Ruth Dyer, sculptor, museum official

Ruth M. Kobler Dyer of Ridgefield, a sculptor and once program director of Parks & Recreation, died Thursday, June 14. She was 79 years old and the wife of Carlus E. Dyer.
A native of Scotland, Mrs. Dyer graduated from the University of Edinburgh, majoring in language and philosophy. During World War II she served with a British intelligence agency, stationed in Egypt, Italy and the Balkans.
She came to the United States in 1946 and began studying art in Florida and at the Silvermine Guild of Artists in New Canaan.
“I had always painted, in watercolor and casein mostly,” she said in a 1977 interview. But a job in a Darien factory that made papier-mâché angels for department store displays led her to a career in three-dimensional art forms.
She took a welding course and discovered metal was her métier.
“There’s a medium for everyone,” she said, “and I found it miraculous that you can take hard material and when it’s hot, you can make it any shape. You have the ability to change it into something unyielding. I like the feeling of solidness.”
In 1970, she married Carlus Dyer, a sculptor who had been her teacher at Silvermine, and the two moved to Ridgefield, setting up a sculpture studio in a small stucco building next to their Bayberry Hill Road home.
Her work, from watercolors to steel sculpture, has been exhibited widely and has won a number of awards. She has done many commissioned sculptures for corporations and private collections. Among her works is the lobby sculpture at the former ITT building at 437 Madison Avenue in New York. She has also created bronze and silver jewelry.
During the 1970s, Mrs. Dyer and her husband were directors of the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield. She has also served as a juror for many exhibits in the region.
In 1977, the National Commission on the Observance of International Women’s Year appointed her to the Committee on Rights and Responsibilities of Women.
In 1981, Mrs. Dyer became program director of the Wilton Parks and Recreation Department, designing and often leading programs for people of all ages, but especially senior citizens. When she retired in 1991, her husband told a gathering saluting Mrs. Dyer: “She’s really been devoted. She cares about the people she’s serving.”
Besides her husband, Mrs. Dyer is survived by two daughters, Karen Reiser and Andrea Bagg.
A memorial service took place Monday at the South Salem Presbyterian Church in Lewisboro, N.Y.
Contributions in her memory may be made to the Bethel Health Care Resident Trust Fund, c/o L. Plumb, 13 Park Lawn Drive, Bethel, CT 06801.
The Kane Funeral Home assisted in arrangements.