Glenabel Eugene Hays of Waco, Texas found victory in Jesus on Jan. 7 at the age of 81. By her side, at the time of her passing, was her husband of 58 years Bob Hays, and her daughter Denitia Blount. Glenabel was preceded in death by her mother and father, Alvin and Ocie Lea Ferguson, sister Barbara, and son Richard.

Glenabel was born to Alvin and Ocie Lea Ferguson in Odessa, Texas on Sept. 14, 1937. After graduating high school, Glenabel went to Hardin-Simmons University, where she would meet her future husband, Bob, who she married on April 15, 1960.

After graduation she moved to Gunnison, Colo., where she completed her Masters at Western Colorado University and taught first grade for 21 years. After retiring from teaching, Glenabel moved back to Abilene, Texas, where she was the co-founder of Rhodes Child Development Center. She later became the house mother to high school seniors at the Hendrick Home for Children. In 1996, she started the Family Care Unit which was started to give single mothers an opportunity to get back on their feet. She served as the director until her retirement in 2002.

In her final weeks of life Glenabel was surrounded by her family and friends. Glenabel Hays is survived by her husband Bob; her daughter Denitia Blount and son-in-law Norris Blount of Waco; son Charles Peterson, daughter-in-law Amber Peterson of Iwakuni, Japan; and her grandchildren Natasha, Tyler, Hannah and Levi Blount, Joshua, Nevaeh and Asher Peterson.

A memorial service was held on Saturday, Jan. 12 at 10:30 a.m. at First Baptist Church in Abilene, Texas. The family ask that in lieu of flowers donations be made to Hendrick Home for Children or one’s favorite charity.