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home : obituaries : obituaries   April 29, 2016

4/24/2013 11:30:00 AM
Lillian 'Lil' Hoy
Lillian ‘Lil’ Hoy
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Lillian ‘Lil’ Hoy

Lillian “Lil” Kathryn Hoy, 83, of Fairway, Kan., passed away peacefully at home on April 18, 2013.

A memorial service will be at 3 p.m. Tuesday in Old Mission United Methodist Church, Fairway, Kan.

Inurnment will take place at 2 p.m, Thursday at Simmons-Saltillo Cemetery, Lincoln, Neb.

Lil was born Jan. 6, 1930, in Putnam County to Frank and Bernice Roth and was raised on a farm near Henry. She was the first born, and she adored her younger sister Millie, and brother Frank.

Even at a young age, it was apparent that Lil was very smart and good at school. Remarkably, her teachers started her out in the third grade and she graduated with honors as salutatorian at the early age of only 16. Lil also was active in the 4H Club serving as president multiple times, participating in musicals and class plays, and also performing with her sister Millie at various events including the county fair. And of course there were always the farm chores before and after school, milking cows, de-tasseling corn, and feeding the farm animals.

In 1946, Lil received a full academic scholarship to attend Illinois State University and worked at State Farm Insurance in Bloomington to pay her living expenses. In 1948, Lil received her associate’s degree, and State Farm asked her to move to Lincoln, Neb., to help open a new office. Shortly after Lil transferred to the University of Nebraska, a friend asked Lil to go on a double blind date with some NU football players. Lil met Rex B. Hoy, the love of her life, and they were married on May 15, 1948. This was the beginning of a wonderful marriage and partnership that lasted nearly 65 years. The following year they became the parents of their daughter Sharon and in 1952 moved to the Kansas City area. Rex was teaching and coaching at Wyandotte High School as Lil maintained her employment with State Farm. In 1954, Rex became a State Farm agent, and together with Lil as the office manager, the two of them built the foundation of a successful agency that would thrive for more than 50 years.

By 1969, Lil knew how to run a business well, and was ready for a new challenge. Together, Rex and Lil started a travel agency called International Tours. With Rex as the visionary, and Lil as the detail person, a hard worker who learned every aspect of the travel business, International Tours became a national travel leader over the next 28 years. As owner, operator, and president, Lil had more than 250 employees in more than 50 locations nationwide. International Tours ranked in the Top 50 travel agencies in the nation many times. Lil served on the board of directors for Travel Trust International, she was a longtime active member of American Society of Travel Agents and she graced the cover of Corporate Report magazine in 1988. Lil was also a longstanding active member of the American Business Women’s Association since 1957. She held many positions including President and was named ABWA’s Women of Year. Lil was also active and generous member of American Cancer Society.

In a wonderful marriage that lasted more than six decades, Lil and Rex were lifelong partners in marriage and also in business. They spent their favorite times together traveling the world, especially enjoying cruises, traveling to the Nebraska football games, going to Dallas to see their grandchildren and spending time in Cancun with family.

Lil will be greatly missed by her family, friends in the travel industry, and friends at State Farm, employees and clients.

She is survived by her dear sister, Mildred Miller of Louisville, Ky.; daughter, Sharon Hoy Freeman of Mission, Kan.; granddaughters, Wesley and Allison Freeman; grandson, Russell Freeman, and numerous nieces and nephews.

Lil was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Rex; her brother, Frank Roth Jr., and her parents.

Memories and condolences for the family may be left at

Related Links:
• Local Florists

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