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Lt. Colonel in U.S. Air Force Fun Loving … Garlic Festival Organizer and Community Supporter ever. We didn’t think he would die because he never gave up,” Diane said. Dyer was very generous with his resources and with his time. His contributions to Gilroy are proof of his dedication to the community, having served as a past President of the Chamber of Commerce, as one of the original organizers of the Garlic Festival, and as a visionary behind the institution of the Gilroy Hall of Fame in 1983. “He was a great friend to many, many, people. And he helped a lot of small business people,” daughter Loni Dyer, said. Dyer’s countless contributions are his legacy to a city he loved. “He loved Gilroy. He felt like it was his town. He got involved. He knew every- body. He just liked making Gilroy better,” Diane said. One of Dyer’s greatest personal achieve- ments came at the age of 70, when he was baptized as a born again Christian. “For him to humble himself to do that was life changing for him, and for me,” Diane said. “Because he tried to live that life, as best he could. That was probably the thing that gave him the biggest surge of peace in his life, knowing that he was going to go to heaven. It gave us all a lot of peace too.” But it was Dyer’s unending dedication to his family that Diane considers her hus- band’s greatest accomplishment. “He always encouraged us to do things that we wanted to do, and not to be afraid. Until his dying day, he was doing that, he was very positive,” Loni said. Rick Dyer, the eldest son, is grateful for the valuable lesson his father instilled in all four of his children. “From an early age he taught us to never give up, that it is good to give back, and that family is everything,” Rick said. “My Dad never gave up on me, and taught me to live my life the same way. I’ll always miss him, but I was blessed to have had him as my father,” youngest daughter, Maura said. As a testament to his dedication to his family, Dyer spent the last year of his life, despite his illness, working with his daugh- ter-in-law, Ruth, compiling his memoirs in a book entitled, “My Story.” “He wanted to start a family history so that his kids, and grandkids, could have it. That’s why he did it,” Diane said. “I think it’s something he was very proud of.” Just weeks before his final stay in the hospital Dyer invited Diane, Loni, Maura, Ruth, and his office manager, Andrea, to lunch. It was February 13 th , and he wanted to take his girls out for Valentine’s Day. When the ladies arrived at the restaurant, already in place at each of their seats, were giant stuffed teddy bears. “He just got this idea that this is what he wanted to do,” Diane said. “It was fun, he was treating us all like we were his Valentine.” For Dyer’s youngest son, Michael, his father was a man about strength, family, and love. As Dyer battled myeloma cancer, a form of bone cancer, Michael was waging his own battle with a similar disease. “While undergoing this extremely devastating journey, Dad not only supported me, but he cheered me on and quite literally held me up and carried me through my treatment and recovery,” Michael said.  “He provided me all his support while he himself was undergoing the ravages of chemo and other life challenges. He was a constant source of strength and motivation.” Weeks before he passed away, Diane GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN MAY/JUNE 2016 Businessman Real Estate Developer took Bob on what they called “their little dates.” As Diane drove her husband through the town of San Juan Bautista she recalls Bob reaching out his hand, and taking hold of hers. “It’s not going to be long now,” he’d said to her. As heartbreaking as it was to hear those words, Diane was comforted with the certainty that her husband was ready. With a catch in her throat, Diane explained. “He was very confident about where he was going to go.” gmhtoday.com 39