James A. "Jimmy" Hayley

James Hayley

 James A. “Jimmy” Hayley passed away suddenly on February 6, 2016 at the age of 78.  Jimmy was born on August 30, 1937, in Olney, Texas, to Leslie and Opal Trip Hayley, and moved to Texas City in 1942.

 Jimmy is preceded in death by his beloved parents and Father and Mother-in-law, Malcolm and Therese Deats.  He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Jane Deats      Hayley, his two sons Jerry and wife Cindy Hayley and Jason and wife Connie Hayley, and seven grandchildren, Amanda, Abby, Allyson, Zack and Jacob Hayley and Bryanna and Nate Branch.

Jimmy was a 1955 graduate of La Marque High School and went on to earn a Bachelors of Business Administration degree from Sam Houston State University in 1959.

 In 1961 he began his 25-year career with Guaranty Federal Savings & Loan, first as a branch manager and Vice President before being promoted to the Galveston Office as Senior Vice President and Director of Marketing and Public Relations, with responsibility for state-wide branching operations.

 Jimmy began his career as President of the Texas City-La Marque Chamber of Commerce in 1987.  As the Chamber President, he received several state-wide awards including the Texas Chamber of Commerce’s highest honor, the Marvin Hurley Award, in 2007, and was selected the Outstanding Texas Chamber Executive in 2005 by the Texas Association of Businesses.  In 2002 Jimmy received the Texas Chamber Distinguished Service Award, served as President of the Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives in 2000-2001, and was President of the Gulf Coast Chamber Executives in 1992. 

 In recognition of his work on behalf of the communities and the Chamber, the Texas City-La Marque Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors renamed the Chamber office The James A. “Jimmy” Hayley Building.

Jimmy always had a love of education and followed in the footsteps of his father when he was elected to the La Marque Independent School District Board of Trustees.  He was re-elected seven times, serving 24 years on the school board and was school board president for three years. 

In 1999, he was commissioned by Governor George W. Bush to the Texas State University Board, where he served six years including the position of Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board of Regents for the Texas State University System, the first higher education system established in Texas.  This governing body has eight member institutions including Sam Houston State University, Lamar University, and Texas State University. He also served as a member of the Sam Houston State University Advisory Board for the School of Business.  A lecture room at the Sam Houston State School of Business is named in his honor. 

Jimmy was also Chairman of the Board of the non-profit Energy for Schools at the time of his death.

Jimmy was active in various community non-profit organizations.  He was a  life membership of the La Marque Kiwanis Club, a member of St. John’s United Methodist Church, Texas City Rotary Club, Gulf Coast Chamber Executives, Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives, and United Way Galveston County Mainland.  He also served on the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Committee and on the Galveston County Fair Board for a number of years, heading the Auction Committee.

His honors and recognitions include Sam Houston State University Distinguished Alumni Award, La Marque High School Distinguished Alumni Award, Rotary Club Vocational Award, Texas Community Builder Award, College of the Mainland Foundation Award, Texas Bancshares Howard Payne Award, Texas City-La Marque Community Service Award, Galveston County Daily News Outstanding Citizen of the Year, and Outstanding Educator of America Award.

In addition to his professional life, Jimmy had a special place in his heart for family and friends.  He loved life and all aspects associated with the Texas City-La Marque community.  He also loved sports of all kinds and was a life-long Houston Oilers/Texans season ticket holder, and never missed a Sunday of Texans football. If the Texans had an away game and the local church minister’s sermon got a little long, he began checking his watch, hoping to make the kick-off.  Jimmy was an athlete himself, having played high school baseball and later managing and playing men’s fast-pitch softball. He was bestowed the nickname of “Squat-Low Hayley” from his many years of playing catcher. 

As much as he loved following the local high school athletic scene, he had a special interest in following his grandchildren’s sporting events including Amanda’s and Abby’s gymnastics, Alyson’s and Abby’s tennis, Zack’s and Jacob’s baseball, Bryanna’s soccer, and Jacob’s football.  He was known as Zack’s caddy and number one fan at all his golf tournaments.

Jimmy was himself an award-winning golfer and a collector of classic golf clubs and sports memorabilia.  Nothing was better on a sunny spring afternoon than to spend time with his long-time golfing buddies.

A visitation will be held on Friday, February 12th from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Dickinson, with a Celebration of Life Service to be held on Saturday, February 13th at 1:00 p.m. at the Charles T. Doyle Convention Center.  Burial to follow at Galveston Memorial Park in Hitchcock.

Serving as pallbearers will be Ernie Deats, Mike Moses, Frank DeLaro, Tomy Hamon, Tommy Briggs, Donnie Lera, Ralph Holm, and DeLoyd Harris.  Honorary pallbearers include T. J. Aulds, L. W. Surratt, Mike Mumey, the members of Sam Houston State Delta Tau Delta fraternity, and past and present Texas City-La Marque Chamber Board members.

If you choose to make a donation in Jimmy’s memory, in lieu of flowers, a Jimmy Hayley Scholarship fund has been established through the Texas City I.S.D. Foundation for the Future to support graduating students from Texas City and La Marque High Schools.  Donations can be sent to Texas City ISD Foundation for the Future, 1700 Ninth Avenue North, Texas City 77590, in memory of Jimmy Hayley.

Condolences, tributes, memorial gifts and flowers should be sent to Carnes Funeral Home, 3100 Gulf Freeway, Texas City, Texas 77591.