Longtime Pasco mentor dies at 40

Kyle Adams was big in stature, but he had an even bigger heart and always a big smile on his face.

The longtime Pasco resident, music producer and mentor and protector for neighborhood kids, died Tuesday at Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland of congestive heart failure after battling the disease for three years.

Adams, affectionately known as Porky or Pork, was 40.

"When he was passing away at the hospital, he was worried about the people coming in crying to tell them goodbye," said Jeremy Gray of Pasco, Adams' best friend since grade school. "That would sum up his whole life. He was always worried about others more than himself. He was very generous."

Adams was the founder and executive producer for Acropolis Records. He produced, recorded and performed rap and hip-hop music and was the first person in Eastern Washington to record a CD and get it sold in stores, said longtime friend Nate Hodge of Tacoma.

"I've known him since I was in seventh grade. That's the time we started doing music together," Hodge said. "He helped develop my talent very early. I rap and wrote lyrics. He produced, and he'd put together shows that we performed at."

Adams' first album, Side N On You, was said to be a success in the Tri-Cities at the time, and he just re-released it on iTunes.

Adams got to know some popular rappers, such as Too Short -- a picture of Adams with the California rapper is posted on a Facebook page created in his memory -- and friends said he worked with and became good friends with Kid Frost.

But Adams wasn't just about hip-hop, he liked all music -- country, rap, orchestra, alternative -- and always could be found at shows to check out the new, young bands, Gray said. He also used to put on an alternative music festival in the Tri-Cities called Pork-a-palooza, which was based on Lollapalooza's national tour.

Friends say it seemed like Adams knew everybody, and if someone didn't know him, they knew someone who did.

"Being the public figure that he was, I don't think there was anyone he didn't associate with," she said. "He didn't judge people. He took them at face value and gave everybody a chance to do the right thing and helped them do the right thing."

His older sister, Ranae Adams, said they are anticipating about 500 people at his funeral service Saturday.

"He had a beautiful heart," she said, noting that he weighed about 450 pounds when he died but stayed very active through mountain biking, boating and more. "He was a big guy with a big heart who was very well liked and loved by all who met him."

A Facebook page was created this week in his memory, and by Thursday evening 558 friends were following it, posting photos and sharing memories.

Kids especially were fond of Adams, who had worked at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center and also coached a basketball team.

"He was a big force out there trying to help kids stay out of trouble," Hodge said.

Adams also kept an eye out for all the kids in the neighborhood, always seemed to be in the right place to help someone in need, and seemed to adopt everyone's kids as his own, Gray said.

He spent a year baby-sitting Gray's youngest daughter when she was just a year old, while Gray worked full time farming and his wife worked part time.

He had a game called Creature that he loved to scare kids with -- and the kids loved it too.

"We used to laugh, us parents, because they would scream. He'd scare the daylights out of them, but they'd come back for more," Gray said. "All the kids in the neighborhood are upset that somebody they looked up to as a mentor is gone and is not going to get to see them grow up."

Adams is survived by his mother and stepfather, Debbie Phillips and Richard Carter; his father, Michael Adams; his sister, Ranae Adams; and lots of nieces and nephews.

His service is at 1 p.m. Saturday at Faith Assembly Center in Pasco. Arrangements are by Columbia Memorial Funeral Chapel.

Paula Horton: 582-1556; phorton@tricityherald.com