At 98-years-young Mr. Hoyt still greets his Walmart customers with a “Hey Buddy.”
In Trion, Georgia on November 9, 1923 Hoyt Williams was born.
At almost 100-years old he says the secret to living a long life is to work every day. While he doesn’t recall his exact age at the time he began his first job, he knows as soon as he was able to work he went to work as a paper route boy.
He graduated Trion High School in 1942, and joined the Army to serve in World War II.
Mr. Hoyt served as an Army engineer in both the European and South Pacific Campaigns of World War II, serving in both campaigns is rare. He arrived in Normandy D-Day+18. Within three months, the northern part of France was liberated and soldiers were preparing to enter Germany. Mr. Hoyt stayed until the surrender of the Nazis.
When he returned to the States, he wasn’t quite ready for civilian life yet and he caught the next troop train to Seattle en route for the Philippines, where he remained until Japan surrendered in September of 1945.
He waited 75 years to receive his medals from the Army for his service during World War II.
U.S. Army Technical Sergeant James Hoyt Williams was presented with the European-African-Middle East Campaign Medal with Silver Star Attachment, the Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, the Sharpshooter Badge and Rifle Bar, the Marksman Badge and Carbine Bar, the Honorable Service Lapel Button WWII, a WWII Victory Medal and Good Conduct Medal on June 26, 2020.
When he returned home from the War, for good, Mr. Hoyt took over his Father’s supermarket in Trion in 1948 and ran the store for the next forty years.
Mr. Hoyt was a member of the original water board for the Chattooga County District, helping all of the County have access to water. He also served on the Trion School Board for two terms as chairman, the Trion City Council for 16 years before being elected Mayor of Trion.
After working 40 years at the supermarket Mr. Hoyt did attempt retiring, but retirement proved to be boring, “I was tired of mowing the lawn… it was time for me go back to work, Wal-Mart said they could put me to work even though I was old and they did,” Williams said. Mr. Hoyt has been working full-time for Walmart ever since.
Happy Birthday, Buddy!