John Robert Dyar (1926 - 2013)

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AMHERST - John Robert Dyar, 87, of Amherst and formerly of Tenants Harbor, Maine, died Sunday, June 30, 2013, at the Center for Extended Care in Amherst.

Born May 20, 1926, in Cleveland, Ohio, he was the son of Hugh Huntington and Marie Kasten Dyar. He grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, and attended schools there.

As a teenager, he was an active member of the War Emergency Radio Service. Graduating from high school early, he enlisted in the United States Naval Reserve in January of 1944 as an electronic technician. His service in the Pacific included participation with the Marines in the battle of Iwo Jima. He was honorably discharged as ET 2/C Petty Officer in May of 1946.

Dyar attended the Case Institute of Technology and then Le Tourneau College in Longview, Texas. Later he received a business degree from Butler University in Indianapolis, Ind.

His entire working career was with General Motors Corporation, first as a welding process engineer working with tanks at the Cadillac Motor Division in Cleveland, and later with the Allison Engine Division in Indianapolis. In addition to production and engineering of aircraft turbine engines, he was involved in the development and manufacture of rocket motor cases for the Minuteman Missiles and later, of the fuel and oxidizer tanks for Apollo 11 Lunar mission. In his lab, the work was done on titanium, which was used for the Apollo tanks and later adapted for use in prostheses.

He was instrumental in beginning the initial computer aided manufacturing integration with manufacturing and process engineering at Detroit Diesel Allison. He was a member of the American Welding Society, American Society for Metals, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, and the Numerical Control Society professional groups.

While living in Indianapolis, Dyar was active in the Indianapolis Sailing Club, serving as commodore in 1978. A member of the Thistle Association, he and his family raced Thistle 726 throughout the Midwest and in the Thistle Nationals. Involved with sail and power boating all his life, he was a senior and life member of the United States Power Squadron, achieving the highest rank of navigator and a District Award for Excellence in Teaching.

The Dyars had long dreamed of living in Maine and bought a cottage in Owls Head, Maine, in 1979. The whole family worked together to make this a year-round home, moving there permanently in 1986. Dyar became active in the Rockland Rotary Club, for which he delivered Meals on Wheels and received a Paul Harris award. He contributed many hours to teaching piloting and navigation courses for the United States Power Squadron. He was also treasurer of the B & B Investment Club.

In 1994, needing a larger home for an expanding family, the Dyars moved to Tenants Harbor, Maine, where John was delighted to finally have a dock of his own. Unbeknownst to him at that time, this was a move to an ancestral home. His grandmother Eleanora Falley was a direct descendant of Richard Faille, Sr., born in 1711 on the Isle of Guernsey, who came to what was called the St. Georges River in 1739. His son Richard, Jr., was born that year in Lower Settlement, George's River, not far from the Dyars' Tenants Harbor home. Richard, Jr. moved to Norwich, and his son Lewis Falley, Sr., born there, was Eleanora's grandfather.

In 2005, because of several health crises, John and his wife Diane moved closer to family in Amherst, but midcoast Maine would always be home for them.

John was predeceased by his wife Diane Moore Dyar in 2009.

He is survived by his three children, Hugh H. Dyar and his wife Christina of Carmel, Ind., Melinda Darby Dyar of Amherst and Sarah Dyar Gordon and her husband Edward J. of Wilmington, Del., and seven grandchildren, Bryn Dyar, Darby Dyar, Hugh Dyar IV, Duncan Crowley, Malinda Crowley, Genevieve Gordon and William Gordon.

The family would especially like to thank staff members at the Arbors and the Center for Extended Care in Amherst for their wonderful care in John's last years.

Services will be held Saturday, Aug. 10, at 3 p.m. at St. John the Baptist Episcopal Church, Main Street, Thomaston, ME. Burial at sea will be at the convenience of the family.

Those who wish may make donations to the Rockland Rotary Club Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 1811, Rockland, ME 04841.

Arrangements are in the care of Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home, 110 Limerock St., Rockland, ME.

To share a memory or condolence with Mr. Dyar's family, please visit his Book of Memories at

To sign a Guest Book, express condolences, share memories and read other obituaries, go to
Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on July 25, 2013
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