Harry Edward Hoyt

December 28, 1931 – February 17, 2023


On Friday, February 17, Harry Edward Hoyt of Media, PA and Warren, ME died at the age of 91.  Loving and beloved husband, father, grandfather, uncle, and friend, quoter of Shakespeare, solver of crossword puzzles, lover of anything dessert (bonus points if topped with whipped cream), master of puns, singer of tunes for every occasion, armchair Jeopardy champion, proud-and dapper!-wearer of bow ties; there is less light and less laughter in this corner of the world without him in it.

Harry was born December 28, 1931 in Boston, MA to parents Norman Benjamin Hoyt and Thelma Avery (Marshall) Hoyt.  He considered himself a Bostonian all his days, never lost his Boston accent, and remained steadfast in his belief that “Boston is the Hub of the Universe and Center of All Learning and Culture.”  Ironically, somehow the boy from Boston was a lifelong Yankees fan, but fortunately he was able to right that wrong by marrying a rabid Red Sox fan.

 He graduated from Hyde Park High School in 1950, and went on to graduate cum laude from Colgate University with honors in history in 1954.  While at Colgate he was a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity and elected to Phi Beta Kappa.  He worked his way through college-and later, through his graduate studies-and one of his jobs at Colgate was feeding the campus swans.  Senior year he interned in the office of then-Senator John F. Kennedy, and had the opportunity to interview former President Harry Truman, Vice President Richard Nixon, Senator Lyndon Johnson, and Congressman Gerald Ford.

Harry graduated from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences with a Master’s in history in 1959, then in 1965 graduated from Suffolk University Law School.  While at Suffolk Law he was ranked 1st in his class years 2-4 and was awarded full tuition scholarships.  Harry was admitted to practice law before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in 1965.

ROTC at Colgate University, Harry was commissioned 2ndLieutenant in 1954.  He was on active duty in the Air National Guard as Personnel Officer at Kelly AFB, San Antonio, TX in the USAF Security Service Command Headquarters.  He completed military service in December 1956 and resigned his commission as Captain in the Air Force Reserve.

Harry worked as a casualty insurance underwriter for Insurance Company of North America (INA) in Boston from 1958 to 1967, then transferred to the legal department of INA’s Home Office in Philadelphia, PA.  When he retired in 1993 it was as Senior Counsel of CIGNA Corporation and Vice President and Corporate Secretary of INA.  Well-known for his sharp mind, diligence, and work ethic, CIGNA had to hire three people to replace Harry upon his retirement!

While attending Trinity Church Boston, Harry met Barbara Ruth Sharpe; they married in August 1964.  Harry and Barbara moved to Swarthmore, PA in 1967, where they raised their daughters, Elizabeth and Rebecca.  Harry taught his daughters how to proofread a paper, balance a checkbook, appreciate both dad jokes and showtunes, and the importance of choosing your dessert first when ordering out.  Harry and Barbara’s deep love, abiding commitment, and mutual devotion through the years has been an inspiration to their children, grandchildren, and all who know them.  Barbara heard the same jokes approximately 3,711 times, and still managed a good-natured chuckle most of the timenow that’s true love!

Harry was a longtime member of Christ Church Ridley Parksince 1967.  He served two terms on Vestry and 14 years as Church School Secretary and Superintendent.  He also served as a member of the Education, Stewardship, and Insurance Committees.  In 1994, a summer home in Warren, ME led Harry and his family to a second church home as members of Episcopal Church of St. John Baptist, Thomaston, ME.

Harry was happiest when with his wife, family, and friends.  Many joyous and sustaining memories were made on summer camping trips and at the summer home in Maine.  Harry will be remembered for his keen intelligence, his integrity, his love for his family, his zany sense of humor, and for frequently breaking out into song in the middle of a conversation.

Harry was preceded in death by his father, Norman, his mother, Thelma, his brother, Norman, and his sister, Hazel.  Harry is survived by his devoted wife of 58 years, Barbara Sharpe Hoyt of Media, PA and Warren, ME, his adoring daughters Elizabeth Anne Hoyt of Natick, MA and Rebecca Hoyt Crowder of Durham, NC, his cherished grandchildren Hoyt and Audrey Crowder of Durham, NC, and his dearly loved nieces and nephews, Mark, Robin, Alan, Aimee, Emily, Christopher, Norman, Virginia, Stephen, Patricia, and Peter.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, November 11 at 11:00 am at Christ Church Ridley Park, followed by a reception in Musselman Hall.  You are welcomed to wear your best bow tie in Harry’s honor.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Christ Church Ridley Park (mail to 104 Nevin St, Ridley Park, PA 19078 or online at https://www.christchurchridleypark.org/give/), to Episcopal Church of St. John Baptist, Thomaston (200 Main St, Thomaston, ME 04861 or https://stjohnsinthomaston.org/), or to Main Line Health HomeCare & Hospice(https://www.mainlinehealth.org/specialties/homecare-hospice/ways-to-give/give-online-now).

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