IOWA CITY, Iowa — James M. Hoak, long-time supporter of the University of Iowa and Iowa athletics, passed away Friday, May 25, at his home in North Palm Beach, Florida. He was 99. A memorial service will be scheduled this fall at Lost Tree Village in North Palm Beach, Florida.
The UI’s James M. Hoak Family Golf Complex, home to both the men’s and women’s golf programs, is named in his honor. In addition, the Hoak family established the James Hoak Scholarship Fund in 2006, providing scholarship assistance to a member of the men’s golf team. Memorial contributions will be directed towards the James Hoak Golf Scholarship at the UI. (http://givetoiowa.org/hoak)
Hoak was born in Des Moines, Iowa, in 1918. He received his B.S.C. from the University of Iowa in 1940 (followed by an M.B.A. from Harvard University in 1943). His wife, Jane (Arnold), also a UI graduate, received her bachelor’s degree in history in 1941. James and Jane were married in 1941.
Hoak served in the South Pacific during World War II, working his way up to a Lieutenant in the U.S. Navy. After the war, the couple eventually settled back in Des Moines, where Jim devoted himself to the family business and his three sons. He retired in 1985.
Hoak served for more than 20 years as president and general manager of Wheeler Consolidated/Wheeler Lumber, a construction materials company founded by the Wheeler and Hoak families. He served on the Iowa Endowment 2000 Campaign National Committee and was the Chair of the College of Business Class of 1940 Gift Committee. He was a long time and loyal member of the Presidents Club, Alumni Association Old Capitol Club, and the I-Club.
While at the University of Iowa, Jim was a golf letterwinner. He was an accomplished amateur golfer, competing in two US Opens and more than 15 US Amateurs, as well as in many other national and regional events. He was a proud and long-time member of Wakonda Club in Des Moines, Lost Tree Club in North Palm Beach, and Augusta National Golf Club.
Jim was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Jane, and his four close-knit siblings. He is survived by three sons (James Hoak, Jr.; David Hoak, 1968 B.B.A. from the University of Iowa and a UI Center for Advancement Board member, and Jonathan Hoak), and their spouses, nine grandchildren and their spouses, and 14 great-grandchildren.