Phillip D. Dyer

Apr 09, 2018

Vinalhaven — Phillip Darrow Dyer, aka “Filo,” 91, died Friday, March 23, 2018, at the Maine Veteran’s Home in Augusta, where he had resided for several months. Born Jan. 15, 1927, Phil was one of eight children born to Leslie B. and Hazel (Rogers) Dyer. Phil attended Vinalhaven schools and at the age of 17, left to join the Navy. He served during World War II and was stationed at Pensacola Naval Air Station and married Sadie Gustavson Sept. 26, 1950.

Following his discharge from the Navy, Phil returned to Vinalhaven and went lobster fishing with his beloved Grampa Frank Rogers. Phil’s lifelong dream was to build his own boat, having visited boat shops around the harbor watching boat builders at work. He persuaded boatbuilder Bob Johnson to let him work on a boat under construction for Phil’s older brother, Joe, to learn the trade.

After finishing and launching his brother’s boat, Phil was able to rent Bob’s shop, building and launching his first boat, the Sadie G, at age 23.

Early in their marriage, Phil and Sadie purchased a home on Indian Creek, where Phil built his own boat shop. Their neighbor and good friend “Goat” was a master boatbuilder who willingly shared his knowledge with Phil. Phil loved to tell the story about being told by Goat, “You don’t need to ask me any more questions.” A master builder, he specialized in wood construction and design, eventually building 11 lobster boats, more than100 smaller boats and three beautiful peapods, using a peapod owned by his father-in-law as a model. In addition, he built several summer homes, did numerous construction projects on the island, and was a caretaker for 50 years.

At the age of 37, Phil earned his GED. He enjoyed playing his accordion. Music playing on the stereo or from his accordion could often be heard coming from his shop. Many came to his shop to see his boats under construction, to conduct interviews, take photos, listen to his stories, or to seek help and advice, which he gave freely.

A member of the Pleasant River Chapel Community of Christ, Phil was also a member of the Moses Webster Masonic Lodge, where he served as Master for two years; the American Legion; and the school board in the 1970s, serving as chairman for two years.

Phil was predeceased by sisters Carolyn Bullerwell and Ada Williams, brothers Leslie Dyer Jr., George Burton Dyer, Joseph Dyer and Richard Dyer. Surviving is his wife of 67 years, Sadie Dyer; their son, Eric Dyer, of Lewiston; grandson,Corey Wass of Seward, Alaska; brother Edward Dyer and his wife, Eileen, of Fairfield, Ohio; and many nieces and nephews.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, May 19, at the Union Church in Vinalhaven officiated by Elders Robert Candage and Burke Lynch. A luncheon will be held following the service at the church. Interment will be held in the Cummings Cemetery.

If desired, memorial gifts may be made to the Islands Community Medical Center or to Vinalhaven Eldercare. Condolences may be shared with the family at longfuneralhomecamden.com. Arrangements are with Long Funeral Home & Cremation Service, Camden.

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