(KSLA) - Longtime Shreveport businessman Hoyt Lavelle Yokem died Wednesday morning.
He was 90 years old.
"Mr. Yokem was a highly respected businessman and community leader. He will be greatly missed," Sarah B. Wilkerson, comptroller for Yokem Motors, says in a statement.
Yokem was a Blevins Ark., native who worked in ship construction in the Navy during World War II.
He began his dealership career with a Chrysler dealership in Houston.
Then Yokem was given the opportunity to open the first Toyota dealership in North Louisiana.
He and his wife, Penny, moved to Shreveport and opened Yokem Toyota in 1970.
The dealership began with three employees and now employs 150 workers.
Yokem Toyota repeatedly has won Toyota Corp.'s highest honor, the President's Award, which the company says goes annually to dealers who excel in all facets of their operations.
KSLA News 12's StormTracker came from the partnership Yokem Toyota has had with KSLA News 12 for a year.
Yokem also was a longtime supporter of Centenary College.
He was a life member of the private Shreveport school's Board of Trustees.
Yokem and his wife were married for more than 70 years.
Funeral arrangements are being handled through Rose-Neath Funeral Home in Bossier City.