June 01, 2012

Jean Brandt Dyer

It is with heavy hearts that the family of Jean Brandt Dyer announces her passing on May 19, 2012 at the age of 90.

Born on November 20, 1921 to Maurice Winfield Brandt and Ruby Medaline Brandt, Jean Maxine Brandt spent her earliest years on a farm in northern Indiana with her parents and her younger sister, Mary Jo. In 1945 she married Robert Marr Dyer, a handsome young Marine who had just returned from the South Pacific battlefields of World War II. He was the love of her life.

Bob and Jean followed their dreams to California, where they found work in the citrus industry. Settling first in San Juan Capistrano, they moved after a few years to Santa Paula, where Bob became co-owner of Ventura Foothill Orange Company, a packing house that processed oranges and avocados.

Jean became a full-time mother and tireless supporter of her husband and their six children. She spent her life happily involved in the business of raising her family. She loved being a wife and a mother to such a large brood, and her husband and children all loved her to pieces. She made her home a welcoming haven for her children and all of their friends.

In addition to her family, Jean loved her church. For more than 50 years she was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church of Santa Paula. She sang in the church choir, served on every board and committee, and volunteered her time and attention whenever anyone needed her.

Jean also spent many years as a volunteer at Santa Paula Memorial Hospital, helping patients and staff with anything they needed. Because of her dedicated service to this institution and many other school, church and civic groups, she was honored as a Santa Paula “Woman of History” in 2003.

One of Jean’s proudest achievements was her graduation at age 65 from UC Santa Barbara. She had not been able to finish college when she was younger, and she was determined to do so after her children were grown. We were so proud of our mother when that day came! After her graduation she was much in demand as a private tutor to children who benefited from her kind attention and expertise. There are dozens of her students, now grown, who remember her with much affection and respect.

Also after her children were grown, Jean fulfilled her lifelong dream to travel. Over the years she visited many places in the United States and Europe with her husband, as well as venturing with travel groups to China, Russia, and Israel.

Jean and Bob Dyer were married for 61 years, until Bob’s death in 2006. She is survived by her children Roberta, Michael, Rebecca, Coleen, Patrick, and Timothy, as well as grandchildren Christopher, Ryan, Kelly, Aaron, Chelsea, Stacey, Sean and Robert, and six great-grandchildren with another one due in August. She is also survived by her sister and family in Indiana. All will miss her.

The Dyer Family would like to extend a special thank you to her caregivers Mary Mora, Victoria Householder and Annette Vera. We would also like to thank Dr. Michael Swartout and the staff at Fillmore Convalescent Hospital for their special care.

A public memorial service will be held on Tuesday, June 5th at 3 p.m. at The First Presbyterian Church of Santa Paula, 121 Davis St., Santa Paula, CA. Memorial donations may be made in Jean’s honor to The First Presbyterian Church of Santa Paula.

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