Jan. 31, 1921-July 12, 2012
Leah Jeanette Dyer passed away at her home Thursday, July 12, 2012. She was 91 years old. She passed away as she lived, with dignity and an unending energy for life.
A Vigil service will be held at 7 p.m., Wednesday, July 18 at Corpus Christi Catholic Church, Fruitland. A celebration Mass of Jeanette’s life will be at 10 a.m., Thursday, July 19 at Corpus Christi Catholic Church. Her family invites you to a luncheon and fellowship immediately following the Mass at the Olde School Community Center, Fruitland. Her final resting place will be at Hillcrest Cemetery, Weiser, next to her beloved husband Joseph Dennis Dyer. Arrangements and services are under the direction of Shaffer-Jensen Memory Chapel, Fruitland. Condolences may be made to Jeanette’s family at www.shaffer-jensenchapel.com.
Jeanette was born in Ontario, Ore., to Benjamin and Etta May Thomas Jan. 31, 1921. She was one of three children. Her dad, Ben drove the stage coach between Vale, Ore., and Emmett, Idaho. As a small child her family moved to her grandpa (Judge) Lamberson’s homestead situated at the current site of Beulah Dam to run the family ranch. At the age of three the family moved to Fruitland where her grandfather purchased the Universal Motor (Ford) Company situated in the building known as the Ben Thomas building. Her mother, Etta May was a master gardener, culinary expert and a member of the Fruitland Brethren Church, who died on her birthday, May 28, 1981. Jeanette attended school in Fruitland and was always proud of her school. She became the second youngest woman to hold the position of Student Body President at Fruitland High School. She was awarded the FHA Alumni Hall of Fame for outstanding service. In the fall of 1939, Jeanette attended nurses training at St. Alphonsus School of Nursing in Boise and finished her degree in the fall of 1942. Nurses’ training was one of the happiest times of her life. That same fall Jeanette and her parents were devastated at the loss of her eldest brother, Second Lt. Leland Thomas, who was killed in action at Guadalcanal. In 1944, she accompanied her parents to Houston, Texas to launch the USS Leland E. Thomas, destroyer escort. Soon after, Jeanette met and married Lt. Art Clune. Art was a pilot training at Gowen Field. As the years rolled by Jeanette and Art divorced and Jeanette returned to Fruitland. While working at the Ontario Clinic she met and married Joseph Dennis Dyer who was working for Standard Insurance Company. He was a wonderful dad for their boys. They made their home in Ontario until 1964 when Denny and Jeanette built a new home overlooking the Snake River, never to leave Fruitland again. Denny died in Dec. of 1983. The Dyers loved entertaining with family and friends. They were avid golfers and supporters of Fruitland athletics and all school activities. Both Denny and Jeanette were involved in numerous civic activities within the valley as well as their local Catholic Church. In 1957 Jeanette took a position as the Fruitland and New Plymouth School Districts Nurse. In 1973 she founded a new health career program for valley school students, Orientation to Health Occupation Education. The program was extremely successful. Jeanette was a wonderful mother to her three sons; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
She is survived by her sons, Leland A. Clune (Debby), of Anchorage, Alaska, Thomas H. Dyer (Cindy), of Cambridge, Idaho, and Brian J. Dyer, of Fruitland, Idaho; grandchildren, Ben and Nathan Dyer, Dean Clune and Jordyn Liedike, Madison, Mackenzie, and Morgan Clune.
Jeanette believed in the importance of family, community and her faith. She loved to share with others her love of nursing and teaching. Our mother believed that life was exciting when you invested in people. She created good times with her warm smile and zest for life. Jeanette received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Fruitland Chamber of Commerce for her many years of devoted service to the citizens and community of Fruitland. Jeanette also received the State of Idaho Certificate of Recognition presented to her by then Governor John Evans.
Memorials in her name may be made to Heart ’n Home Hospice Foundation, specifically for families who are financially unable to access hospice services, the Old Fruitland High School Community Center, Alma Mater Inc. or Corpus Christi Catholic Church Building Fund, c/o Shaffer-Jensen Memory Chapel, P.O. Box 730, Payette, ID 83661.
Jeanette’s family would like to thank the staff from Heart ’n Home. Specifically, Laurie, Karolyn, Consvelo, Maja, Berry, Irene Haney and all the other staff that have made this a memorable celebration.