News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Laurence Alan Dyer - August 30, 1928 - March 19, 2023

Laurence Alan Dyer, a lifelong resident of Central Oregon, passed away peacefully at the age of 94, surrounded by many members of his beloved family. Laurence was a truly kind and caring person, who, in his own words, “led an honest and productive life.”

Laurence was born on August 30, 1928, alongside his identical twin brother, Loren Dyer, in Bend, Oregon, to Hooper and Irene Dyer. Laurence’s grandfather Howard Dyer homesteaded in Millican in 1912, later moving into Bend. Laurence attended Allen School in Bend and then graduated from Bend High School in 1947. He attended some of the very first classes offered at Central Oregon Community College when it opened in 1949 and continued to seek new learning opportunities throughout his life. His very first job was making ice cream at the Meadow Land Dairy in Bend and in his youth was also a bellhop at the old Pilot Butte Inn in Bend.

In 1950, Laurence met the love of his life, Betty Haglund, while he was picking up his younger sisters from school in Bend. Laurence and Betty were married on June 29, 1951, at the Bend Methodist Church. Shortly after they wed, Betty’s father passed away, and they moved together to Camp Sherman to help run her family’s business at the Metolius River Resort.

Laurence then began to work for Leonard Lundgren at the House on Metolius in Camp Sherman and did so for the next 34 years. According to Laurence, he “never had a job, just more of an adventure.” Laurence and Betty raised their three children in Camp Sherman, and in addition, he became “dad” to many of the Lundgren children and other family members along the way.

After his retirement from House on Metolius in 1985, Laurence and Betty moved from Camp Sherman to Sisters, where he began a successful real estate career, first as principal broker in the real estate division of Black Butte Ranch. Then, in 1992, Laurence, alongside his two sons, founded Ponderosa Properties, a real estate and property management firm in Sisters, which his family still owns and operates today.

Laurence, Betty, and their children enjoyed recreating outdoors all over Central Oregon. In the winter the family could be found skiing at Hoodoo and Mt. Bachelor, and in the summer they often went camping and waterskiing on the local lakes, in boats that Laurence built himself. Laurence also traveled in his work with Leonard Lundgren, and in his words, “When I got up in the morning, I never knew where I was going to be that night.” Frequent family trips to Hawaii filled later years with much fun and adventure.

Laurence’s joy in life was working with his hands.

He was a lifelong master woodworker, a skill he developed in woodshop classes at Bend High and at COCC in the late 1940s.

Throughout his life, Laurence built everything: beautiful wood furniture (including multiple grandfather clocks and furniture for his family), five boats (one of which is still on the water today), houses, and in his retirement, delicately detailed wooden jewelry boxes (which he often gifted to local charities, friends, and family).

He loved to work with exotic wood from Hawaii, such as koa and mango, and always worked from designs that existed only in his head.

His patience, attention to detail, and appreciation of art and beauty can be seen in each of his pieces.

Laurence was a loving and devoted husband to Betty for 63 years until her death in 2014. He is now at peace that he is reunited with the love of his life. He was a beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and friend to all that knew him — his family is so very blessed to have had him in their lives. He will be deeply missed.

Laurence is survived by his children, Rad Dyer of Camp Sherman, Debbie and Chuck Newport of Sisters, Kevin and Debbie Dyer of Sisters; grandchildren Beau, Towner (Melanie), Kelsey (Nathan), Nick, Acacia (Greg), and Andrew (Kenndra); great grandchildren Hayes, Wyatt, Adelynn, Sage, and Rowe; and three sisters, Nancy Ingram of Bend, Helen Hemingway of Pineville, Louisiana, and Ann Divita and husband, Fred, of Eugene.

Laurence is also survived by many nieces, nephews, and friends whom he loved dearly and always considered family, and he always held a special place in his heart for the children of the Lundgren family: Shane, Cindi, Jill, Janie, Kim, and Kendra.

Laurence is preceded in death by his parents, Hooper and Irene Dyer, twin brother Loren Dyer, and oldest sister, Donna McKie.

A celebration of life will be held in early summer on the Metolius River.

In memory of Laurence, please consider contributions to Partners In Care (2075 NE Wyatt Ct., Bend, OR 97701), The Deschutes Land Trust Metolius Preserve Memorial Fund (210 NW Irving Ave., Ste. 102, Bend, OR 97701) and to The Peaceful Presence Project in Sisters (


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