SOUTHWEST HARBOR — The sister of a Southwest Harbor man who died earlier this month in a car crash in Ellsworth said he always remained optimistic despite the sometimes troubled life he led.
“My brother did everything with a smile and really enjoyed life even when things got tough,” Michelle Dyer-Fagan said of her brother, Kevin Dyer Jr.
Dyer, who was 28, was the driver and sole occupant of a Toyota sedan that veered off Route 3 near Marden’s on Sept. 11 at about 4 a.m. and struck a tree. Dyer was pronounced dead at the scene.
“We believe he was on the way to my Nana’s house in Southwest Harbor to see her before she went to work,” Dyer-Fagan said. “He had been staying with some friends that night.”
She said hanging out with friends was one of the joys of her brother’s life.
“He made friends wherever he went,” she said.
Dyer-Fagan said her brother was the youngest in the family, which includes two other sisters.
“He was spoiled,” she said. “He definitely was a funny kid. He liked to tease us and get our goat.”
Dyer was 1 year old when the family experienced a tragedy. Their father, Kevin Dyer Sr., was the pilot of a small airplane that crashed in northern Maine on Thanksgiving Day in 1990. He and a passenger died.
Dyer attended Pemetic Elementary School in Southwest Harbor and went on to Mount Desert Island High School but didn’t graduate.
“My brother struggled with drugs and alcohol,” Dyer-Fagan said. “About eight years ago, he got into trouble with the law. That turned his life around a bit.”
Dyer, she added, sought out counseling for those issues. “He was doing well,” she said.
Dyer worked at a number of seasonal jobs. At the time of the accident, he was working at the Bar Harbor Inn at the breakfast buffet.
Dyer, a heavy metal fan, also played drums at one point and was learning to play guitar, his sister said. He also was a favorite uncle to his many nieces and nephews.
“He was one of the kids,” Dyer-Fagan said. “They always adored him.”
Dyer was an animal lover as well and had two cats, Savannah and Welker.
“He always had a soft spot for cats,” she said.
Dyer-Fagan said that was the reason the family asked that, instead of flowers, contributions in his memory could be made to the SPCA of Hancock County.
A memorial service was held Saturday at the Tremont Congregational Church. The turnout illustrated how much Dyer was loved.
“It was a packed house,” his sister said. “It was standing room only.”