Don Hoylman, of Fairmont, WV, passed away peacefully with family at his side on Saturday, July 24, 2021. Don was born in Clarksburg, WV to Lyle and Mary Hoylman on August 13, 1929. He attended Washington Irving High School where he met his cherished wife, Marcella Lomas. Don was preceded in death by Marcella who passed December 7, 2016. He is survived by his children and their spouses Steven (Mary); Donna (Guy), and Rod (Becky) as well as his beloved grandchildren: Stephanie Sparacio, Lindsay Vaughn, Nicholas Hoylman and Grant Hoylman and five great grandchildren. Don was very proud that his three children are all graduates of West Virginia University, with undergraduate and advanced degrees from WVU. Two of these children, Steve and Rod, are graduates of the WVU College of Business and Economics, along with his son-in-law, Guy Peduto, and grandson, Nicholas.
After graduating from high school, Don served in the U.S. Marine Corps for three years and in 1950 returned to Fairmont and began what he later described as a business career that was more enjoyment than work. He began his career with Industrial Engineering and Construction Co. in 1951, working in Industrial’s shop in Dakota, W.Va. progressing to vice president in 1957 and general manager in 1960. He became the owner and president of Industrial in 1963, and built an office facility and plant along the banks of the West Fork River in South Fairmont, W.Va.
During this time, he developed Industrial from a small corporation with minimal assets and customers to a major corporation with solid credentials in the design-build of coal handling, coal preparation plants, process systems and a manufacturer of products for the mining industry, serving the United States and international markets. In 1971, he merged Industrial with Salem Corp., a multi-faceted international conglomerate listed on the American Stock Exchange. Don served as a corporate director and officer through 1996.
In March of 1997, he acquired the Mineral Processing Group from Salem. As part of the purchase from Salem Corporation, key local managers were given the opportunity to purchase ownership in the new entity. The offer was unanimously accepted, and as a team, they moved forward as Victory of West Virginia consolidating the operating companies of Industrial, West Virginia Electric and A. L. Lee Corp. As a result, Fairmont, Marion County and West Virginia retained these valuable assets and jobs. Over this course of time through development and strategic acquisitions Don founded and developed 8 inter-related WV companies; increased employment from 15 original employees to over 400 West Virginia residents; increased sales from $25,000 to more than $100 million annually; and as a native West Virginian, always operated and managed his business from Fairmont, WV with satellite offices in Lester, WV and Pittsburgh, PA.
In 2006, Don sold Victory of West Virginia and all its subsidiaries to a local West Virginian with the stipulation operations were to be maintained in West Virginia and ensuring continued employment for all employees. He then focused on his personal company, Donmar Enterprises Inc., specializing in oil and gas formed in the late 1970′s.
As a result of his business accomplishments Don was awarded Honorary Doctorates from both West Virginia University and Fairmont State University and was elected to the WV Business Hall of Fame.
Over the years Don has endowed numerous scholarships at both universities to help enable promising students. Through his business experience and embrace of entrepreneurship and innovation it was his hope that these donations would help aspiring students studying business, education, as well as undergraduate student athletes. In addition, Don has recently endowed new scholarships to honor his sons, Steve and Rod, in the WVU College of Business and Economics and daughter Donna in the College of Education and Human Services.
Don gave of his time and charitable contributions to causes and organizations to which he felt a close affiliation including West Virginia University and Fairmont State University, Faith United and Central United Methodist Churches, as a volunteer at the Soup Opera, American Cancer Society and American Heart Association, the WVU Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, WVU Children’s Hospital and the WVU School of Medicine’s Global Health Program. His support at WVU has made him a member of the Woodrum Circle, Jerry West, Irwin Stewart, and All-American Societies.
Perhaps more than anything else Don was best known for his love of the Mountaineers. He started attending Mountaineer games at the age of seven with his aunt. As of 2013, Don had missed only one home football game. Over the last fifty years he has donated to both the numerous aspects of the football and basketball programs, the football facilities building, athletic scholarships, and the Pride of West Virginia.
His life, family, business, philanthropy directed to West Virginia University, the WVU College of Business and Economics, WVU School of Medicine, and the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, and his “bleeding gold and blue” love and support of the Mountaineer football and basketball teams exemplify why he was selected “Most Loyal West Virginian” in 2013. He was a charismatic ambassador locally and internationally of the great state of West Virginia and its landmark university.
Don’s strong suits have always been his servant leadership and his appreciation of life. He has encouraged and elevated so many people through his strong faith and positive outlook focusing on opportunities, not challenges. He started out each day with the scripture, “This is the day that the Lord hath made, rejoice and be glad in it.”
Don’s joys in life include his family, church, work, and athletic fitness activities. Fairmont residents recognized Don on his daily jog down Fairmont Avenue or his diligent weight training at Fairmont Fitness. One of his favorite sayings is “Go harder than you can!” He followed this advice up until the end and will always remain “Forever Young”.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to WVU Fellowship of Christian Athletes, PO Box 202, Dellslow, WV 26531; Greater Love Family Outreach Ministries, 275 Canyon Road, Morgantown, WV 26508; or Central United Methodist Church, 301 Fairmont, WV 26554.
Friends will be received at the Ford Funeral Home, Ford Chapel 201 Columbia Street, Fairmont, WV on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 from 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM and 6:00 PM – 8:00 PM. The funeral service will be celebrated at Trinity Assembly God, 70 Maranatha Drive, Fairmont, WV on Thursday, July 29, 2021 at 11:00 AM with Reverend Junius Lewis presiding. The entombment will follow in Grandview Memorial Gardens, Fairmont, WV. Condolences may be extended to the family at www.fordfuneralhomes.com. The Hoylman family has entrusted the care and arrangements to the Ford Funeral Home, Ford Chapel, 201 Columbia Street, Fairmont, WV.
The family wishes to thank Don’s wonderful caregivers, Betty Amos, Anita Berube, Dottie Carpenter, Karen Mayhorn, Monique Ramsey, and Christine Yost who cared for him so compassionately each day and night. Their care and love enabled Don to live an enjoyable and rich life.
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