After a two-year battle with cancer, Peggy Lopez Adams died on Friday. She was 36. A New York native, Adams planned and put on raves and dance parties from Orlando to Belize in the early ’90s. After spending some time in New Orleans, she moved to Little Rock with her husband, Steven, in the mid-’90s and began bartending at Midtown Billiards. In 1997, she started working at Juanita’s as a bar manager and promoter.
“Peggy revived Juanita’s from the dead,” said friend and former co-worker Dennis Stone. “She brought it to a national level.”
“She impacted everyone she encountered,” said Erin Hurley, who was hired by Adams and eventually took over for her. “She wasn’t the meek person in the corner of the room. She had a presence. She was vivacious, dynamic.”
When Butch Stone took on promotions for the Riverfest Amphitheatre in 2000, he asked Adams to join his staff as an assistant production manager to his son, Dennis. Together, they ran the riverfront summer concert series and worked with big-time bands including Godsmack, Pantera, Def Leppard, Deftones, Nickelback and 3 Doors Down.
“Anything I asked her to do got done,” Dennis Stone said. “She had a heart as big as anybody. She always stood up for the underdogs. She wouldn’t let me talk bad about anybody. At the same time, she was tough. She wouldn’t let people push her around.”
Adams had a big voice. She was honest and she spoke her mind in her unique, often heavy, Puerto-Rican/Brooklynite accent. Mother of Chloe, 11, Simone, 9, and Loic, 5, Adams put her family first. She stayed home with her children and home-schooled them. Over dinner at Peggy's house, she'd often talk about books her children were reading, camps they were attending and birthday parties they were invited to. She’d share stories about things her little man “Lolo” had said to her that day that had made her laugh out loud.
Adams asked that instead of flowers, memorials be made to the Open Arms Shelter, P.O. Box 161, Lonoke, Ark., 72086, www.openarmsshelter.org.