John Hoyle

Posted: Thu 7:31 AM, Mar 14, 2013
Funeral Home: Memorial Funeral Chapel
February 2, 1935 – March 12, 2013

John Hoyle of College Station died Tuesday evening, March 12, from complications of leukemia. He was 78. John was the campus Muster speaker for 2012 and was one of America's leading researchers and reformers in leadership education and an authority on the future of Education.

John was born February 2, 1935 (he would be quick to tell you that was Groundhog Day) to Jess and Viola Hoyle in Rush Springs, Oklahoma. John graduated from Will Rogers High School in Tulsa. He received his BS in 1957, his masters in 1963 and PhD in 1967 from the greatest institution of higher learning in the country, Texas A&M University.

John attended A&M on an athletic scholarship and was a member of the Corp of Cadets. He played first base for the Southwest Conference Championship winning Aggie baseball team of 1955.

Maybe more important than the championship ring or the degrees John collected at A&M were the stories and experiences that filled his memory and fueled his imagination. John was the author of the popular Good Bull series of books that detailed the humorous happenings of students before, during and after his university days. John's son illustrated the books.

John met his wife Carolyn while attending A&M and finally convinced her to go out with him. After a lot more convincing they were married in 1957. John chose education as his life's work and after graduating from A&M he served as a teacher, coach and administrator in Odessa and Midland. John taught at TCU, Tulsa University and Miami University and, in 1975, came home again to Texas A&M where in 2009 he retired as Professor Emeritus, Educational Administration and Human Resource Development. Carolyn taught English at Blinn College before retiring. John and Carolyn have two children John Jr. and Laura. John and Carolyn shared their passion for education with their two children both of whom became educators. John Jr. is a counselor at ACMS and Laura teaches English at Timber Academy High School. He would often extol them to "stamp out ignorance one child at a time."

During his 34 year teaching career at A&M John received two Distinguished Teaching Awards, was selected as Professor of the Year by the American Association of School Administrators in 1982, was named one of the top four Exceptional Living Scholars in educational administration/leadership, received the first Living Legend Award in 1999 from the National Council of Professors of Educational Administration, Received the 2008 Living Legend award from the Texas Professors of Educational Administration and received the coveted Golden Deeds Award for distinguished service to Texas Education. In 2007 The Texas A&M University Administrative Leadership Institute created the Hoyle Leadership Award in his honor. The award is given each year to a Texas school leader who makes a positive difference in the lives of students for the betterment of society. Perhaps his greatest contribution was the many young school principals, superintendents, and beginning professors that he encouraged and mentored.

In addition to the Good Bull series John wrote several books on education that can be found on the shelves of many school superintendents and administrators. Preparing Exemplary Principals and Superintendants: Leadership Education at Its Best, Leadership and Futuring: Making Visions Happen, Superintendants as CEO: Standards-Based Performance, Leadership and the Force of Love: Six Keys to Motivating with Love and Professional Standards for Superintendency have become mandatory reading for educators across America and many countries abroad. John created over 150 scholarly publications over his 40 years in higher education. Many school districts in the state, and throughout the country, are run and administered by former students that John taught and mentored.

John was selected by his peers to serve on the first A&M faculty Senate and the executive committee. He served on the A&M Athletic Council and John and Carolyn have taken three groups of education students to A&M's study abroad center in Italy. Both a Fish Camp and a T Camp have been named for him.

In 2012 John received what he felt was his highest honor when he was invited to be the A&M campus Muster speaker. His speech at Reed Arena was moving, humorous and engaging.

In the spring and throughout the summer you could find John and Carolyn in their seats behind home plate at Olson field cheering on the Aggie Baseball team (and often you could hear John letting "Blue" have it when John thought he missed a call.) In the fall and winter John was there with the other 80,000 plus faithful sawing varsities horn's off at Kyle Field. When a burnt orange clad visitor found herself sitting just a row in front of John and rooting for the Horns one cold Thanksgiving evening, he informed her politely (well, fairly politely) that she was in the wrong section to pull for the Horns quite so loudly.

John was an active member of First Christian Church in Bryan, serving as elder, board chair, choir member, building campaign chairman and wherever he was needed. John was a teacher, a public speaker, a writer, an athlete, an Aggie, a husband, a father, a grandfather. His children graduated from A&M, his daughter-in-law is an Aggie, one grandson graduated from A&M and another is currently attending there. His granddaughter is a freshman this year at A&M. He was a patriarch in the true sense of the word. If you attend a gathering of the Hoyle's you hear stories. They tell stories the way some people eat, with gusto and with passion. Mostly you hear stories about Paw Paw, the name his grandchildren bestowed upon him. They are stories of him taking them to get their books before the first day of the new semester. They are tales of fishing expeditions and how even renting a movie could become an adventure. They are words of love.

Softly call the roll …

John was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife Anna Carolyn Hoyle; son John Richard Hoyle Jr. and wife Julie; daughter Laura Leigh Sanders; a sister Beverly Dover and her husband Doice Dover of Sand Springs Oklahoma; a brother, Jay Hoyle and his wife Jill Hoyle of Kingsport Tennessee; grandchildren David Sanders and wife Gloria, Michael Sanders, Winston Hoyle and Jennifer Hoyle.; and nephews, Richard and David Dover.

The funeral service will be at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, March 16 at First Christian Church in Bryan. Interment will be private. Visitation for family and friends will be Friday March 15 from 5:00 – 7:00 at Memorial Funeral Chapel in College Station.

The family requests that memorials be made to First Christian Church, 900 South Ennis in Bryan, or to Hospice Brazos Valley.
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