Hoyler fondly recalled as new Ripton clerk sought

RIPTON — The Ripton selectboard next week will decide how the community will fill its town clerk and treasurer positions following the tragic death of Sally Hoyler, who had held those posts for the past decade.
Hoyler, 59, had reported not feeling well last fall and visited a physician’s office just prior to Thanksgiving. That visit and subsequent hospital tests yielded the bad news: Hoyler had an advanced form of cancer. She understandably took leave of her town clerk/treasurer responsibilities but gave as much help as she could from home.
Hoyler died on Jan. 15 — ironically, on the same date as both of her parents, according to Paula Scott, who has been helping out as an assistant town clerk for the past six weeks.
“She was a wonderful, beautiful person,” Scott said on Monday. “She will be greatly missed in this town.”
Townspeople were scheduled to gather this past Tuesday afternoon at the Ripton Community House to share memories of Hoyler. She succeeded Eric Hanson as town clerk/treasurer in 2005 and established herself as a well-liked, hardworking person. Hoyler was a longtime Ripton resident spanning two separate stints. She had previously worked locally at the Ripton Post Office and the Chipman Inn, her son Giles Hoyler recalled. Sally Hoyler also was an avid artist, seamstress and craftsperson. She at one point created handmade cards for sale, according to her son. She also enjoyed scuba diving, taking pictures of fish, which she would weave into her artwork.
Alison Dickinson is an assistant clerk who has worked in various administrative positions for the town of Ripton for the past 20 years.
“I learned a lot working with her, and I will miss her,” Dickinson said.
Dickinson, Scott and Carrie Herzog, who is assistant clerk/treasurer, have spent the past several weeks working hard to pull together all the information relevant to the March annual town meeting and local elections. The town clerk/treasurer is responsible for assembling much of that information, and of course Hoyler was unable to perform those tasks while she was ailing. Dickinson said the town will reach out to former Ripton Assistant Clerk Irene Poole for some possible office help.
Ripton selectboard Chairwoman Laureen Cox said she and her colleagues are now determining whether they can appoint someone to fill the town clerk/treasurer positions until Hoyler’s three-year term expires in March of 2016. If not, the board will likely need to appoint an interim clerk to serve until Town Meeting Day, at which point a person will be able to run for the remaining year on Hoyler’s term.
Candidates have until 5 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 26, to file nomination papers to get on the March local election ballot. Ripton officials said that as of this past Monday no one had filed papers for either the town clerk or treasurer position.
But for now, town officials and residents will be remembering Hoyler.
“She certainly will be missed very much,” Cox said. “It is always a shock when people who are not all that old pass away; it happened so quickly.”
Cox said Hoyler was a big part of the community.
“I think she really loved being the town clerk and being part of the community,” she said.
Family and friends have established a website in her honor (www.caringbridge.org/visit/sallyhoyler). It features reminiscences of Hoyler and an opportunity to contribute to defray some of the medical bills she accrued.
One of the posts on the site is offered by Ripton resident Joyce Dicianna:
“There are no words right now, only tears. I know that one day I will remember the light, laughter and twinkle in your eye, dear Sally. But tonight I cry. Giles and (his spouse) Emily — my thoughts will be with you and your family as you prepare to celebrate a life well lived.”
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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