas on October 12, 1996. During their time together they loved to travel and enjoy the finer things in life. Butch enjoyed watching movies, reading novels, old school music, good food and sweets, his dogs, sports, and keeping up with current events on MSNBC News.
Cornell was preceded in death by his parents, Charles and Eleanore Adams; brothers, Harry Adams, Charles Adams Jr., and Walter Adams; sisters, Gloria Adams and Josephine Adams. Cornell is survived by his wife, Sharon Erskines Adams; seven children, Dedra Adams, Joy Adams-Hicks, Nichole Cropper (Winford), Cornell Adams Jr. (Michelle), Matthew (Siti), Damien Bowman, and Darell Bowman; nine grandsons, Steeve N. Azor, John Wilson, Matthew Adams Jr., Devon Wilson, Trey Hicks, Andrew Hicks, Cornell T. Adams III, Jordan Adams, Esau Adams; six granddaughters Jasmine Azor, Novella Adams, Jade Adams, Imani Cropper, Nilah Cropper, and Iman Adams; and one great-granddaughter, Ximena Wilson; sister, Linda Girard; a special nephew/son, Daryl Cherry; close friend, Leonard McNeil; loving in-laws, Robert Erskines (Rosina), Dottie Jackson, Richard Erskines, Mary McNeil (Leonard), and Fred Erskines (Rolisa); and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends to cherish his memory.
A funeral mass will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 13, 2023, in Our Lady of the Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, West Point, VA. Mr. Adams may be viewed from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday, at the church.