Hays Jenkins, Jr. (’72)

Hays Jenkins of Missouri City, Texas, passed away on January 23, 2021 at the age of 71 years. He was born on June 14, 1949, to Hayes Jenkins, Sr and Nelcena Jenkins in Fort Worth, Texas, both of whom preceded him in death. He was the third of four children. He was a graduate of Grand Prairie High School and the University of Houston, where he attended on a marksman scholarship and was an officer in Omega Psi Phi fraternity. He earned his Doctor of Jurisprudence Degree from Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University and was the school’s highest scorer on the Texas Bar Exam.

Surviving Hays are his wife of 43 years, Helen; children, John, Crystal Washington (Brian) of Missouri City, Texas; Michael Bell and Hayes Boone of Fort Worth, Texas (deceased). He leaves his grandchildren Juan, Sydney, Tyson, Michael and Christopher. Hays leaves his only surviving brother and best friend, Phillip, of Allen Texas, and wife, Thelma, along with a host of nieces, nephews and grands.

At the time of his passing, Hays was an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of Texas and their most senior attorney. He was one of only approximately three dozen with similar years of service among U.S. Attorney’s Offices throughout the nation.

Hays began his federal career in 1967 as an engineer with NASA. He later worked as a Harris County Assistant District Attorney before joining the U.S. Attorney’s Office (USAO) in 1980. In Summer 2020, the office honored his 40 years of service to the Department of Justice during a wonderful celebration via Zoom.

During his tenure, Hays had many varied assignments throughout the U.S. Attorney’s office and was involved in a variety of cases. He also served as the chief of the Civil Division and as senior litigation counsel. Most recently, he was assigned to the Human Rights and Organized Crime Section primarily prosecuting immigration-related offenses. Over the years, it was reported that Hays consistently worked tirelessly and produced outstanding results.

Hays loved travel and especially enjoyed cruises. He accomplished number one on his bucket list by salmon fishing in Canada. He loved and admired his talented children and reveled in the joyous antics of his grandchildren. Growing in faith and family were his most important life goals. He will be missed for his serious cross-examination on subjects great and small and his desire to be a mentor to all who sought his wisdom.

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