Former N.C. Sen. David Hoyle died at his Dallas home on Wednesday morning. He was 84.
A real estate developer, Hoyle spent nine terms representing Gaston County in the state Senate. Just before his 2010 retirement from the General Assembly, then-Gov. Beverly Perdue appointed him Secretary of Revenue, a Cabinet post. The Democrat ended his 26-month tenure as the state’s top taxman in 2012 as former Republican Gov. Pat McCrory was about to take office.
Hoyle started his political career in Dallas, and had served as the small town’s mayor before going to the state Senate.
The son of a textile worker, Hoyle started Summey Building Supply in Dallas and built that business into a successful development and real estate business. He built several bank buildings in Gaston County and served on numerous corporate and civic boards throughout his career. He would eventually employ more than a thousand employees in his various business ventures, including Commercial Ventures, a commercial real estate company.
He was one who did not bristle at being called a “lint head,” and was proud of his roots in Gaston County’s textile heritage, says his son, David Hoyle Jr.
“He often said he grew up with cotton in his hair and tar on his heel, so he was not going to leave North Carolina and he was proud of Gaston County,” says his son, who would join his father in business.
Hoyle was born in Ranlo, and moved to Dallas around age 5.
During his nearly two full decades that he served in the Senate, Hoyle ascended to become one of the most influential legislators in North Carolina. He chaired the powerful Senate Finance Committee and helped to author most of the state’s tax laws during that time.
In politics, Hoyle was a proponent of education, especially in trying to make college accessible for all, says his son.
“He pulled for the underdog. He wanted everyone to have an opportunity to make something of themselves. He didn’t want anybody to have any boundaries as to why they couldn’t succeed in life,” says his son.
Hoyle had a stroke about nine years ago, and that weakened his heart. He had been doing well, but had a period of several weeks of declining health before he died early Wednesday morning, says his son.
In addition to his son, Hoyle was survived by his high school sweetheart and wife since 1959, Linda, and their oldest child, Lonnia Hoyle Beam, who recently retired as principal at Costner Elementary School in Dallas.
Former Gaston County Sheriff Alan Cloninger’s family was close to the Hoyle family, and his late father, Polie, also a former mayor of Dallas, and the senator were good friends. Cloninger said Wednesday he had been reflecting on the senator’s passing all morning.
“He was a great man who did great things for Gaston County to make it a better place,” says Cloninger, who left office in 2022. “He’ll be missed by all.”