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William Dyer, 83

OTIS, Mass. — William (Bill) Herbert Dyer died Nov. 15, 2020, at home surrounded by his family after a long fight with an autoimmune disease. 

Bill was born June 11, 1937 in Springfield to Margaret (Maggie) and Edwin (Ed) Dyer.  At the age of 7, Ed and Maggie moved the family to Algerie Road in East Otis. Bill, his older brother Eddie, and his good friend Walt Neff spent their youth hunting, fishing and playing in the woods and streams of East Otis.

Bill went to grammar school in a small, one-room schoolhouse in East Otis. He then attended Lee High School in Lee, graduating in 1955. After high school, Bill attended the University of Vermont for several semesters.

Bill eventually met the love of his life, Diane Leibowitz, at a local Friday night dance in Otis.  Diane and her family were from Brooklyn, NY, but spent many weekends at their cottage in Otis. They were married on March 5, 1960, at Jug End Resort in Egremont. 

Bill then went to work at NCR (National Cash Register). He and Diane lived in Westfield and Ohio until 1965 or so when they decided to move to Otis permanently and raise their young family. Once in Otis Bill started his own excavation business, Dyer Excavating, which he ran for almost 50 years before retiring last year.  

An avid outdoorsman, Bill loved to hunt and fish. He always wanted to be outside. Bill also dearly loved Vermont. He and Diane spent many hours driving throughout the state looking for deer and enjoying each other's company.  Later in life, Bill took up saltwater fly fishing. He and the family spent lots of time on Martha's Vineyard where he made many friends.    

Well-known throughout Otis and the Berkshires for his kindness and generous soul, Bill would help anyone, at any time of the day or night.  Many people have stories of how Bill changed their lives.  And many considered him a second father.  

More than anything, Bill loved his wife, children, and his grandchildren. He did anything and everything for them.

Bill leaves behind his wife and best friend of 60 years, Diane, along with his children Steven Dyer (Sherry) of Mt Pleasant, N.C.; Gregory Dyer (Kathy) of Otis; Jennifer Windram (Chris) of Housatonic; and Hillary Howard of Housatonic, and his grandchildren Ethan Dyer, Zackary Dyer, Hunter Dyer, Sophia Howard, Jay Howard, and Larkin Howard.  Bill also leaves behind his older brother, Edwin Dyer of Lenoir, N.C., along with brother-in-law Bill Riiska of Sandisfield, his sister-in-law, Lee Hawley of Otis, and his former son-in-law, Mike Howard of Otis. Bill was predeceased by his parents, Margaret and Edwin Dyer, his sister Barbara Riiska, and his infant son, William Jeffery Dyer. 

Funeral Notice: Due to COVID-19 there will be no calling hours or funeral for Bill at this time.  The family will plan a memorial for him at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to Hospice Care of the Berkshires, in care of Kelly Funeral Home, 3 Main St., Lee, MA 01238.       

If you would like to leave a message of condolence or share pictures with the family, please visit our web site at

Obituary Provided By: Dery Funeral Home

Recollections & Sympathy For the Family
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Though I never knew Mr. Dyer, his obituary was a wonderful account of a great man. I would have loved to have met him. Please accept my sincere condolences.
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