Jean Dyer, 89

Cheabague Island, ME



Jean Dyer was born October  21, 1923, the daughter of Clarence and Elva Lombard of Dedham, MA, passed away on May 16, 2012. Jean spent summers on Chebeague Island throughout her childhood.  She was a graduate of Bates College (her father’s alma mater), class of 1943.  Jean served as Secretary of her class from graduation until her death and was also a member of the College Key of Bates College (an honorary organization of loyal and dedicated alumni).  She worked in the publishing industry in Boston before her marriage to Henry Dyer and permanent move to Chebeague Island in 1948.  

In addition to being a devoted wife and mother, Jean will be best remembered for her active engagement in the civic affairs of the island community.   She was an active member of the Chebeague United Methodist Church where she served on numerous committees and as both organist and Superintendent of the Sunday school program and vacation bible school for many years.  Jean taught school on Chebeague in the K-3 classroom for 18 years and finished her teaching career at the E.K. Sweetser School in Cumberland. 

Jean served on the Steering Committee of Casco Bay Island Development Association and, as its President.  When the former operator of Casco Bay Lines declared bankruptcy in 1979, Jean led CBIDA through its successful effort to cause the State of Maine to organize the Casco Bay Island Transit District and to purchase the assets of the former operator of Casco Bay Lines from the bankruptcy trustee.  Jean then represented Chebeague Island on the Transit District’s first Board of Directors.  She continued her active involvement with CBITD by serving on its Operations Committee for many years and Christened the Aucocisco III in 2005.  As President of CBIDA, Jean also led “The Battle of Fort McKinley” during which CBIDA was instrumental in negotiating the City of Portland’s zoning regulations and Planning Board approval which shaped the condominium development now known as Diamond Cove on Great Diamond Island.  At the same time, Jean advocated tirelessly for mainland parking and ferry access for residents of Casco Bay’s island communities.  She served on the Regional Transportation Advisory Committee (“RTAC”) to the Maine Department of Transportation where she stood up for access by islanders to the mainland highway system via the “underwater roads” plied by the ferries operated both by Casco Bay Lines and the Chebeague Transportation Company.

Jean had a passionate interest in preservation of “sustainable island communities” before the phrase was coined.  She was a relentless advocate for the environmental health of Casco Bay serving on the Board of the Casco Bay Estuary Partnership from its inception.  Jean received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Casco Bay Estuary Partnership in 2005 for her work for the protection of Casco Bay.

Jean enjoyed the last 7 months of her life at Chebeague Island Commons.

She is survived by her son Willard Dyer of Chebeague Island

A Memorial Service is planned for May 24, 2012 @ 1:00p.m., Chebeague United Methodist Church,

Chebeague Island, ME.


In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Chebeague United Methodist Church