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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

In Memorium: Frances Dyer


Frances Dyer, who helped found Altadena Neighbors, a group dedicated to welcoming minority families to Altadena, and who was active in the NAACP to promote “… interracial understanding and neighborhood stability,” has died at 91.

Born Frances Lorraine Grunewald on December 5, 1923 died June 11, 2015. She was the 7th of eight children born to Ernest and Kathryn Grunewald in Windom, Minnesota. Moving to Boone, Iowa at an early age, she considered that her home town.

Predeceased by her parents, two brothers, three sisters, and also her husband of 46 years, Virgil Dyer. She is survived by Virgil’s daughter Nancy Fairchild of South Carolina, and Nancy’s three sons, Jeff, Andy and Gary McCartney, and Nancy’s grandchildren, Madison and A.J.; daughter Krista Ober of Missoula, Montana; son Thomas Dyer of Grass Valley, CA; two sisters and many nieces and nephews.

Frances came to California in June, 1941, getting a job as Secretary at Union Oil Company in Los Angeles. She married Virgil Dyer (also from Iowa) in 1949 and they settled in Altadena, where they both remained until their deaths.

Frances was a community worker for many years, beginning with PTA where she earned four Life-Membership Awards, and over the years many Certificates of appreciation and plaques commemorating her community service, culminating with being Citizen of the Year of the Altadena Chamber of Commerce in January, 2005. She was proud of the fact that she served as President of the Altadena/Crown City Kiwanis Club at the age of 77. She also played the piano in churches, convalescent hospitals, and parties of all kinds. At the time of her death she was a member of ACT, The League of Women Voters, Altadena Crown City Kiwanis Club, and a life member of the Pasadena Branch NAACP. Her two great community interests were the Pasadena Unified Schools and the Civil Rights Movement.

A viewing will be held on Friday, June 19th at Mountain View Mortuary from 4:00-7:00pm A memorial service will be held on June 20th at 10:00 am at Altadena Baptist Church under the direction of her good friend Rev. George Van Alstine. Reception to follow.

She will be buried in Mountain View Cemetery alongside her husband. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to Altadena/Crown City Kiwanis Foundation, PO Box 215, Altadena, CA 91003-0215. – See more at:

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