Jack Colley, 62, who guided state preparations through disasters such as the space shuttle Columbia and the evacuation of millions of Texans during Hurricane Ike died Sunday following a heart attack. Jack worked as head of DPS' Division of Emergency Management for 12 years and was involved in the response and recovery of storms, disasters and emergencies.

Many, many Texas citizens owe their lives to Jack. Through lessons learned following Katrina and Rita, Jack was the authority when it came to disaster planning, coordination, and recovery here in Texas. Jack had the last word, and he was in control, when it came to Emergency operations in Texas.

Any of us who worked with Jack or participated in telephone conferences during emergencies, knew when we said "this is what we need," it would happen. If you didn't have the answers when he asked, you had them by the next conference or meeting, or he would climb up your six.

During the Hurricane Katrina evacuations, many refused to evacuate without their pets, Jack opened Texas shelters to companion animals. Jack was quoted as saying,

"Nobody dies because they can't bring their pet. This is Texas,"

Jack's methodical leadership will be sorely missed. Funeral arrangements are pending.

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