Cover photo for Dr. Charles D. Hays's Obituary
Dr. Charles D. Hays Profile Photo

Dr. Charles D. Hays

December 1, 1939 — March 20, 2024


Dr. Charles D. Hays

Dr. Charles D. Hays, of Granbury, Texas, passed away peacefully on March 20, 2024, at the age of 84, surrounded by his family. He was born on December 1, 1939, in Archer City, Texas. Charles is preceded in death by his parents, Edwin Arnold and Mary Ellen Hays, brother Leon Hays, and sister Ola Belle Stephenson Blackledge. He is survived by his wife Jackie Beth Hays, son Charles Mitchell Hays of Granbury, daughter Kelly Hays Turner (Doug Turner) of Lubbock, and son Toby Dee Hays (Angie Pellegrin Hays) of The Woodlands, and grandchildren Hannah Beth Turner, Logan Douglas Turner, Alexandra Josephine Hays, and Christopher John Hays. 

Charlie grew up in Littlefield and Levelland, Texas, graduating from Levelland High School in 1959. He was the first in his family to attend college. After beginning his education at South Plains College, he married his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Jackie Beth Ballow, in 1960. He was employed full-time throughout his education and joined the Army National Guard in 1963. He graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor’s degree in 1965, then a Master’s degree in Education in 1967. He was in several administrative positions at South Plains College and Midland College before pursuing his Doctorate in Administration in Higher Education at Texas A&M University. 

Upon receiving his Ph.D. in 1971, Dr. Hays became the youngest college president in Texas at Panola Junior College (Carthage) at only 32 years old. Over the course of his 30 year career in education, he was also president of Howard College (Big Spring), New Mexico Junior College (Hobbs, NM), and Century College (White Bear Lake, MN). His accomplishments and contributions while leading these institutions were extraordinarily impressive and made a considerable impact to each community.

Charles was heavily involved and awarded for his exhaustive service to the community as a member of several civic clubs and organizations. He was an ordained deacon and was the chairman of deacons at First Baptist Church (Big Spring). He was a 32nd degree Mason, Shriner, member of Lions Club and Kiwanis Club, board member of the Chamber of Commerce in three cities, United Way President, President of the New Mexico Association of Community and Junior Colleges, and Mountain State’s Community College Association. 

Throughout his career, Charles and Jackie also owned and operated several businesses. Charlie had many interests, including home improvement and renovation, restoring classic cars, and keeping up with the grandkids. He was a brilliant man with an infectious laugh, resolute determination, endless energy, and made everyone around him feel special and loved. He lit up a room with his quick wit and constant positivity. 

 He will be deeply missed by his family and friends. 

 A visitation for Charles will be held from 5 PM to 7 PM on Wednesday, March 27, 2024, in the Oak Crest Suite of Combest Family Funeral Home, 2210 Broadway, Lubbock.   Funeral services will be held at 2 PM on Thursday, March 28, 2024, at the First Baptist Church in Levelland, 401 Houston Street, Levelland, Texas.  Reverend Cody Favor will be the officiant.  Final rites and interment will follow in the City of Levelland Cemetery under the personal care and direction of Combest Family Funeral Home.

 Pallbearers will be Eddie Stephenson, Casey Bristow, Taylor Bristow, Zack Bristow, Kent Lewis, Dakota Lewis and Scott Stephenson.

 In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his honor to Lubbock Area United Way, 1655 Main Street, #101, Lubbock, TX 79401.

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Past Services


Wednesday, March 27, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Oak Crest Suite at Combest Family Funeral Home

2210 Broadway St, Lubbock, TX 79401

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Funeral Service

Thursday, March 28, 2024

2:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

First Baptist Church - Levelland

401 Houston Street, Levelland, 79336

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Thursday, March 28, 2024

3:00 - 3:30 pm (Central time)

City of Levelland Cemetery

1500 Avenue H, Levelland, 79336

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