Vernelle's Story

YARMOUTH - Vernelle W. "Cappy" Dyer went to be with the Lord peacefully at Bay Square on January 9, 2016, surrounded by his family. Cappy was born on July 29, 1919 in Oakland, Maine to Vernelle, Sr. and Odette Dyer.

At six weeks of age he traveled with his parents on a steam ship to Rangoon, Burma, where his father served as an American Baptist Missionary. Cappy lived in Burma for his first twelve years before returning to the U.S. to attend Stony Brook School in Long Island, and then on to Colby College, where he graduated in 1941 with a degree in economics. Vernelle served as captain of both the tennis and wrestling teams at Stony Brook, where he assumed the nickname, "Cappy." At Colby, he continued the tradition, serving as tennis team captain during his junior and senior years. During his junior year he and his partner won the Maine Collegiate Doubles Championship.

Following Colby, and after beginning his work career at Liberty Mutual, Cappy was drafted into the U.S. Army in September 1941, beginning in the Army Air Force as a radio operator. Following graduation from Officer's Training School at Fort Benning, Georgia, he was sent to the University of Michigan where he graduated from the Military Intelligence Japanese Language School in 1945. After the war Cappy was assigned to the War Crimes Investigation Division in Tokyo, Japan under the leadership of Commanding General Douglas MacArthur. As a civilian army investigator, he was charged with the task to bring war criminals to justice following the Palawan Island Massacre. It was in Japan that Cappy met his first wife, Arbutus Brandenburg, and had his first child, Dee Lynne.

In 1949 Cappy returned to the Liberty Mutual Insurance Company where he worked for forty years, serving as claims manager for the State of Maine, retiring in 1984. He was widely respected by his peers as an expert in the field, but more importantly revered by the people who worked for him as a good, honest man who always treated those in his employ with fairness, compassion, and dignity.

Following the death of Arbutus, Cappy married his wife, Barbara in 1953, enjoying 55 years of marriage at their beautiful home in Yarmouth overlooking Casco Bay. Cappy loved gardening, often spending daylight hours after work in the tomato, corn, and potato patches. He also continued playing tennis where he and his doubles partners won several senior tournaments over the years. Cappy always spent four weeks in the summer harvesting blueberries in Milbridge where he and his children gathered to rake berries in the family fields in Down East Maine. A road in Milbridge leading to land he gave to Dee, Donna and Bruce as a legacy to remember the good times raking blueberries, is aptly named "Cappy's Way."

Cappy is survived by his brother, Henry W. Dyer (Janice) from Greenville, ME, and his three children and their spouses: Dee Lynne and Bob Reich (Vienna, ME), Bruce and Pam Dyer (Westbrook, ME), and Donna and Rick Prybyl (Ithaca, NY). Grandchildren: Caroline, Victoria, Matthew (Uschi), Nathaniel (Janna), and Christopher (Samantha). Great Grandchildren: Manuel, Mark, Mackenzie and Johanna.

The family would like to express their heartfelt thanks to the compassionate and caring staff and residents of Bay Square in Yarmouth, who welcomed Cappy as family over the last two and a half years.

Visiting hours will be on Tuesday, January 12, 2016 at the Lindquist Funeral Home, 1 Mayberry Lane Yarmouth from 4 to 7 pm. A Celebration of Life will be held for Cappy at the Lindquist Funeral Home on Wednesday, January 13 2016 at 10:00 am. Following the service, burial will be at Brooklawn Memorial Park with full military honors.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the American Heart Association of Maine, 51 U S Route 1, Scarborough, ME 04074
Published in Bangor Daily News
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