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Obituary - Marion Helen Dyer - Cottage 125 &119


Marion Helen Dyer was born on March 8th, 1925 in Greenbank, Ontario, the youngest child of Carmen Ephriam Dyer and Maude McWaters. She joined her older siblings, in order, Jeanette, J. C., (as he was always known), and Clark, all of whom are now sadly gone. Her father became a minister of the new United Church of Canada in June of that same year, and had an important role in its formation. The life of a young minister meant many moves, and Marion spent her girlhood in Shelburne, Ontario. Perhaps because of the lack of a permanent home, or because in those days only ministers and teachers had any amount of holidays, her parents decided to build a cottage at Bruce Beach on Lake Huron, near Kincardine, Ontario, the so-called, at that time, “minister’s beach”. The cottage at number 125 Bruce Beach Road was constructed in 1924, with help from her grandfather, who was a carpenter, on land purchased from a local farmer named Cameron, and became part of a group of cottages known as the “Cameron Grove”. Trips to the cottage were somewhat arduous affairs back then, according to Marion, with cars only having a top speed of 40 miles per hour. All six Dyers, plus luggage, packed into one vehicle, always black; young Marion perched on a pile of heavy quilts on top of the hump of the drivetrain, her head brushing the roof, with her mother punctuating the journey with: “Carmen, you’re going too fast!” When they were at the cottage, Marion liked to tag along with her older brothers when they went to play the Bruce Beach Golf Course, with its sand covered “greens”, and fairways framed with Queen Anne’s Lace; developing a love for the game that lasted for the rest of her life. Years later she became the Ladies Golf Captain at St. George’s Country Club in Toronto, winning numerous trophies including the Ontario Mother and Daughter Two-Ball Championship her daughter Leslie in 1976, and at the age of 75, in 2000, scoring a hole-in-one at the Riverside Club in Florida! Although 125 was sold many years ago, her niece Susan Gauch and her husband John, along with their 3 children, honorary grandchildren, were privileged to host her during many summers at number 119 Bruce Beach. She inherited her father's love of games. As many Bruce Beachers remember well, she not only played games well, but she was very competitive, usually lucky … and liked to win! Bridge, Cribbage, Scrabble, Blackout … if a game was on offer, she was always quick to want “in”. Marion Dyer met young Lieutenant William Bond at a dance at Humberside Collegiate in the Spring of 1943 when was home on leave. There followed a whirlwind courtship of 6 weeks duration, and much correspondence afterwards, as the young soldier waited in England for D-Day, culminating in a written offer of marriage. After Bill returned to Canada at the end of 1945, the couple were married by Marion's father, on February 23rd, 1946, at Century United Church. The newlyweds soon got the news that she was pregnant, along with something much more ominous, a diagnosis of TB! She was sent to a sanatorium for 6 months, but fortunately made a complete recovery. The relationship they formed was clearly strong, as they remained happily together until my Bill's death in 2005. She was a busy mother, gardening, sewing, singing, baking, and raising a family of four children: Adrianne, Paul, Leslie, and Robert. Music was very important to Marion; she not only played the piano, but completed Grade 10 singing through the Royal Conservatory. Her strong soprano voice was the backbone of church choirs for many years, and often she performed as well on Sunday’s as a soloist. She also contributed to the early development of the family business, Softek, spending endless hours at a keypunch machine, and helping to form the foundation of what today has become a very successful enterprise headed by Robert. When retirement beckoned, Marion and Bill purchased the house at 3805 Boardwalk Place, in Ruskin, Florida, where they made many new friends through golf, bridge clubs, art class, progressive dinners, and “happy hour” parties! It was also a popular destination for her grown children, when they had our own little ones. Once travel to Florida was no longer possible, she moved into the Richview Residence in Islington, making a new series of friendships through bridge and book clubs. Her last days were spent happily there, still independent, mentally alert, cooking, reading, watching televised sports, and attending family gatherings, of which there were an increasing number, with the celebration of the birthdays of her 4 great-grandchildren becoming annual events. Marion passed away peacefully in her sleep after a weekend filled with family and friends. She will be greatly missed. In closing, a poem by Isla Paschal Richardson seems appropriate: If I should ever leave you whom I love To go along the Silent Way, grieve not, Nor speak of me with tears, but laugh and talk Of me as if I were beside you there

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