Former California State University, Stanislaus Foundation Board member Carl Boyett, whose business acumen and philanthropic spirit enhanced an entire region, died Sunday morning.
Boyett, 70, owned Modesto-based Boyett Petroleum, which owns and operates more than 40 stations in Northern California and includes a fuel distribution network that services more than 500 stations in the Western states. His passion for building the company, started by the Boyett family in 1940, was equaled by his love for his community.
“With the passing of Carl Boyett, we have lost a tireless supporter not only of Stanislaus State but of all higher education,” said Stanislaus State President Joseph F. Sheley. “His commitment to philanthropy and to making a difference in this region has left a mark that will never be erased or forgotten. Our thoughts are with the entire Boyett family and their community of friends.”
In addition to serving on the Foundation Board from 1999-2006, Boyett was part of a group that spearheaded the creation, construction and development of the Gallo Center for the Arts. He also served on the board of the Modesto Symphony Orchestra.
On Sept. 29, 2005, in recognition of Boyett’s service and generosity to Stanislaus State, Room 201 in Demergasso-Bava Hall was named the Boyett Petroleum Conference Room.
Boyett attended high school in Modesto and Sacramento and earned an appointment to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. He served in the Army from 1967-70, including a 12-month deployment in Vietnam. Upon his honorable discharge, he became CEO of Boyett Petroleum and continued his education at Modesto Junior College and Stanislaus State. He earned his MBA from Pepperdine University in 1977, with his thesis focused on self-service gasoline marketing.
“He wasn’t afraid to try anything,” his son Dale Boyett said to the Modesto Bee. “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. He was just the kind of guy who wanted the best for everybody, whether it was somebody you did business with or someone in the community.”
Boyett is survived by his wife, Carole; his son, Dale; his daughter, Shaunna Stoddard; and seven grandchildren.