Schmitz Funeral Homes obituary – Harold H. Dyer, 97, West Point

Harold H. Dyer, 97, of West Point, Iowa, died Tuesday, June 22, 2021.

Harold H. Dyer, 97, of West Point, Iowa, passed away at 1:47 a.m. Tuesday, June 22, 2021, at Great River Medical Center in West Burlington, Iowa.

Harold was born on May 7, 1924 in rural West Point, Iowa, the son of Fred Sr. and Josephine (Groene) Dyer. On August 22, 1953 he married Verna Mae Lord in Burlington, Iowa. She preceded him in death. On November 24, 1990 he married Connie J. Richardson Golob in Vail, Arizona.

He is survived by his wife: Connie; one son: Greg (Michele) Dyer of West Point, Iowa; three granddaughters: Jessica (Frank) Attere of North Liberty, Iowa, Josephine (Brandon) Ledger of Stockport, Iowa and Jayme (Tommy) Dyer Johns of Danville, Iowa; three great grandsons: Liam Attere, Theo Attere and Owen Ledger; one great granddaughter: Emerson Ledger; one brother: Fred Dyer, Jr. of Frisco, Texas and one sister: Jane Dyer Schiltz of Bettendorf, Iowa. Also surviving are numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents; first wife: Verna Mae; one daughter: Ann Rene; one brother: Irvin Dyer and two sisters: Ruth Mehmert and Evelyn Bentler.

Harold graduated in 1942 from St. Mary’s High School as salutatorian of his class. He was founder, president and CEO of Chem Gro, Inc. corporations which included ten full service ag centers in Iowa, Illinois and Missouri, plus three farm corporations until his death. He did not know the meaning of retirement. Second only to his family were those business entities and his employees who were his extended family, that provided his source of enjoyment. 

Harold began his business career as a young man farming with his father during WWII and later with his brothers when they returned from the service. In 1954, he started a small fertilizer business operating with one ammonia tank from the farm located at the corner of X23 and Highway 16, now commonly known as “Dyer’s Corner”. In 1963, he incorporated Chem Gro, Inc. of Houghton with his brother, Irvin, expanding the fertilizer business and adding grain elevators. He later bought out both of his brothers shares in the farm and the Chem Gro entities and continued to expand. He took special pride in his son, Greg and his granddaughters, Josie and Jayme’s successes in their roles in the continued growth of the family corporations and in Jessica’s entrepreneurial endeavors. 

In the late 1970s, he became a part time resident of Arizona and began business ventures there. Between 1978 and 1984, he was chairman of the board and president of three major land development corporations with projects in the Tucson, Arizona area; most notably the Santa Rita Golf Course and Country Club followed by the Santa Rita Bel Aire Estates housing development of over one hundred houses. He sold the golf course in 1984 and continued with the development of Santa Rita Foothill Estates, 1,800 acres, building infrastructure for future development until it was completed and sold. He and his wife Connie maintained a home and real estate investments in Arizona until 2016.

Between 1986 and 2006, he could be seen captaining his ocean cruiser, “The Harry D”, on the Mississippi. He enjoyed hosting many groups of guests – family, friends, customers and employees. “The Harry D” was a common party site cruising in the summer weekends and evenings. He held many fond memories of those days including meeting his wife, Connie, on one of those outings. In Arizona, they enjoyed off-road exploring in their Jeep and excursions into Mexico and beyond.

Harold was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, lifetime member of the Knights of Columbus, member of the original West Point Sweet Corn Festival Committee, founding member of the original B.U.R.P. Club West Point Charter and recipient of the Farm Bureau “Service to Agriculture Award” in 2012.

He was always a farmer at heart, a man of the earth. Nothing gave him more satisfaction than escaping to “exercise his pickup” driving the farm fields to watch the planting, growing and harvesting of crops finding his joy, his peace and spiritual renewal there.

Harold was born in and lived his whole life in the West Point area. He loved his community and its small town pride. He was a constant and long time supporter of community betterment both through Chem Gro and personally financially supporting many projects including: the West Point city parks, the West Point American Legion, the West Point Fire and Rescue, the West Point Library, St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Holy Trinity Schools, etc. He also supported community projects in his other business locations including: City of Houghton, Houghton Knights of Columbus, City of Carthage, Memorial Hospital and Legacy Theater. He also was a supporter of the Mayo Clinic.Friends may call after 1:00 p.m. Thursday, June 24, 2021, at St. Mary of the Assumption Catholic Church in West Point where the family will receive friends from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. that evening.
A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Friday, June 25, 2021, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in West Point with Father Apo Mpanda and Father Dennis Hoffman as con-celebrants. Mass will be live streamed on the church Facebook page and posted on his obituary “Tribute Wall” on our website following the service at: www.schmitzfuneralhomes.com.
Burial will be at Calvary Cemetery in West Point.
In lieu of flowers, memorials have been established in his memory for St. Mary’s Catholic Church or West Point Fire and Rescue.
Schmitz Funeral Home of West Point is assisting the family with local arrangements. Online condolences may be sent to the family at www.schmitzfuneralhomes.com.

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