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Howard Lester Hoyme

Dell Rapids, Chester, SD

1934-35, 2756, Pierre, S-207

Dell Rapids – Whether delivering mail by day or dispensing justice at night, Howard L. Hoyme enjoyed being around people.

"My father was a people person," said Hoymes' son, Harold, of Tucson, Ariz. "He liked contact with people."

Hoyme worked full time as a rural mail carrier from 1952 until his retirement in 1980. He also worked part time as a Second Judicial Circuit Court judge from 1959 until 1980, and then full time from 1980 until 1984.

"I'd have a real hard time saying which one he liked better," Harold Hoyme said. "He liked them both."

Hoyme, 81, died Tuesday, Sept. 26, 1995, at the Dell Rapids Community Hospital.

Hoyme was one of South Dakota last lay magistrates, a lay person who was not a lawyer.

He was elected Justice of the Peace and served in that position for 14 years. He then served for 10 years as a lay magistrate for the Second Judicial Circuit Courts.

The election had been nonpolitical, Harold Hoyme said. His father was appointed to the magistrate position because the Second Judicial Court was impressed by the job he had done as a Justice of the Peace.

"His duties were to preside over all misdemeanor cases, no felonies," Hoyme's son said. "He also performed marriages."

"He loved it," Harold Hoyme said. "He was very good at it. He was appreciated by everyone and considered a fair and practical judge. He received all kind of accolades after he retired."

Although Hoyme never attended college, his sons considered him a learned man.

Mike Hoyme of Tucson, said of his father, "He had a love of learning. He loved to read books on history."

"He would've loved going to law school," Harold Hoyme said.

But a series of events ranging from U.A. Army service to marriage left him no time to attend.

"He had five kids and he took great pride in the academic accomplishment of his children and his grandchildren," Harold Hoyme said.

Hoyme was born Sept. 25, 1914, in Dell Rapids. He grew up in the Dell Rapids area and graduated from Dell Rapids High School in 1933. He worked in the Civilian Conservation Corps from 1934 to 1936. He then farmed before working on the Great Northern Railway. He served in the Army from 1942 until November of 1945, serving during World War II.

He married Amy Kleppe on Dec. 2, 1945, in Dell Rapids. He worked with his brother in a hatchery and produce business until May of 1952, when he began working for the U.S. Postal Service.

He was elected to the Dell Rapids City Council and Dell Rapids School Board. He was a past commander for the Dell Rapids American Legion Post and was a lifetime member of the DAV. He was a past member of the Dell Rapids Masonic Lodge No. 40 A.F. & A. M.; a member of the Scottish Rite of Free Masonry S.J. USA; and I.O.O.F Lodge No. 8 of Dell Rapids. He served as president of the church council and taught Sunday school for many years at the Lutheran Church of Dell Rapids.

In addition to his wife, and two sons, survivors include two other sons, Larry of Crooks; and Roger of Dell Rapids; one daughter, Mrs. J.J. (Janice) Frerichs of Iowa City, Iowa; 10 grandchildren; and two sisters: Inez Griffith of Dickinson, Texas; and Mabel Hammer of Baltic.

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