Dr. Charles HaysFebruary 16, 1932 ~ March 18, 2017 (age 85)
In Loving Memory
February 16, 1932-March 18, 2017
Dr. Charles Hays passed away peacefully while holding our hands March 18, 2017 at 9:11 p.m. We have peace knowing he joined the love of his life, Dorothy R. Moore Hays, who passed away 9/11 of 2010.
Charles was born to Courtney C. and Sallie A. Hays in Hazard, Kentucky on February 16, 1932. Growing up in Hazard, his mother taught him the importance of learning at a very young age. He had two jobs by age 10…he worked behind the parts counter at Gene Baker Motor Company and delivered the local newspaper, The Hazard Herald, where, by the age of 13, he would be writing the sports column. After he graduated high school, the Dodgers offered him a contract to play baseball but he chose instead to follow his dream of getting an education. He joined the United States Army at age 19 and, after serving four years in the Army, decided it was time to attend the University of Kentucky where he majored in Metallurgical Engineering, getting his Bachelor Degree, Masters and his post Doctorate. He met Dorothy at UK, they fell in love and were married on June 3rd, 1956. The love between Charles and Dot was the kind that people can only dream of, something you read in a fairy tale book. He was an incredible father and we were very proud to be his children. He taught us to ask questions… he always said to ask the five W’s: Who, What, When, Where and Why. Another important lesson was one of honesty… he would oftentimes say "Meum Dictum Meum Pactum" (My word is my bond). He was also an incredible Pappaw to his two beautiful granddaughters, Courtney and Chelsea. This taught them many life lessons, and showed not only what an incredible man he was but how simple life and love can be if you focus on what is important… especially through snicker’s ice cream bars. To him, love was what was important. Dot was what was important. I found a box from some of her favorite chocolates that he wrote to her “All my life, I have tried to make you Happy…I hope this will make you happy too! Love CH” What a testimony of truly incredible love.
To talk about Charles’ career is something that was heard best from him, but as his daughter I will do my best to articulate his passion and love for teaching and learning the way he did. His career took us all over the United States. Getting to experience so many places with our family is something I will always cherish. He worked for different companies, always called in to solve any challenges the company faced. His resume’ had such depth and, as his son told him in their last visit together, that, “Dad I am proud of you and to be your son. You are one of the best Metallurgists in the world.”
His career extended from Oakridge, Tennessee; Canoga Park, California; Huntsville, Alabama, he was the Chief Metallurgist for the United States Air Force for the following projects: Atlas, Titan I, Titan II, Titan III, Project Mercury, Gemini and Apollo, Nasa-Huntsville, Al the Saturn V Moon Project, Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and IBM Lexington, Kentucky. I told you we went all over, and then finally we hit Texas… who knew Texas would eventually become his home away from beloved Kentucky! Spring semester 1970, he brought metallurgical engineering to Texas A & M where he challenged students just like he challenged his kids. In 1975 he received the honor of being named a Kentucky Colonel and by 1976 he was helping solve the Alaskan Pipeline, worked for Cameron, U of H, Gray Tool, and Baker Hughes ~ what an impressive man he was! Finally, he went into business for himself, HMEC-Hays Metallurgical Engineering Company which allowed him to work from home or at his laboratory. Having a successful business and being able to create innovative processes was something he was most proud of. Teaching held some of his fondest memories and even though we knew him as, “I can do it all by myself,” his colleagues sang nothing but praises about Dr. Charles Hays… about how much they learned from each other, and how wonderful it was to partner up and work together. Dr. Charles Hays passionately devoted his life to his family and career. He loved his family, he loved to learn, he loved to work, and he loved to teach. Whether you knew him as Dr. Charles Hays, Chicken Charlie, Charles, Charlie, Daddy, or Pappaw just knowing him was a pleasure. You will be missed Dad (that is an understatement) but it’s time you go have fun with Mom. As you were so fond of saying, “Amen, Brother Ben Shot a Rooster and Killed a Hen”. We know you’re “snug as a bug in a rug” now.
His lovely wife, Dorothy Rebecca Moore Hays-September 11, 2010 preceded Charles in death. His mother, Sallie Ann Hounshell Hays-July 28, 2001 and his father, Courtney Cash Hays-May 24, 1978 also preceded him.
His son, Charles Courtney Hays of Los Angeles, California survives him, as well as his daughter, Brenda Rebecca and “son” Edward Eugene Hanzik of Pearland, Texas; his granddaughter, Courtney Rebecca Hanzik Edens and husband Waylon Cody, Chelsea Marie Hanzik and her soulmate Oliver Zane Huff; Pappaw’s great-grandchildren, Kylie Rebecca and Brayton Thomas Norton, Lexi Elizabeth Edens, Halle Marie Huff; his aunt Elizabeth Hounshell of Jackson, Kentucky and other dear family and friends and some amazing people he worked with.
We will be having a Celebration of Life Sunday, April 9, 2017, from 12 to 2 at the family home of Mike and Patty LaTouche, Pearland, TX 77581. Please join us in memory of Charles, by sharing some stories, eating together as family and friends, enjoying some of his favorite songs and spending time together. If you need more information, please contact Brenda at 713-249-0218.