dick hoyt obituary
Photo: Instagram/Dick Hoyt

Often life is full of debilitating problems and most people want to give up or give up. However, some people fight the odds and do things that defy belief and inspire others. These people are rare but when they do that inspirational thing it’s like lighting a candle in the dark that pushes away the gloom. Dick Hoyt was one such figure who taught millions of people that life was dark only if you stopped believing in the power of light. He and his son Rick Hoyt teamed up to run countless marathons even when they were impaired and became beacons of grit and determination. Now Dick Hoyt has passed away and the nation who applauded him at every marathon has lost a true bona fide hero. Here are a few details from Dick Hoyt’s wiki.

How Old was Dick Hoyt when he Died?

dick hoyt cause of death
Photo: Instagram/Dick Hoyt

Dick Hoyt was 80 years old when he died in Holland, Massachusetts, USA, at his home on Wednesday, March 17, 2021. Dick Hoyt’s cause of death was congestive heart failure and his death was announced to the media by the Boston Athletic Association and his son Russ personally spoke about it. Hoyt became a sort of folk hero because he pushed his son Rick Hoyt in a wheelchair in many races all around the country and completed almost every race in surprisingly good times.

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A Devastating Blow

His son Rick Hoyt was born with cerebral palsy and was quadriplegic. He was born in 1962 and was unable to speak and control his limbs. Dick Hoyt did not give up trying to communicate with Rick and wrote in his book Devoted: The Story of a Father’s Love for his Son, published in 2010, that “We had long since learned how to interpret our son’s smiles and nods. But as good as everyone in the family was about figuring out what Rick needed, we were still only making educated guesses.”

The Power of the Human Spirit

dick hoyt wiki
Photo: Instagram/Dick Hoyt

Then human ingenuity, human empathy, and technology came to the rescue. In 1972 the engineers at Tufts University built a computer through which Rick was able to communicate by selecting letters with a tap of his head. The first words he wrote were “Go Bruins” which revealed his passionate love for sports. In 1977 Rick expressed a desire to take part in a long-distance race which Dick agreed to. Even though it was tough Dick pushed Rick sitting in a wheelchair for the entire distance and completed the race. A will of iron and undying love for his son and the marathon was born. Since then the father-son duo participated in more than 1,000 races and finished almost each one of them.

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A Meaningful Life

They were associated with the Boston Marathon and inspired countless people with and without handicaps to start running and not take a defeatist attitude even during dark times. Hoyt was born on June 1, 1940, in Winchester, Massachusetts, to his parents Alfred Hoyt and Anna [Jaworski] Hoyt. Dick studied at the North Reading High School and in 1961 his high school sweetheart Judy Leighton became his wife. She later founded Kamp for Kids which organized joint camps for children with and without disabilities. Dick later served in the Army National Guard and also the Air National Guard for almost 37 years. After achieving fame for his marathon-related exploits Hoyt began a new career as an inspirational speaker often giving more than 100 speeches in a single year.

Yes He Did!

how old was dick hoyt when he died
Photo: Instagram/Dick Hoyt

Though Dick Hoyt’s obituary was written after he died he was given a great honour in 2013 when both he and his son Rick’s bronze statues were installed near the starting line of the prestigious Boston Marathon. The plaque next to the statue reads “Yes You Can.” There could be no better and apt honour for a man who gave inspiration and hope and dignity to millions of people with disabilities in both body and spirit. Dick Hoyt is gone in body but his exploits and never-give-up attitude will shine for a very long time in everybody’s hearts!


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