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Norris ‘Norrie’ Hoyt, 76; was Vt. official

Representative Hoyt, a Democrat, spoke on the House floor in Montpelier in 1981. He had moved to Vermont in 1969.
Representative Hoyt, a Democrat, spoke on the House floor in Montpelier in 1981. He had moved to Vermont in 1969.(Donna Light/Associated Press)

NORWICH, Vt. — Norris ‘‘Norrie’’ Hoyt, a former Vermont state representative who served in top offices in the administrations of both Republican and Democratic governors for almost three decades, has died. He was 76.

Mr. Hoyt died Sunday at his home in Norwich. The cause of death was not released.

Mr. Hoyt was educated in Massachusetts and came to Vermont in 1969 to serve as deputy tax commissioner in the administration of Governor Deane Davis, a Republican.

‘‘As legal counsel to the governor, tax commissioner, and commissioner of liquor control over his many years in state government, Norrie relied on humor and common sense to fix problems,’’ said Governor Peter Shumlin. “He could give you bad news, and you’d walk away smiling.”

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Mr. Hoyt served as legal counsel to Governor Thomas Salmon, a Democrat, in 1973 and 1974. He then ran for the Legislature from Norwich, serving as a Democrat in the House from 1975 to1983. Mr. Hoyt was chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

In 1983, he returned to the Tax Department as deputy commissioner and then served as tax commissioner from 1985 to 1991.

In 1992, Mr. Hoyt became commissioner of liquor control, overseeing the state’s liquor sales monopoly. He held that position until 1998, when he retired from public life.

He leaves his wife, Kathy, who also served in Vermont government, and two sons.

A celebration of Mr. Hoyt’s life will be held at his home in Norwich on Sept. 14.