MODESTO, Calif. — SIGMA’s Annual Meeting started on a somber note Monday with the announcement that industry veteran and former association chairman Carl Boyett had died a day earlier.
“Over the next three days. I know Carl is going to be looking down on us,” SIGMA CEO Ryan McNutt said in opening the conference general session Nov. 9.
Boyett, a longtime Modesto, Calif., c-store retailer and fuel marketer, died early Sunday at age 70. He was president of SIGMA, the Society of Independent Gasoline Marketers of America, from 2008 through 2010.
Boyett, who celebrated his 70th birthday in July with a skydiving trip, had been sick recently, but his death still came as a shock, said his son, Dale Boyett, president of Boyett Petroleum.
“He went and had breakfast with his buddies just Saturday morning,” Dale Boyett told The Modesto Bee.
Boyett was owner and CEO of Boyett Petroleum, a company started by his parents, Stan and Carol Boyett, after they purchased a Richfield Oil distributorship in 1962. Carl Boyett, a Vietnam veteran who had won appointment to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy and earned a master’s degree in business administration from Pepperdine University, joined the company in 1970, according to its website.
During his time with the company, Boyett Petroleum expanded several times, opening retail stations in California and Nevada. During the 1970s, the company experimented with self-serve gasoline marketing, cardlocks and minimarts, according to the company website.
Earlier this year, the company announced it had purchased fuel distribution contracts for 90 additional gas stations in a deal worth more than $5 million. The expansion boosted Boyett’s distribution network to more than 500 stations in two states.
Boyett also was a driving force behind the creation of the Gallo Center for the Arts in North California, and served on boards serving California State University, Stanislaus, and the Modesto Symphony Orchestra, among others.
This year, the Modesto Chamber of Commerce named Boyett its citizen of the year. He received a similar award in 2011 from the American Legion.
Boyett also started the Make Dreams Real golf tournament 25 years ago. The annual tournament raises money for causes such as sending children to camp. Recently, he turned the fundraiser into an endowment fund to make a longer-lasting impact. He got the idea from a similar golf tournament he saw in the Midwest, Dale Boyett said.
“He said, ‘My God, every year we do a golf tournament and raise $25,000 and give away $25,000,’ ” his son said. At that point, Boyett set a goal of getting the fund to $1 million by 2016. The fund is governed by a committee that oversees distribution of funds.
“He wasn’t afraid to try anything,” Dale Boyett said. “He believed that if you just keep trying, whether it was in business or philanthropy, you can make things work. I called him an entrepreneurial kamikaze.”
Boyett is survived by his wife, Carole; his son, Dale; his daughter, Shaunna Stoddard; and seven grandchildren.
A celebration of his life is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 19, at the Gallo Center for the Arts in Modesto, Calif.
CSP sends condolences to his family, his friends and his colleagues.