When Luanne Lee returned to work on a wet day earlier this spring, her ft had been soaking moist.
She had simply trekked via an ankle-high pool of water to maneuver her automotive from a flooding parking zone on the Riverwind On line casino in Norman, Oklahoma, the place she labored.
Quickly after making it inside, she realized her co-worker who was strolling alongside her, Jeremy C. Hendley, had disappeared into the downpour.
Greater than half-hour later, he returned — bearing a dry pair of footwear and socks to assist her get via the shift.
“I’ll always remember that,” she stated. “That was simply how kind-hearted he was — all the time pondering of others.”
Whether or not it was as a husband, good friend, co-worker, pupil, or canine dad, Hendley all the time discovered selfless methods to unravel others’ issues, in keeping with family and friends.
Hendley, a first-year pupil at Harvard Regulation College, died by suicide on Sept. 2. He was 35.
Born June 27, 1987, in Ada, Oklahoma, Hendley developed a ardour for authorized research as an undergraduate at East Central College, the place he graduated in 2015. In response to Christine Pappas, certainly one of Hendley’s professors and mentors at ECU, he was a perfectionist and a straight-A pupil, motivated by a need to assist his spouse achieve American citizenship.
“It was a pleasure to me to listen to him speak so passionately about eager to serve,” Pappas stated. “Turning into an legal professional was his highest purpose.”
‘There for All of That’
Hendley’s spouse, Alma A. Hendley, was unaware for years that she may be eligible for the Deferred Motion for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects from deportation some undocumented immigrants who had been dropped at the nation at a younger age.
Jeremy Hendley supported her via a decade-long authorized course of that finally allowed her to change into a U.S. citizen.
“Collectively we researched alternatives out there to me and he finally discovered concerning the DACA program,” Alma Hendley wrote in a press release to The Crimson.
Even after enrolling in DACA, Alma Hendley stated her path to citizenship left her in a continuing “authorized limbo” due to the “excruciating” expectations for candidates.
“I needed to do loads of the authorized hurdles that many Dreamers need to undergo,” she stated in an interview. “Jeremy was there for all of that.”
After many setbacks and delays — together with file wait occasions brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic — Alma Hendley was granted U.S. citizenship on December 13, 2021.
“With out Jeremy as advocate and as a sponsor for me I’d not have my U.S. Citizenship,” Alma Hendley wrote.
The 2 had been married for 12 years.
“Plenty of our associates generally would say, ‘Gosh, you guys have been collectively for a very long time. How do you make it work?’” she stated. “I believe a part of it was simply studying to develop collectively and alter collectively.”
Alma Hendley added that her husband’s love prolonged to Louis, an 11-year-old white commonplace poodle they adopted as a rescue.
“That was his child, and he would do something for him,” Alma Hendley stated. “What he cherished was spending time with Louis, speaking about Louis, exhibiting footage to his workers about him.”
Rising up, Hendley developed a ardour for card video games and the mental problem they offered. After faculty, he labored as a seller for the Chickasaw Nation’s Riverwind On line casino, the place he was quickly promoted to coach new workers.
Over 16 years working for the Chickasaw Nation Division of Commerce, Hendley mentored many who went via the on line casino’s coaching program.
“Should you undergo coaching, you’re going to fulfill Jeremy,” recalled Tia Q. Le, a co-worker Hendley educated when she first started working on the on line casino three years in the past.
Le stated she remembers Jeremy as “an excellent dresser,” a “variety soul” who “by no means acquired annoyed at any of the scholars,” and as “arms down, the most effective seller I’ve ever seen.”
“He was sensible — you understand the minute you see him,” Le stated. “You need to know, mentally, loads of math. You need to do it actually shortly. And he was so quick.”
“I used to be so fortunate to have him as a trainer. I don’t assume I’d have been as profitable as I used to be with out him,” she added.
Luanne Lee, who labored alongside Hendley within the Chickasaw Nation’s coaching division for 5 years, stated he was recognized at work as “ particular person, but in addition the coach — the particular person to go to, the person who knew all of it.”
Hendley was put in control of managing Blackjack, Final Texas Maintain ’Em, Jackpot Maintain ’Em, Craps, and Roulette, amongst different desk video games on the on line casino, in keeping with Lee.
“Each recreation that the Chickasaw Nation trains, he knew it — even poker,” Lee stated.
Hendley was “like certainly one of my very own youngsters,” she added.
Co-workers additionally keep in mind Jeremy Hendley’s humorousness and knowledgeability.
“The Riverwind On line casino group cherished him,” Lee stated. “He was the backup for all the things: ‘Go to Jeremy. Let’s ask Jeremy. He’ll know.’ Everybody simply cherished him.”
Attending Harvard Regulation College was Jeremy Hendley’s final dream, in keeping with his family and friends. When he discovered he was accepted, Hendley was “the happiest particular person on the planet,” Lee stated.
“I acquired to see him on daily basis with a smile from ear to ear on his face, strolling 5 ft off the bottom,” Lee stated. “He was the proudest and the happiest person who I’ve ever seen.”
Brian T. Broderick, a first-year Regulation College pupil who was in Jeremy Hendley’s part, stated he first met Hendley on-line over the summer season through LinkedIn and Slack.
“I acquired the sense that he was pleasant,” Broderick stated. “I acquired the sense that he was actually trying ahead to coming to Harvard and being a part of the HLS group. Nothing however constructive.”
When the 2 lastly met on campus through the Regulation College’s first-year orientation, they immediately bonded.
“I actually acquired the impression that he was somebody who was very giving and really selfless — that he was at HLS to do issues that had been larger than himself,” Broderick stated.
“He didn’t appear to be somebody who was into this for his personal objectives or somebody who simply desires to line his personal pockets,” he added. “He actually needed to make a distinction.”
After he was accepted to Harvard Regulation College final spring, Hendley set his eyes on a profession as an immigration legal professional.
“He really admired that Harvard had a DACA clinic, and that was something that he was looking forward to doing,” Alma Hendley said. “He went out of his way to help people, and I know people say that a lot about their loved ones, but Jeremy was an on-call guy all the time.”
Pappas said she remembered Hendley’s eagerness to mentor her students at East Central University after he was accepted to HLS, offering to help them on the LSAT and seek out letters of recommendation.
“He was 100 percent helpful and positive all the time,” she said. “Couldn’t wait to help other people.”
— Workers author John N. Peña might be reached at [email protected].