“With the passing of K. S. "Bud" Adams, Cherokee Nation has lost one of its most prominent and beloved tribal citizens. Although probably best known as a successful businessman and owner of the Tennessee Titans NFL franchise, Adams was born right here in the Cherokee Nation in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and never lost touch with his Cherokee heritage. People may be surprised to know that his Cherokee roots included his maternal uncle, W.W. Keeler, who served as Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation for more than two decades.
Through the years Bud Adams was one of the Cherokee Heritage Center’s staunchest supporters, serving on its executive board and making generous contributions that established attractions such as the Adams Corner Rural Village in 1979 in honor of his mother, Blanch Keeler Adams. Endowments and continuing support from Adams have had a broad impact on Cherokees and other visitors to the Cherokee Heritage Center.
In 2000 he received the highest honor awarded by the Cherokee National Historical Society for his support and dedication to the preservation and promotion of Cherokee culture. A member of the “greatest generation,” we also recognize and honor his sacrifices as a veteran of World War II who fought to protect our freedoms, as so many Cherokee men of his generation did.
We will miss Bud Adams and offer our deepest condolences to his family.”
— Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker