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An employee publication of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice

December 2020

TDCJ Mourns the Loss of Michael Harper

Michael Harper
Michael Harper

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice (TDCJ) is grieving the loss of an employee that is connected to the COVID-19 virus.

56-year-old Maintenance Supervisor Michael Harper passed away in the evening hours of December 1, 2020. Harper had over 22 years of service with TDCJ and was assigned to the Skyview/Hodge complex in Rusk. On October 13, 2020, Harper sought treatment for COVID symptoms and tested positive for COVID-19. He was initially hospitalized on October 19, 2020 at a Tyler area local hospital after suffering respiratory complications. On November 3, 2020, he was placed on a ventilator and after a more than 6-week fight against the virus Harper died December 1, 2020.

“Michael Harper was always the first to contribute to TDCJ in every way he could even volunteering for service above and beyond his normal duties,” said TDCJ Executive Director Bryan Collier. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends and we hope they are blessed with the knowledge that he was a kind and caring man willing to help anyone day or night.”

“He was a committed employee who proudly served Texas and this agency,” said Facilities Division Director Cody Ginsel. “Michael Harper can rest easy knowing that he will always be remembered as a guiding light for all who were fortunate enough to know him.”

The Texas Department of Criminal Justice has had twenty-four employees who have died in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.