Jean Pape Adams was born in Robinson, Illinois in 1910 to Clyde and Maude Pape. Clyde Pape served as Treasurer of the Selby Oil & Gas Company, which merged with Texaco in 1948. Mr. Pape moved his family to Tulsa, Oklahoma where Jean attended Holland Hall, an independent college preparatory school, and later graduated from The University of Tulsa with a degree in history. She was an accomplished pianist, a voracious reader, and a prolific writer. During her lifetime, Jean collected art and antiques, and the majority of her art collection was given to The Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa after her death.
Jean had one daughter, Judith (“Judy”) Adams. Like her mother, Judy was interested in the arts. She taught ceramics at The Philbrook Museum and was an avid painter. Judy was diagnosed with ALS in 1996 and died of the disease four months later.
Jean created Judith and Jean Pape Adams Charitable Foundation prior to her death in 2003.