Joseph Dyer passed away peacefully on July 12, 2021 at the age of 95. He was a smart, funny and compassionate man who loved life, cherished his family and his friends, and served his country gratefully and with honor.
Joe was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1925, the first of three children to Angela and Floyd Dyer. He grew up in challenging times and under modest circumstances during the Great Depression. From an early age, he focused on school and reading recreationally as many books as he could carry from the city library. He was a member of the student council, made friends easily and graduated with high marks from Central High in Syracuse, New York in 1942, earning the nickname “Professor” from his classmates. As a young man, Joe had a strong sense of Duty to Country and joined the United States Navy during WWII in 1943, where he served as an Aviation Electronics Mate and an Aviation Engineer for 9 years. On the day his tenure with the Navy ended, he joined the United States Marine Corps Reserve as a Staff Sergeant with the Second Tank Battalion, training soldiers in Syracuse. His commander recommended him for a commission as an officer in the Armed Forces, but he chose instead to receive an honorable discharge in 1955. To the men with whom he served and trained, he was fair, understanding and generous, earning him respect and enduring friendships with fellow soldiers that continued for decades after his service.
Joe secured a place in the Apprentice Draftsman’s Program with General Electric in Syracuse in 1953, starting as a designer. He worked hard, transferring to Illinois, then to Schenectady, NY while undertaking every training program available. In Syracuse, he visited the company infirmary one day with a headache, only to be struck-by-lightning, in his words, by the beauty and grace of the nurse who cared for him and would later become his wife, Doris. They dated for nearly 2 years and married in 1955. Joe and Doris started a family in 1959, welcoming five children into their loving care over the next ten years. In 1970, Joe transferred to a position within GE in San Jose, California as a Quality Control Engineer in the Nuclear Energy Division. He retired from GE in 1987, but continued to work as an engineering consultant to GE and with other companies for another 10 years.
Joe was personable, articulate, socially active and engaging. He had a wonderful singing voice and appreciated classical, opera and big band music. Throughout his life he enjoyed travel, cooking, camping, golf, fishing, bowling, and card games. He often applied his engineering skills to house projects, car repairs, electronics, and building and flying model rockets and airplanes. He continued to read voraciously throughout his life, which gave him an expansive vocabulary and made him a formidable Scrabble player. He adored and was a devoted husband to his wife Doris for 64 years until her passing in 2019. An attentive and caring father to his children, he routinely placed their needs ahead of his own. He was a loyal friend, enjoyed meeting new people and helping others, and he had a gift for putting everyone instantly at ease. He had a strong faith, and was a devoted member and Hospitality Minister of Santa Teresa Catholic Parish.
Joe is survived by his sisters Bernice Sgroi and Amelia Renz, by his adoring children, Mark, Susan, Mary and Nancy, and by his precious granddaughter, Hannah, with whom he could not have been more proud. He is welcomed in the afterlife by his loving family who have preceded him, and reunited with his beloved wife Doris and their fifth child, Billy.
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