This weekend, Gertrude LaNelle Hays, the longest-serving employee of the state of Texas, passed away at the age of 90.
Hays began her career with the Secretary of State's Office in 1939 and served for 68 years in the financial and administration services division under 39 different secretaries of state.
"Ms. Hays has made an impact on this agency for longer than many of its employees have been alive," Secretary of State Phil Wilson said. "She loved her job and came to work every morning with a smile on her face. We were all blessed to have Nell in our lives and her legacy of service will live on for many years to come. My wife and I extend our condolences and prayers to her family and friends and know that she will be deeply missed."
Hays moved to Austin from Stamford, Texas at the age of 21, learned to key punch and began working for the agency on January 29, 1939, two days before she was officially put on the payroll.
Throughout her nearly seven decades as a state employee, Wilson says Nell maintained her passion for her job and was known as a faithful and dependable employee and a kind and energetic friend.
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