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Judith Anne Dyer

February 5, 1940 - March 29, 2018



Judith Anne Dyer, affectionately known as "Judy" to her beloved family and friends, joined a heavenly choir of angels when she passed peacefully from this earth at her home on Maundy Thursday, March 29, 2018 at 1 p.m. She was 78 years old.

Judy is widely remembered for her contagious lifelong enthusiasm for music. She inspired legions to raise their voices in song. As a musical visionary, choir director, soloist, and instructor she had a profound gift to share music and taught literally thousands of people to sing, play piano, and step onto stage for the first time.

Judy was born in Lincoln, Nebraska to Charlotte Mae Lawrence and Leonard Lawrence. The family moved to Bellevue, Nebraska where her father led the Schweser Company and conducted a wide variety of other business pursuits while her mother was a proud homemaker and a dedicated community volunteer. Throughout high school and college Judy performed leading roles in a wide variety of musical theater productions.

Judy graduated with honors with degrees in education and vocal instruction from the University of Nebraska. She moved to Tekamah, Nebraska, where she directed the high school music program and met her husband of 53 years. The newlywed couple moved to Omaha and Judy continued directing music, this time at ArchBishop Rummel High School and the Omaha First Christian Church. 

In 1978 Judy and Dallas moved their family of five to the Willamette Valley in Oregon, where she founded the popular Corvallis Mother Singers and became the Director of Music at the First Christian Church in Corvallis. In 1985, the Dyer family moved to Salem. Judy continued her education at Western Oregon State College, and graduated with a master's degree in Music Education in 1986. Soon after, she became the choir director at Chemeketa Community College and remained there for the next 17 years. In 1992, Judy became Music and Worship Director at the First Christian Church in Salem, a position she held until her passing.

In 1993, in what could be considered the pinnacle of Judy's mission to empower people to make joyous music and show Christ-like love toward each other, Judy founded the Just for Fun Singers. For the next 25 years, the choir grew from its tiny origins of six to nearly 100 dedicated members, and spun out of Chemeketa to become a secular, independent 501(c)3 nonprofit that practiced every Friday morning at the First Christian Church in Salem. Judy energetically directed the choir at 283 concerts between 2005 and 2018, including 12 in December of 2017. 

 

Judy is preceded by her mother and father Charlotte and Leonard Lawrence; daughter Jennifer; and survived by her beloved husband Dallas; son Christopher Jon (Laurie); daughters Carol (Mo), Laurie Beitzel (Russ), and grandchildren Christopher, Joseph, Daniel, Genevieve, Russell.

A Celebration of Life service will take place at 1:00 pm, Saturday, April 14th at the First Christian Church 685 Marion St., NE in Salem, Oregon.

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