[Congressional Record Volume 147, Number 50 (Friday, April 6, 2001)]
[Pages S3699-S3700]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                         ADDITIONAL STATEMENTS


                    DEATH OF JOHN C. HOYT OF MONTANA

 Mr. BURNS. Mr. President, I would like to take a moment to 
make note of the recent death of a great man and fellow Montanan.
  Montana lost one of its proudest native sons on Monday, March 26, 
2001. John Hoyt died at the Benefis Hospital in Great Falls, during a 
heart attack catheterization procedure. He was 78.
  In Shelby, June 28, 1922, a fascinating and adventurous and truly 
incredible life began. John's parents had come to Shelby from Iowa. The 
family's background was in farming and ranching. John's father, a 
lawyer, raised his family in Shelby during the Great Depression. John 
spent summers back in Iowa, during the hard times, without modern 
equipment, without air-conditioning and using a real pitchfork to 
gather hay in the field and pitch it into the hay mow for the winter. 
All who knew John, knew those thick hands and fingers of his proved he 
was no stranger to hard physical work.
  John began his college career, on scholarship, at Drake University in 
Iowa. But, by his own admission, ``too much fun'' brought that 
educational experience to an end. Perhaps that was meant to be, because 
leaving Drake brought John home to Montana, and the University in 
Missoula, a place where his heart and his loyalty and his support never 
again left. A true Grizzly is now at rest. But his presence will be 
forever felt on that campus and in the stadium in Box 102B down on the 
north end. John will still be cheering on his beloved Grizzlies. He 
might even give Coach Glenn ``a great play'' from wherever John is 
  World War II broke out while John was in undergraduate school at the 
U of M. The day after Pearl Harbor he joined the Air Force. His 
eyesight was not good enough to allow him to be the fighter pilot he 
aspired to be. He proudly became a navigator on a B-24 as a Second 
Lieutenant. In August of 1944, on a mission between Italy and Vienna, 
in a fierce air battle involving hundreds of airplanes, John's was shot 
down by German fighters. The bomber, named the Jolly Roger, spiraled to 
the ground and only John and one other were able to escape. The spiral 
carried the other crew to their deaths, and John was captured and was 
in a P.O.W. camp for most of a year before the army of General George 
Patton liberated him and many of his comrades.
  John finished his education after the war. He graduated from the 
University of Montana Law School in 1948. For the past fifty-three 
years John Hoyt stamped Montana legal history, beginning in Shelby, 
typing his own oil field title reports with five sheets of carbon 
paper, and then centering his practice out of Great Falls and becoming 
one of the most creative and innovative and persuasive trial lawyers in 
Montana's history.
  John was so proud of the many talented lawyers he practiced with. It 
was recently stated by legal pundits that while it was not required to 
have practiced with John Hoyt to sit on the Montana Supreme Court, it 
did not hurt.
  John's current firm, Hoyt and Blewett, is one of the most prominent 
in Montana. He and his partner, Zander Blewett, have represented 
Montanans with pride and dignity, and his clashes with the Burlington 
Northern led to a memento in his office portraying the Burlington 
Northern logo and inscribed, for John, with the words, ``Any Time is 
Train Time''!

  John had a lifelong passion for agriculture, and established one of 
the most noted Black Angus ranches in America, the Jolly Roger. He 
named it after his former comrades in World War II. In the 1990's two 
bulls that he developed and raised, Juice and Uncle Jim, became 
important leaders in carcass quality traits throughout the beef 
industry. Ironically, John's last yearling bull sale was just last 
Wednesday, March 21. His bull sold to all areas of Montana, several 
states, and into Canada.
  John Hoyt was a gentleman. He had acquaintances that ranged from the 
most humble to the most powerful of his fellow citizens. All were 
equally valued by John as friends. He was an outdoorsman who trained 
hunting dogs and loved bird hunting. His fishing trips that he led 
friends on in Alaska were, at the very least, memorable. His wit and 
enthusiasm and his energy

[[Page S3700]]

made him the center of any gathering he was ever part of.
  John belonged to the Cascade County Bar Association, the Montana Bar 
Association, the Montana and the American Trial Lawyers Association. 
John was also an active member of the Montana and American Angus 
Associations. He was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Citation by the 
Montana Trial Lawyers, in recognition of his fifty years of 
distinguished trial practice in Montana.
  John is survived by his wife, Vickie, of the Jolly Roger Ranch in 
Belt; his son, John Richard (Rosemary) of Washington state; his 
daughter, Mary Lou (Dennis) Sandretto, and his grandchildren, Rachel, 
Ariel and David Sandretto, all of Georgia; and his sister, Lois 
Matsler, of Bloomington, Illinois. He is also survived by countless 
friends and colleagues and acquaintances throughout his beloved 
Montana. Montana may never know the likes of John Hoyt again. He left 
Montana for a better place. His generous financial gifts to the 
University of Montana, both the Athletic Department and the Law School 
will sustain his legacy for generations that come afterwards. As John 
would say: Up with Montana--Go Griz!