Willis Sherman Dye, 97, a son of the late Forest Hunter Dye and Cora Fox Dye, was born on April 30, 1915, near Brownsville in Monroe County, Ohio on Northwest Territory land given by grant to the Dye family as payment for military service in the Revolutionary War. His education began in the Pine Knob one room elementary school in Benton Township, and in 1937 he received a Bachelor of Science in Commerce degree from Ohio University. He had completed in excess of a year of graduate credit at Ohio University, Ohio Valley University and the U.S. Navel Training Schools.
Willis taught business classes in Sardinia, Clarington and New Matamoras, Ohio schools before enlisting in the U.S. Navy in World War II. After his military service he taught four years at Bloomfield. He later worked as auditor for the Veterans Administration Hospitals before taking a position with the U.S. Postal Service where he worked a total of 34 years as a post master and rural carrier. He and his wife, Juanita, owned and operated Dye's General Store at Rinard Mills, Ohio for 25 years. After retirement he worked as a tax practitioner only recently closing that business in 2010 at the age of 95. He was self-employed as an oil and gas producer, pumping and maintaining wells on his property into his mid-90's.
He served as a director of Washington Electric Cooperative for 24 years and as an officer with the exception of the first year. Concurrently, he served as a director of the Ohio Rural Electric Cooperative Association, serving in all offices including Chairman of the Board.
For many years he served as president of both the Pleasant Ridge Perpetual Care Cemetery Association and the Jericho Perpetual Care Cemetery Association and was a co-founder of the latter Association.
Membership in other associations included Monroe County Retired Teachers Association, Ohio Retired Teacher's Association, Washington County Retired Carriers' and National Retired Carriers' Associations. After his retirement he was elected and served 10 years as an officer of the Ohio Rural Letter Carriers' Association being the only retired person to serve as a member of the Board of the Association. For over 50 years he had been a member of the American Legion, Post 78, Woodsfield, Ohio and was a charter member in the activation of the Camp Benjamin D. Fearing No. 2, Sons of the Union Veterans, at Marietta. Willis had a strong interest in the events of the Civil War due to the enlistment of his grandfather Benjamin Franklin Dye, who held the rank of corporal in the 116th Ohio Infantry Volunteers and three great uncles who also served.
A member of the George Street Church of Christ, St. Marys, W.Va., Willis was a strong believer in education in a Christian environment resulting in his long-time financial support of Ohio Valley University.
Willis was preceded in death by his parents, one infant brother and one sister, Ruthella, who died as a child; two adult sisters, Martha Rose Cline (98 years) and Lois Alma Graham (103 years); and his wife, Juanita Beryl (Gray) Dye, to whom he was married for 59 years.
He is survived by his brother, Franklin Stolley Dye (95 years); a daughter, Katherine (Paul) Williams of Naples, Fla.; and three sons, Edward (Linda) Dye of Virginia Beach, Va., Sherman (Kathy) Dye of Arundel, Maine and Dennis (Kathy) Dye of Fortson, Ga. Also surviving are nine grandchildren, five step-grandchildren, six great grandchildren and a host of other relatives and friends.
He is also survived by his wife, Vivian Kendall Dye and six children by marriage, Jerry (Debby) Myers of Orlando, Fla., Gene (Patricia) Myers of Reno, Ohio, Roger (Leah) Myers of New Matamoras, Ohio, Ricky (Becky) Myers of Devola, Ohio, Larry (Debby) Myers of New Matamoras, Ohio and Joyce Ann Hill of Canyon Lake, Calif., 10 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.
Funeral Services will be at the Hadley Funeral Home in New Matamoras at 11 a.m. Saturday (Sept. 1) with Arnold Huyghebaert officiating. The family will receive friends at Hadley Funeral Home in New Matamoras on Friday from 4 to 8 p.m. Burial will be in the Pleasant Ridge Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers please consider a memorial gift to one of the following: Ohio Valley University, Vienna, W.Va., the George Street Church of Christ in St. Marys, W.Va. or Marietta Home Health & Hospice, Marietta.
Online condolences may be made at hadleyfh.com