Minot banker remembered for community support

File photo Jack Hoeven stands next to a wall of citations received over the years in July 2014 as First Western Bank & Trust was celebrating its 50th anniversary.

John “Jack” Hoeven, a long-time Minot banker, community supporter and father of U.S. Sen. John Hoeven died Saturday.

His funeral is scheduled for Aug. 29 at 11 a.m. in Cornerstone Presbyterian Church. Thomas Family Funeral Home is handling arrangements.

The growth of Minot’s First Western Bank & Trust from a local start-up institution in 1964 into a full-service financial center largely occurred under the helm of Hoeven, who bought into the bank in 1970. One of Hoeven’s early decisions as bank president was to relocate the bank in 1972 from the Town & Country Center property to the other side of South Broadway, where it exists today.

Hoeven, 87, continued to serve as chairman of the bank board following his retirement as president.

Jack Hoeven Wee Links and the Jack Hoeven Baseball Complex in Minot are named in recognition of his support for golf and baseball programs in the community. He was inducted into the North Dakota Golf Association Hall of Fame in 2013.

Hoeven also had been chairman of the Minot Housing Authority when the authority developed the Milton Young low-income, high-rise building for elderly residents.

He was active in the Republican Party. He ran for the Legislature in Burleigh County in 1962 but lost the primary race, which had included 10 candidates seeking three House nominations. He had served as local party chairman and had been a member of the state party’s executive committee. He sought the Republican endorsement for lieutenant governor in 1968.

In a resume filed with the Minot Daily News in the 1970s, he listed his hobbies as “helping people.” Over the years he served in leadership with a number of community organizations, including the Salvation Army, Minot State University Beaver Booster Club, Y’s Men’s Club, Minot chapter of the Air Force Association, Kiwanis, Boy Scouts, Minot Shrine Club, Prairie Public Television, Minot Country Club, Minot Area Chamber of Commerce and Minot Area Development Corp. He had been a member of the Elks, Eagles and American Legion and was active in the North Dakota Bankers Association.

“Behind the scenes he had so much influence on so many different projects,” said long-time friend Rod Romine of Minot. “Most people aren’t aware of all the things he had a hand in that benefited the community. He was just a great community supporter.”

He also described Hoeven as fiercely loyal to his friends, First Western and its employees, and who, as a banker, took care of his small depositors as well as he did his large depositors.

“He was a titan in our community,” said Minot Mayor Chuck Barney, who called Hoeven’s death a tremendous loss.

“It’s a personal loss for me. For me, he was a mentor,” he said. “He was one of my touchstone people I would go to and seek advice and counsel.”

A native of Aberdeen, S.D., Hoeven graduated from Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1952 to 1955. He attended the University of Montana Law School for a year.

He started his banking career at Western Montana National Bank, Missoula, in 1955. He was assistant vice president of First National Bank in Bismarck for several years and executive vice president of the McIntosh County Bank at Ashley before transferring to Minot in 1964 to become vice president of the Union National Bank. He was president of that bank from 1967 until joining First Western.

Hoeven’s first wife, Patricia, died in 1979. They had a son, John, and two daughters, Rebecca and Marjorie, who survive him. His wife, Raziye, died last Thursday.


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