Dr. Adrian Lloyd Sorrell was born in Hondo, Texas to Helen Chandler and Curtis Marshal Williams, Senior. That small town and the early teachings of his grandfather Lloyd “Daddy” Sorrell and Ruby “Mama” Sorrell proved to be the cornerstone of his character: humble, generous, hardworking and, above all, kind.
A lover of music, Adrian started his illustrious band career in middle school and his life’s path was solidified when he caught glimpses of the University of Texas marching band performing on TV: he wanted to be in the Longhorn Marching Band. As he grew up among family and a broad array of friends in Hondo, he made a significant impression on his high school band director Mr. Harold, who would later take him to the University of Texas Longhorn Band audition. Band was Adrian’s ticket into college and into the “Showband of the Southwest” that he would be part of for the rest of his life.
His first job after college was as a special education teacher at Williams Elementary School in Austin. He enjoyed teaching young children in the classroom for 15 years, eventually earning a doctorate in special education (1993) from the University of Texas. He went on to become a professor and instructed aspiring special education teachers at Prairie View University, an Historically Black College/University, where he was awarded tenure. In 2001, he started at Region 4 Educational Service Center and for the next nine years he continued to train teachers, a job he loved.
As his career advanced, his home life was blessed as well. He married his first wife, Alva, in 1984 and they soon welcomed their daughter Andrea “Andi” Sorrell and moved from Austin to Cypress, Texas, a suburb of Houston. Alva’s untimely death in 2000 was hard for both father and daughter, but they had each other to pull them through the sad times as they persevered.
In 1999, Adrian was awarded a post-doctoral fellowship at the Center of Minority Research in Special Education, University of Virginia. Araminta Coleman was also awarded a fellowship with COMRISE at UVA but as a doctoral student. They were encouraged to spend time together by a mutual friend while at a conference in Vancouver, Canada in April of 2000. Adrian referred to the introduction as a “miracle in Vancouver.” He and Araminta started a long-distance relationship. In 2001, Dr. Adrian Sorrell married Dr. Araminta Coleman. She moved to Texas and adopted the state as her home.
Their life was a full one and filled with new experiences. “Happy wife, happy life” was Adrian’s motto. Adrian realized that he loved to travel. With Andi and grandchildren often in tow, the couple traveled throughout the U.S. from Los Angeles to Cleveland, to New Orleans to Cozumel, Mexico and everywhere in between. Their two biggest trip by far were in 2010 when they went back to Vancouver to relive the beginning of their life together. And when the couple went to London in 2015 with the Longhorn Alumni Band to perform at a once-in-a-lifetime event, The New Year’s Day Parade. Big Ben got to know Big Adrian!
Adrian and Araminta moved to San Antonio in 2010, when he started his next career as an associate professor at Texas A&M San Antonio. He worked at the University until he became unable to continue.
Adrian loved all University of Texas teams and the Dallas Cowboys (of course!), Marvel comics/movies and sci-fi. He had every gadget known to man and was a fan of the Big Rib Platter at County Line restaurant.
His fight with pancreatic cancer lasted two years, and he valiantly did his best to combat the disease until the very end.
He is deeply missed by family and friends far-and-wide. A special person with a gentle soul, there will be no other like him and the world is a darker place without his enduring spirit.
Adrian is survived by his parents Helen Chandler and Curtis Marshall Williams, Sr., his devoted wife Araminta, daughter Andi, step-daughter TeAnne Coleman Chennault, son-in-law Scott Chennault, grandchildren Coleman, Adia and Soleil as well as siblings Myra Webb, Curtis Marshal Williams, Jr., Andrea Denise Hardy, Melissa Faye Blakes, Marcia Renee Bijou, Kelii Marie Williams and Brian Williams.
AT THE REQUEST OF THE FAMILY, THE VIEWING AND THE FUNERAL SERVICE WILL BE PRIVATE.
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