Charles Y. Hoyt

May 3, 1919July 29, 2012

Charles Y. Hoyt, 93, of Phoenix, passed away July 29, 2012.

He was born to the late Charles F. and Johanna M. Hoyt, May 3, 1919, near Junction City, Kansas. Charles received academic degrees at Idaho State University and Washington State University. He did teaching and research at Kansas State University where he was involved with extension and youth programs including 4-H. He relocated to Arizona in 1961.

Charles was a science teacher at Cortez High School for many years and taught advanced science classes where he inspired many students to success in science and related fields. Charles was a member of many scientific groups and was instrumental in developing the Arizona Science Olympiad program. He was a strong advocate and leader of science education and teacher training in scientific and technical fields. He was honored for his enthusiastic work with students and teachers.

He is preceded in death by his brothers C. Grant Hoyt and CSK James A Hoyt USN; and his sisters Francis J. (Hoyt) Burns, Grace Hoyt, Gesina (Hoyt) Walker, and Mildred “Midge” (Hoyt) Schumacher. He is survived by nieces, nephews, and many friends and loved ones.

Visitation will be at 9 a.m. Tuesday, August 7th 2012 with a memorial service to follow at 10 a.m. at A. L. Moore Grimshaw Mortuary, 710 W. Bethany Home Road, Phoenix.

I was born May 3, 1919 in Geary, Kansas. I was the youngest of the seven children in our family. I was raised on a diversified farm at Junction City, Kansas (Geary County, Kansas). All members of my family are now deceased now. When I was young I loved the family life. I enjoyed the horses and my dog as companions though my early years as the other family members were considerably older. From 1900 to 1919 there were two brother and four sisters. I attended and graduated from a one room grade school at 11 years of age. I attended and graduated from high school at 15 years old. I joined the 4-H Club at 9 years of age. This activity provided friendship and contacts which served instrumental in my future education and activities. The learning of cooperation and utilizing opportunities helped me achieve many goals that I had set rather high. At the age of 26 I joined the faculty of Kansas State University, staying there 3 years before continuing higher education. I received my B.S. in Botany at Idaho State University and MS Degree in Plant Pathology Minors in genetics organic chemistry at Washington State University. Charles was one of eight chosen for advanced degree studies in Europe. I returned to Kansas State University as assistant for person then advancing to Associate professor in 1959. In August of 1960 the opportunity to come to Cortez High School arose as a member of the Science Department where in 1963 he became Department Chairman serving until retirement in 1984. Retirement was short, I was selected a President of the newly organized Arizona Alliance for Mathematics, Science, and Technology Education. This organization served science teachers throughout Arizona with educational workshops and scholarship funding until dissolution in December 2002. The Arizona Alliance also was the directing body of the Arizona Science Olympiad founded for the elementary and high school students by Charles in 1988. Thousands of student s have participated in the Science Olympiad which continues today under the direction of the Academy of Science. He has been a member of the Academy as well as many other science groups.


  • Visitation Tuesday, August 7, 2012
  • Memorial Service Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Charles Y. Hoyt

have a memory or condolence to add?


receive updates when new memories are posted


September 14, 2012

My condolences to all whose lives Dr. Hoyt enriched, and there are so many of us. He was truly a great educator and someone who respected students as fellow curious scientific minds. From him I learned about the real and practical side of doing science while keeping sight of the full excitement and wonder that he felt and expressed and explained so vividly. Thank you, teacher.

Steve Elston

August 31, 2012

Dr. Hoyt was by far the best teacher I ever had. "Inspirational" is not a strong enough word. One of the few truely great humans I have ever had the pleasure of knowing. A wonderful man.

August 30, 2012

Dr. Hoyt was an inspiration. He taught us college/medical school level biology and biochemistry. He always had time for us. In 1975 there were 6 of his former students that graduated with MD degrees. I well remember Dr. Hoyt allowing our advanced bio class to take home our dissection turtles to study for the lab practical. He stuck a pin in a structure asking for it's function... not what it was, but it's function. He got mileage out of his questions. We loved his professionalism and his personal interest in us. Thoughts are with his family. Lily Kirschvink Cortez class 1967

Catherine (Kirschvink) Dowling '78

August 28, 2012

Thank you Dr. Hoyt! You are the only teacher I kept in touch with from Cortez and my major in biology and path to medical school were undoubtedly influenced by you. I'll miss your Christmas cards and sending you pictures of our family. It was great that the Kirschvink clan was able to take you out to breakfast a few years back. We had a very nice and inspiring time. We were amazed at how accurately you remembered our graduation years and the other students who were in our classes and what they were up to. It was a sign of your deep caring for your students. What a great gift you were to us! Thank you, thank you, thank you. I hope that you are enjoying your new view of the amazing universe. I pray for you whenever I think of it. Please pray for us!!!!

God bless you,

August 24, 2012

I worked with Charles when he was on the Cooperative Extension Service staff in Kansas from 1954-1960, first as a county 4-H agent in Dodge City, Kansas and later when we were both members of the State 4-H staff. He was an excellent leader in the State 4-H program and very devoted to Rock Spring Ranch, the State 4-H camp which was very near to his farm home in Geary County. In 1960, he moved to Arizona and I moved to Washington, D.C. but kept in touch through the years visiting one another on occasion. I was particularly impressed with his leadershp and commitment to the Arizona Science Olympiad program and how many of his students received motivation and support from him to pursue careers in science. Harlan Copeland, St. Paul, Minnesota

Rebecca Thornley

August 24, 2012

Dr. Hoyt,
I am so fortunate to be one of the many students you mentored. Never before or after did I see a more dedicated teacher. Thank you for recognizing how important a role you were serving in sparking a love for science. And thank you for the life lessons along the way. I pray my own children have one teacher in their lives that have an impact like you had on mine.

David Spurgeon, Ph.D.

August 16, 2012

Dr. Hoyt was the most influential teacher I ever had and the reason I am a scientist and teacher. I hope every young student finds such a teacher, lifting the veil of ignorance so that they can find their passion. I am very lucky to have found my teacher.

August 12, 2012

He has been an inspiration to me. I have many fond memories of classes with Dr. Hoyt in the early 1970's. My condolences to his family.

Jim Soudriette

August 10, 2012

Charlie: you may be out of our presence BUT YOU WILL NEVER BE OUT OF OUR MIND. What ++ you did for me and others will NEVER be forgotten. Good Bye OLDE buddy, I will be looking for you on the other side!

August 10, 2012

My condolences to Dr. Hoyt's family. He was the best teacher a student could have. He made biology real and part of everyday life. Along the way he would give out life lessons as well. I have passed his wisdom on to my children. I thank him for the gift of learning.

Clare (Danielson) McCauley Cortez '77