Cleo Aranetta Dyer


Cleo Aranetta Dyer, age 97, of Niceville, Florida, passed away on Monday, August 28, 2017, in Niceville.

Cleo was born in Franklin, Maine to Dana and Marion (Bragdon) Dyer on February 22, 1920. Her grandparents were Lincoln Claudius & Julia (Grover) Bragdon and George & Aranetta (Laurie) Dyer. Her family moved to Bar Harbor, Maine, where she graduated from Bar Harbor High School in 1938. She graduated as a Registered Nurse (RN) from the Maine Eye & Ear General Hospital in 1942. After graduation, she worked at Stamford General Hospital in Stamford, Connecticut, until she joined the Army Nurse Corps in 1943. After her World War II service, she returned to Stamford and took additional coursework to further her education. She worked as a nurse, bookkeeper and office manager for Dr. Cotton Rawls until his death in 1987, and then as a nurse for Union Trust Bank. In 1999, she retired and moved to Niceville to be near her sister, Wava Ruckel, and family.

Cleo was witty and fun, attracting and maintaining friends wherever she went. She liked to look sharp, color-coordinating shoes and purse with each outfit. She was quite a character, and enjoyed shocking people with her humorous comments. She loved to travel all over the world. After retirement, her favorite thing was to meet friends at “the Club” in Niceville for dinner, drinks, and laughter.

Cleo was predeceased by her parents and eight of her nine siblings: Maxine Cunningham, Julia Davis, Dana O. Dyer, Jr., George R. Dyer, Helen Dyer, William Dyer, Freda White, and Wava Ruckel. She is survived by her sister Lola Abbott of Bar Harbor, Maine; longtime family friend Cotton Rawls, Jr. of Darien, Connecticut; godson Rick Bruno of Simpsonville, South Carolina; special friend John Hayer of Niceville, Florida; numerous nieces, nephews, and friends.

Private services will be held in Maine.

Gifts to honor her memory may be made to the Cleo A. Dyer Nursing Scholarship Fund c/o Northwest Florida State College Foundation at 100 College Blvd, Niceville, FL 32578 or made online at

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