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Juneau-Douglas City Museum


Dyer, Robert & Violet

by Violet Dyer
UID=844


Robert Dyer, son of Albert and Mary Dyer, came to Petersburg, Alaska, with his parents in 1923. He married Violet L. Dodge in Seattle in 1941. She received her education from Spokane County to become a Registered Nurse. He received his education in Scow Bay, Seward, Anchorage and college at Fairbanks and U. of Washington.

They came to Alaska for their honeymoon on the Alaska Steamship Aleutian. While at the stop in
Ketchikan, they gathered the material to build a kite, which they flew off the stern of the ship. Soon a group of passengers gathered to watch so they gave the kite to the youngsters in the crowd.

Vi was a housewife in Anchorage and they lived on Bob’s parents homestead near Sand Lake. They hauled water to their home. Bob worked as a carpenter building the barracks at Fort Richardson. In the fall of 1941, they went to Fairbanks where Bob was a student and Vi was a nurse at St. Joseph Hospital.

In the spring of 1942, they were trained to be radio operators for the CAA and stationed in Juneau. While they were there, a duel engine aircraft took off from the airport on just one engine intending to “fan” the other engine to start it. Luckily the pilot had the passengers get out before he took off. He couldn’t get the second engine to start, in fact the first engine started to miss. He flew under the Douglas Bridge and eventually crashed by Marmion Island.

Bob was drafted in 1944, and sent to the China, Burma and the India Theater. Vi worked in the office of a doctor in Moscow, Idaho. When the war was over they returned to Seattle where Bob graduated with a degree in professional accounting. In 1950, through 1955, Bob was the accountant for Keku Canning Co. at Kake, Alaska, and Vi was the cannery nurse.

In December 1955, they returned to Juneau and Bob started his own business. At first Vi worked at the Alaska Native Hospital, but later, in his office as receptionist. The ANS was where the Federal Building parking lot is now. One of Bob’s clients was in the position of Legislative Auditor which he held for thirteen years.

Juneau was a small town, six to seven thousand people, so one knew almost everyone. The Dyers were active Pioneers, Elks, Methodist Church, DAR, Quota Club, Hospice, and the Juneau Planning & Zoning Committee. It was a nice town in which to raise their children, Patricia and Bonnie. Patricia lives in Fairbanks and Bonnie in Castle Rock, Washington. Both are married and active in their careers as accountant and minister, respectively.


The Robert Dryer family.