Frank Hoyt (More)

Ex-Supervisor Frank L. Hoyt Dies at 88 -- from his obituary, Tracy Press - Oct. 1986

Former San Joaquin Supervisor Frank L. Hoyt of Tracy, who witnessed more than 50 years of change in San Joaquin County, died Saturday at Tracy Community Memorial Hosp. Hoyt died of respiratory failure after more than four months in the hospital following cancer surgery in May.

Hoyt, 88, who served from 1960 to 1972 as Fifth District San Joaquin County supervisor, worked a number of jobs. During his life, He worked as a cowboy, a rodeo rider, cattle rancher, farmer, World War I machine gunner, industrial executive and civic leader as well as supervisor. He was born in Norton, Kansas in 1898, in a home dug out of a clay river bank on the Sapple River. When he was a year old, his parents moved to Fairfield, Neb., where his farther worked as a blacksmith and wheelwright. In an interview with the Stockton Record in 1972, he said, "As a boy...my ambition was to have a great big cattle ranch, like all good red-blooded Western American boys."

When World War I began, he was 19 years old. He was too young to enlist at the time -21 was the minimum age- but he lied about his age and signed up for the Army and became a machine gunner in the trenches of the European war. "I read the statistics many times." he said in the interview. "In the first World War, they figured that average life of a machine gunner was 22 minutes. I went through five major battles and came out with just a few scratches. The scratches included shrapnel in his left leg and scars from several bullets.

At war's end he was assigned to Paris and was one of the members present at the original caucus of the American Legion. He returned to Nebraska after the war and operated a 160 acre cattle ranch. He later abandoned it during the Depression and became secretary-manager of the Nebraska Sugar Beet Growers Association. He went through a succession of jobs and came to Tracy and San Joaquin County in July 1935 to take charge of the Holly Sugar company's Tracy area farm operations.

He stayed on until 1943 and then became vice president of the Berverdor Corp., a Tracy agricultural and business equipment rental firm. He also served for nine years on the San Joaquin County Planning Commission until his retirement from Berverdor in 1960.

He said he didn't decide to run for elected office until he was urged to by his friends. He decided to give the elected position a try and servive the primary. "Then I really went to work and won the post in the fall." he said. He was often referred to as the "Plain-speaking dean of the Board of Supervisors". At his retirement as a supervisor, he said he enjoyed the post and the accomplishments that he had made representing Southern San Joaquin County, particular getting an adequate water supply for the area, but he was happy to be retiring. "It was the second time I've retired." he said. "So this time I'm going to make it stick."

Sam Matthews, the publisher of the Tracy Press and a longtime friend, said Hoyt had been ill for almost four months. "He went into the hospital and just never came back, " Matthews said. "It's too bad. He was quite a guy." "He was never what you'd call an articulate politician."

Well known and well respected. He was personally responsible for many improvements in San Joaquin County. He was "for the people" and spent countless hours on the phone patiently listening to citizens complain and argue. All the while, he looked for solutions. There is a new park in Tracy as well as a street named after him.

He was a master sergeant in WW1, serving in France and Texas. He was a member of the First Christian Church and a charter member of the American Legion. He attended the founding of the American Legion while in France and was a charter member. He died of colon cancer on Oct 11, 1986 in Tracy, California at the age of 88, in the Tracy Community Memorial Hospital that he helped build and supported with both his money and time, have served several terms on the Hospital's Board of Directors.

Frank is buried in the Tracy Community Cemetery (who's board of directors, he also served on until his death) along side his wife of many years, Edna Mae SILLIVAN. He was a San Joaquin County Supervisor for 12 years, serving as Chairman of the Board.