Funeral Services for Elizabeth “Betsy” Hartmann Dyer, 74, of Greenville will be held at First Presbyterian Church in Greenville 11:00 a.m. Tuesday, March 26, with the graveside service to follow in the Greenville Cemetery. She died peacefully at home surrounded by her family on Saturday, March 23. Services are under the direction of Boone Funeral Home, Greenville and officiated by Doctor Bob Sharman.
Mrs. Dyer was born in Trenton, New Jersey to the late Edward Francis and Lucine Marie Gropp Hartmann on November 9, 1944. She received her early education in Catholic schools in New Jersey, and graduated with a B.S. in Biology from Dunbarton College in Washington, D.C. in 1966. Immediately upon her graduation she was employed by Shell Oil in Princeton, New Jersey- as an analyst. She was one of the few women at that time ever to be employed in such an important position. She was introduced to her future husband, Gaines Stockton Dyer, in 1967 by her college roommate. Gaines and Betsy married on August 16, 1969. Upon the Dyers return to Mississippi, Mrs. Dyer received a fellowship from the National Science Foundation to obtain her Master’s degree in Biology.
Mrs. Dyer is survived by her husband, Gaines S. Dyer, their daughters Elizabeth Dyer Lewis (West, III) of Memphis, Tennessee and Dianne Dyer Fields (Russell) of Atlanta, Georgia, and their grandchildren Anne Hartmann Lewis, West Lewis IV, Wyatt Fields, and Dyer Fields. Mrs. Dyer is also survived by her sisters, Patricia Ann Embley and Mary Jo Hartmann, both from Hamilton, New Jersey, and several nieces and nephews.
Betsy shared her talents with Greenville in notable volunteer positions. She was a member of the Little Greenville Garden Club, the Junior Greenville Garden Club, and was a contributing sustaining member of the Greenville Garden Club until the day she died. She loved gardening and horticulture, and planted her own garden with beautiful future specimens destined to win blue ribbons in flower shows. Her flower arrangements graced the chancel of First Presbyterian Church for decades, and her beautiful creations were stunning centerpieces for hostesses’ dining tables all over the Delta whenever there was cause for a gathering or celebration.
She enthusiastically welcomed the age of computers and quickly mastered applications that produced dozens of annual yearbooks and flower show schedules for the Garden Clubs, as well as the Kings Daughters and Sons Circle #2. She served as board secretary for Delta Cotton Belles and was an active volunteer usually found at the Tributes table at every DCB Tennis Tournament. Her invitations and donor acknowledgments for countless civic events and parties became legend. She was also a Life member of the Greenville Junior Auxiliary. Since its inception fifteen years ago, Betsy was a creative decorator for the First Presbyterian Church’s Mardi Gras Madness each Monday evening before Lent begins. Her initial design for the entire venue was the template for all the MGM’s to follow.
Most recently, she was a charter member of the Community Foundation of Washington County, Inc. and was recording secretary for a four-year term, while also serving on several committees, most notably Early Childhood Education, where she continued to actively contribute after rotating off the Board of Directors.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Community Foundation of Washington County, Post Office Box 5910 in Greenville Mississippi, 38704, or to a charity of the donor’s choice. Serving as pallbearers are: Judge Rhesa H. Barksdale, Edward J. Bogen, John C. Buntin, Roy D. Campbell III, John H. Cox III, John H. Daniels III, Charles J. Swayze Jr., Frank S. Thackston, Jr. Stephen L. Thomas, and Lawrence D. Wade.