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John “Jack” Ireland Adams, 20, of Lake Forest, died at Clear Lake, Ind. on Saturday, June 29, while wake surfing, one of his favorite activities.
Alyssa Groh, Editor
9:44 am CDT July 3, 2019

John “Jack” Ireland Adams, 20, of Lake Forest, died at Clear Lake, Ind. on Saturday, June 29, while wake surfing, one of his favorite activities.

Adams was born in 1998 in Indianapolis and is preceded in death by his grandparents, Robert H. Adams and Joan I. Adams, and his aunt Debra Adams. He is survived by his parents, Richard and Kristine, brother Connor and sister Lindsay, grandparents Gary and Suzi Hewitt, aunt Kelly McCabe (Paul), uncle Robert Adams (Nancy), cousins John and Kate McCabe, Courtney, Kelsey and Mackenzie Adams. 

After graduating from Lake Forest High School, Adams attended The College of Charleston where he pledged the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity. He cherished his short time with his “brothers”. 

Adams was passionate about lacrosse and loved every aspect of the game, particularly the camaraderie he enjoyed with his teammates and coaches. Adams was a four-year varsity player for the Scouts, and in 2017 he was named team captain, IHSLA All-State, IHSLA All-Conference first team, was voted the team’s Most Valuable Defenseman. “Sweet Jack” had an infectious smile, was quick to make friends and was a leader on the field as a coach for The Lake Forest Lacrosse Association. 

Marc Thiergart, who became the head coach for the Scouts boys lacrosse team in 2015 and coached Adams for three years, remembers his passion for the sport vividly.

“Jack had a passion for the game, his teammates and the school,” Thiergart said. “His effort every time he stepped onto the field was unmatched. He had tremendous speed and athleticism, which made him a fun player to watch. I don’t think we’ve ever had a player like him ... since he graduated and we probably never will. He was electric on the field.”

While Adams was a quiet leader who led by example, Thiergart said the team respected him. 

“He was a quiet leader, but he led by example,” he said. “All of the kids respected him and he led on the field with his effort. He was extremely passionate for the game. He played hard for the game every time, he never complained and he was an unbelievable player to have on the team.”

Coaching Adams for three years, Thiergart was able to witness Adams grow in many ways, but one memory will always stick out. 

Thiergart recalled Adams being selected for the All-Star team his senior year. The game took place after Adams graduated, but that didn’t stop him from putting in his full effort. 

“Justin Smith, the assistant coach, and I were walking up to coach the All-Star team for the north,” Thiergart said. “We spent that last game with him, and he was already graduated, so the situation kind of changes when we are no longer his coach. He treated us like adults and we had a really good experience and made good memories. It was a good experience to see him graduate and move onto the next step of his life.”

Adams was fascinated and curious about many things including history, music, fishing, wake surfing, snow skiing, cooking and sewing. Above all, Adams most enjoyed spending time with those he loved and adored at his favorite place, Clear Lake.

A Memorial Service will be held on Thursday, July 11, at 11 a.m. at The Church of the Holy Spirit, 400 E. Westminster Ave., Lake Forest. Inurnment private. Info - Reuland & Turnbough Funeral Directors of Lake Forest, (847) 234-9649 or 

To honor Adams’s memory and in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Lake Forest Lacrosse Association: by Chase QuickPay or Zelle (made to or by mail to:

The Lake Forest Lacrosse Association, Attn: Jason Van Camp, 1961 W. Salisbury Lane, Lake Forest, IL 60045.