Hazel June Dyer, 94: Descendant of Maine pioneers loved to sew
FREEPORT — Hazel June Dyer, 94, died July 16 at Parkview Adventist Medical Center in Brunswick, where she was attended by family members during an illness. Previously, she was a resident of Webster Commons in Freeport.
Dyer was born in 1920 near Frankfort, one of six children and the second daughter of Arthur W. Turner and Hazel (Griffin) Turner. Both her parents were descendants from many generations of Maine and Massachusetts pioneers, including Mayflower pilgrims Stephen Hopkins and Thomas Rogers.
After her father moved the family south, Dyer attended Freeport High School and then graduated from Brunswick High School in 1937 with a class of more than 100 students.
Always a creative stitcher, and with an early love of sewing, Dyer once walked miles to a dry goods store in Winterport because she wanted material to make a special dress for her younger sister, Ruby. Her own high school wardrobe was sparse but she worked to enhance it, even crocheting a collar to complement her graduation sweater. Years later, Dyer would resume her interest in fabric and clothing design by enrolling at The Fashion Academy in New York City.
She began working at Mallett’s Shoe Factory in Freeport, and then joined the catalog-label typing pool in the nearby offices of L.L.Bean Inc. It was there she met her future husband, Charles “Warnie” Bean, son of the company owner, and designer of its leather and canvas specialties.
She married Bean in 1940 and the couple had two daughters. For 30 years, she also served on the L.L. Bean board of directors. Her second marriage was to Reuben K. Dyer of Freeport. Together, they ran Dyer’s Floral Shop and Landscape Nursery, in Rockport. He died in 2008.
Dyer later retired to Cumberland. Her favorite foods were Maine lobster, scallops, asparagus, potatoes, creamed onions and fudge.
Besides her husband, Dyer was predeceased by siblings Arthur W. Turner Jr., of Brunswick, Marian Simpson, of Las Vegas, Robert V. Turner, of Bowdoinham, and Ruby M. Condon, of Brunswick.
Dyer is survived by a sister, Kathleen Greczkowski, of Santa Rosa, California; daughters, Diana Bean, of Ogunquit, and Linda Bean, of Freeport and St. George; grandson Jason Warren Clark, of Wilsonville, Oregon, and his son, Jesse Clark Gertz, of Portland; grandson Nathan James Clark and his wife, Kathryn Elizabeth Burnham, and their children, Andrew Howland Clark and Eliza Grace Clark, all of Cumberland; and grandson Kevin Carl Clark and his son, Lachlan MacBean Clark, of Eustis.
A public graveside gathering was held July 21 at Webster Cemetery in Freeport.