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Darnell Dyer

March 14, 1930 — May 15, 2024


Darnell Dyer

Darnell Dyer, age 94, passed away on Wednesday, May 15, 2024, at the Thomas Upham House in Medfield, Massachusetts, surrounded by his loving family. Born in Clarendon, Arkansas on March 14, 1930, he was the son of the late Algie and Bertie (Harris) Dyer. Darnell was an Arkansas farm boy who grew up working on his Aunts farm, tending to and riding horses like his favorite stallion “Tony” as well as riding and working with mules, corralling them with the help of his dog Major. In addition to activities on the farm, he was often found helping at his mother’s restaurant in Clarendon. In his free time he enjoyed roller skating at the town rink and fishing in the Whiter River near the levy. Darnell attended Clarendon public schools and was elected his Class President prior to his graduation from Clarendon High School in 1950.

Upon graduation, Darnell enlisted in the United States Navy, proudly serving his country. He was first stationed at Whiting Field in Milton, Florida before transferring to Kingsville, Texas. From there Darnell boarded the U.S.S. Salerno Bay and worked on the fleet aircraft service squadron. His travels with the Navy brought him to Quonset Point in Rhode Island where, when out on shore leave, he spotted a lovely woman at a dance hall with whom he fell head over heels in love with.

Darnell married the love of his life, Dorothy M. O'Connor, on June 27, 1954, in Boston, Massachusetts. He was honorably discharged from the Navy four short months later, and the young couple made their married home in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts where they would start a family. Darnell started employment with a local fire extinguisher business, learning the ins and outs of the industry.

In 1958, Darnell moved his young family to the neighboring city of Roslindale, Massachusetts, where they would settle comfortably into the neighborhood. The family joined the local Sacred Heart Catholic church, attending every Sunday for Mass. Darnell would make many friends over the years in his community, becoming a friendly and welcome face to multiple generations on his block. He was a generous and kind man, and his neighbors knew that if they needed a helping hand, Darnell would be there to assist them without hesitation.

After years of working for various fire extinguisher companies Darnell struck out on his own, founding Alert Fire Equipment, providing the goods and know how to both businesses and homes alike, ensuring that people and their properties were protected with the best he the business could offer. Darnell enlisted the assistance of his wife Dorothy, as well as his two children, Mark and Diane, to help with the new company, teaching his children the importance of a strong work ethic and showing them how to run a successful business. His family's effort paid off and his business grew, with Darnell running it until his retirement around the start of the new millennium.

Darnell eventually gained another title in his life, in addition to that of father and business owner, and that was the title of Grandfather. Darnell loved kids, so when he heard the news that he would be a grandfather he was overjoyed. Distance could not dampen his love, as he would often travel to Maine to visit with his grandson, building forts and having picnics at Seawall in the Acadia National Park and spending time together.

In his free time, Darnell enjoyed a variety of hobbies including playing the harmonica. From an early age, Darnell loved to dance. Whether it was ballroom, dance hall, square dancing, or just dancing around the living room, his feet were always moving, often with a smiling Dorothy in his arms while he sang her a Hank Williams or Tommy Dorsey tune. Darnell also loved to camp. He would travel with his family all over New England, finding the perfect spot to camp in each of the states. Back at home, Darnell loved to tinker and build things. He crafted many custom pieces of furniture over the years including stereo cabinets, end tables, and hope chests, sharing them with family and friends. He would often be found working on his car or making improvements to his house, and his benevolence led him to do the same for his neighbors. Darnell liked to garden, beautifying his house while relaxing his mind. To unwind, he enjoyed watching old westerns, relaxing with one of his many cats or dogs that the family had rescued over the years.

Darnell's family would like to thank and acknowledge the skilled and compassionate staff at the Thomas Upham House in Medfield. His time there made him feel like he was at home, welcomed and cared for.

Beloved husband of Dorothy M. Dyer

Loving father of Mark Dyer, and his wife Susan Connolly, of Bass Harbor, Maine, and Diane D. Pirro, and her husband Richard, of Norfolk

Cherished grandfather of Ryan Dyer of Bar Harbor, Maine

Brother of the late Algie "Junior" Dyer, Eddie "Toby" Dyer, Robert S. "Sanford" Dyer, and Floyd "Jit" Stubblefield.

Relatives and friends are kindly invited to attend Darnell's Mass of Christian Burial that will be celebrated on Tuesday, May 28th, 2024, at 10:00 AM in Saint Jude's Catholic Church, 86 Main Street, Norfolk. Interment will follow at Mount Benedict Cemetery, 409 Corey Street in West Roxbury.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Darnell's name may be made to the St. Libre Indian School at 112 St. Libre Campus Drive, Ashland, Montana 59003 or by visiting

Arrangements by James H. Delaney & Son Funeral Home, Walpole.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Darnell Dyer, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Mass of Christian Burial

Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

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