— By

Staff Writer

CORNISH — Edgar ”Teddy” Dyer’s family and friends marked down the third weekend in July for one thing every year: his ever-popular fish fry.

”During the year, everybody that went fishing saved every fish and gave it to Dad,” said his daughter Debi Dyer.

He collected all kinds of fish — bass, trout, pickerel — and once the third weekend of July rolled around, he got cooking. After thawing the fish, Mr. Dyer mixed up his special batter, prepared each fish and fried them up.

”Sometimes it took a couple of days (for him to cook them all),” she said. ”Everybody stopped in at the fish fry the whole town probably showed up.”

Even while he was having radiation treatment, he was inviting the nurses to stop by, his daughter said. It was a tradition that lasted 35 years.

Mr. Dyer died Friday at the age of 76.

Employed by Norm Nealey Plastering, Mr. Dyer spent his career plastering walls and ceilings. His daughter April Wright said he went into homes that were being built to finish the walls.

”Plastering is a dying breed” in the homebuilding industry, she said, because most homes have drywall now.

The business Mr. Dyer worked for became part of his family when one of his daughters, Brenda, married Norm Nealey’s son, Gary.

When Gary Nealey took over the business from his father, Mr. Dyer continued working with him.

His daughters said he loved teasing everyone whenever he had the chance. Wright’s youngest daughter, Alex, remembers a scenic picture of a forest hanging in Mr. Dyer’s living room. She recalled how her grandfather would ask her if she had seen a deer run through the picture.

”Of course, there is no deer in the picture. He just liked to get her going every time,” Debi Dyer said.

He was also known for his knack for telling stories, most of which were made up or exaggerated.

His cousin’s wife, Jane Warren, remembers one story that Mr. Dyer told every November and always made people laugh. He told about one time when he was hunting in Hiram and came rushing out of the woods, ”sweaty and very excited.”

He would yell, ”There’s something big up there in the woods. It’s knocking over trees and chasing after me,” she said. ”When asked what he thought it was, Ted said, ‘It’s big, it’s ugly and if it gets you, you’re a goner.’”

While he teased and joked, one thing Mr. Dyer took great pride in was his vegetable and flower gardens. Wright said she and Debi Dyer would take their father to the flower show in Portland every year.

”He just loved flowers,” she said. ”You could always buy for his flower beds.”

His gardens looked nice throughout the year, she said. He invested a lot of time in caring for the flowers and vegetables he grew.

”You wouldn’t find a weed in his gardens,” she said. ”It was something he just enjoyed.

”It was always Debi and I (who took him to the flower show). It’s something that’s going to be missed this year,” she said.


Staff Writer Emma Bouthillette can be contacted at 791-6325 or at:

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Each day the newsroom selects one obituary and seeks to learn more about the life of a person who has lived and worked in Maine. We look for a person who has made a mark on the community or the person’s family and friends in lasting ways.


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