Soldotna resident Russel M. Hoyt died Thursday, Dec. 4, 2003, at Providence Alaska Medical Center in Anchorage. He was 77.
At Mr. Hoyt's request, no services will be held. His remains will be cremated and buried in the cemetery in Cooper Landing, overlooking the river and mountains.
Born Sept. 15, 1926, in Warrentown, Ore., to Alma and Tabor Hoyt, Mr. Hoyt grew up enjoying hunting and fishing in the mountains he loved in Walla Walla, Wash.
His father taught all three sons the jewelry business and watch and clock repair, which Mr. Hoyt continued his entire life.
At the age of 19, Mr. Hoyt was skipper of a 75-foot sailboat call the Sallee, which he navigated from Annapolis, Md., through the West Indies and the Panama Canal to Seattle. The boat was presumed lost off the coast of California before its arrival 75 days late.
Mr. Hoyt met and married his wife, Donna, at Zion Lutheran Church in Seattle, and the couple celebrated their 54th anniversary in September.
Mr. Hoyt moved to New Mexico and worked for El Paso Natural Gas Co. He moved to Wyoming, and the company was sold to Northwest Pipeline and later Williams Co. In 1976, Mr. Hoyt retired and came to Alaska to manage his brother's jewelry store in Fairbanks. He later started his own business and moved to Soldotna in 1982, opening a shop on Beaver Loop Road. He most enjoyed making gold nugget jewelry.
His last job was as a custodian for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District, where he retired at age 70.
Mr. Hoyt was a member of Star of the North Lutheran Church.
"With health problems all his life, he still believed in his Lord and Savior, and always said, 'So many are far worse than I am,'" his family said.
Mr. Hoyt was preceded in death by his parents and brothers.
He is survived by his wife, Donna; son-in-law, Gene; daughter, Deborah; and grandchildren, Daniel and Stephanie Oakley.
Arrangements were made by Evergreen Memorial Chapel in Anchorage.
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