Sylvia (Dyson) Searle

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Sylvia Dyson Searle, 93
SACO - Sylvia Dyson Searle, of Saco, died Sept. 29, 2017, after a short illness.
She was pre-deceased by her husband and best friend of 61 years, William; as well as her sister, Nancy; and a brother, Richard.
Sylvia was born Feb. 8, 1924, in the small farming town of Salem Depot, N.H.
Her parents, Hilda and Raymond Dyson, instilled in her a work ethic and the idea of community service. She was an active member of, and volunteer for, her church, Methuen Methodist. She was in 4-H and was the 1942 valedictorian of Woodbury High School.
During "The War," she took the train to Boston to volunteer with the USO, working especially with wounded sailors.
In 1946, when they were married, the inseparable "Bill and Syl" team was formed -- doing a great many things together, from building a lake cottage in New Hampshire to completely renovating their home at 502 Ferry Road in Saco. They believed in family, faith and community.
For over 30 years, Sylvia volunteered for Sweetser, where she was affectionately known as "Grammy" to generations of children.
Very involved in the Foss Street Methodist Church of Biddeford, she taught and was superintendent of the Sunday School, and led the Women's Society for many years.
She was an active board member of the Biddeford-Saco Council of Churches, the Dyer Library and York Institute, The E & I Union, Camp Laughing Loon, Sweetser, and Maine Home for Boys. She was a longtime volunteer with Meals on Wheels, the Saco Food Pantry and the Webber Hospital Auxiliary, and was a Girl Scout leader.
For her years of service, she received the "6 Who Care" award, and recently Sweetser dedicated the "Sylvia Searle Reading Room" in her honor.
Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays at 502 Ferry Road are cherished memories for four generations of her family, as was the Christmas Egg Nog Party that she and Bill hosted for many years.
During warm weather, when not traveling, they could often be found working in their gardens, enjoying their view of the lower Saco River, or attending grandchildren's sporting or school events.
She is survived by her three children: William Searle (Donna), Meredith Roberts (Bryce), and Gregory Searle (Karen); her eight grandchildren: Andrea Jones, Jodi Searle-Belanger, Lindsay Roberts Perry, AnnKera Jones Carlander, Elizabeth Roberts Sides, Christine Roberts Casterella, Susan Searle Richard, and Robert Searle; 14 great-grandchildren; her first great-great-grandchild; her brother, Allan Dyson; and very special nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to extend heartfelt thanks to the wonderful staff at The Wardwell in Saco, as well as Hospice of Southern Maine.
Per Sylvia's wishes, she is an anatomical donor to UNE. There will be a private family service in the future.
Dennett, Craig & Pate Funeral Home,
365 Main St., Saco, are entrusted with her arrangements.

If desired, memorial contributions may be made in her name to
50 Moody Street
Saco, ME 04072, or
Boston Children's Hospital Trust
401 Park Drive, Suite 602
Boston, MA 02215

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Funeral Home
Dennett, Craig & Pate Funeral Home Inc
365 Main St
Saco, ME 04072
(207) 282-0562
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Oct. 4, 2017
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