Richard E. Hoyt Sr., a self-described Bonacker who worked for many years in telecommunications, died of cancer early Saturday morning at home in East Hampton Village. He was 77 years old and his illness was prolonged.
Mr. Hoyt, who was known as Dick, retired after 30 years as a Verizon telephone installer who was known as a “phone god,” according to his son, Richard (Rick) H. Hoyt. After leaving Verizon in 1986, Mr. Hoyt started his own company, Freedom Telecom Inc., which his son has run since 2000. The company installs telecommunication devices in houses, offices, and marinas.
Mr. Hoyt, whose parents were Theodore and Christine Hoyt, was born at their Amagansett house on April 26, 1934. He went to the Amagansett School and East Hampton High School, and then enlisted in the Navy Seabees. He was assigned to the island of Saipan in the United States Commonwealth of the North Mariana Islands shortly after the end of the Korean War, where he worked to build and maintain power generators.
Mr. Hoyt and his wife, Alicia A. Rodriguez Hoyt, had been married 53 years. They had two children, his son and Lynne A. Hoyt Camacho, both of East Hampton.
“My dad was my best friend,” Rick Hoyt said. “He was a huge role model for me. It was truly a privilege to be able to work with him for 12 years.”
The younger Mr. Hoyt noted that his father enjoyed working on cars and on carpentry projects. He also liked fishing, crabbing and sleigh riding. A “people person” and a family man, Mr. Hoyt had five grandsons and loved being with them. He “especially cherished Thanksgiving for its simplicity and fellowship,” his family said in a statement written for an obituary.
Mr. Hoyt was a trustee of the Amagansett Presbyterian Church, where, according to his family, he “deeply engaged himself directly in maintaining all of its structures and equipment.” They added that he enjoyed working with a lifelong friend, Stuart Vorpahl of East Hampton, and was “an amazing technician . . . a natural-born troubleshooter.” He also had been a member of both the Amagansett and East Hampton Fire Departments.
“He was loved by all of the church members,” the family wrote, and by his pastor, the Rev. Steven E. Howarth, who was often at his side during his illness.
In addition to his wife, children, and grandchildren, Mr. Hoyt Sr. is survived by a sister, Sally Hoyt Wethington. Another sister, Joan Hoyt Verhaegen, predeceased him.
A private family service was to be held. Memorial donations were suggested to the Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 764, Amagansett 11930, or to East End Hospice, P.O. Box 1048, Westhampton Beach 11978.