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Tony Hays (1-25-15) service 2-16-15

Thomas Anthony ‘Tony’ Hays, 58, passed from this life to a better one on Sunday, Jan. 25.
Tony was working in Saudi Arabia teaching English as a second language to the Saudi military. He was on vacation in Luxor, Egypt, when he fell ill.
Preceding him in death were his parents, Robert and Charlyne Hays; a brother, Robert Joe Hays and another brother, Ronald Douglas Hays.
He is survived by his brother, Dr. John David Hays of Murfreesboro; three nephews, Joe Hays of Henderson, Tennessee, John Hays of Esther, Florida, and Jamie Hays of Goodletsville, Tennessee; and one niece, Christy Pope of Gallatin, Tennessee. He is also survived by a host of great-nephews and nieces, cousins and dear friends.
Tony was educated in public schools in Madison, Tennessee and Rutherford County, graduating from Riverdale High School in 1975. He joined the Tennessee National Guard and was selected as Outstanding Soldier in his basic training class. He attended Tennessee Technological University and earned an undergraduate degree in history and a graduate degree in educational psychology and counseling. His early career included student development positions at Virginia Intermont College, the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, the former East Texas State University (now Texas A&M-Commerce) and Motlow State Community College. He returned to TAMC to earn a masters degree in creative writing.
Tony was a prolific writer and has nearly 30 books listed on He compiled several volumes of genealogical reference books, invaluable to family researchers, a few volumes of history and a number of historical mysteries. His mysteries were critically acclaimed, often receiving five star reviews in Publisher’s Weekly, an industry trade magazine. He was a frequent speaker and panelist member at mystery writers conferences. His last novel will be released in July 2015.  Tony was also a gifted teacher and literally taught all over the world. He lived in seven countries and visited 30 more. He had a thirst for adventure and experiencing different cultures.
Faculty at Texas A&M- Commerce have requested that his family donate his papers and research material to their library archives to form the nucleus of the Tony Hays Collection, for the benefit of future scholars. The university flew their flag at half mast on Feb. 2, in honor and memory of Tony’s many contributions.
Funeral services were held 2 p.m., on Monday, Feb. 16,  at Jennings and Ayers Funeral Home, with Rev. Joe Hays officiating. Friends, cousins and nephews served as pall bearers. Interment and graveside service followed at Evergreen Cemetery in Murfreesboro. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the American Diabetes Association.
Jennings and Ayers Funeral Home, 820 South Church St., Murfreesboro, TN 37130. 615-893-2422. Please leave online condolences at

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