Eight Bells: Phil Dyer
Published on June 10th, 2020
Philip Rendle Dyer set off on his final journey on May 14, 2020 at age 62. Upon completion of treatment for pancreatic cancer at Dana-Farber, he was cared for in his home by his family and friends, with assistance from Hope Hospice of Rhode Island.
Philip was born into a long line of sailors, artists and adventurers on April 3, 1958 in Cornwall, England and was raised in South Australia.
After a gap year before university, Philip completed his first ocean passage from Australia to the UK. Philip then completed degrees in entomology and horticulture at Adelaide University. While competing in the 1986 America’s Cup Defender Series onboard South Australia with his brother Andrew, he met his wife Sharon and after six months they married. They had two sons, James and Tristan, and settled in Newport, RI.
After working in the marine industry for several years, he transitioned to the corporate world and lived in Australia and Canada before returning to the United States. He founded two landscape and design construction companies; Garden Living Space in Australia and Dyer Design in Rhode Island. He received awards such as a Bronze at the Melbourne International Garden Show, and the Doris Duke Historic Preservation Award through the Newport Restoration Foundation.
Philip was a master solo kayaker. At the age of 40 he ran a half marathon and then at age 50 a full marathon. He continued boat racing, both long and short distance races on Temptation and on the 12 meter Victory. Both crews expressed deep admiration and respect for Philip, not only because of his skill as a sailor and mentor, but for the great yarns he would tell on the long night watches. Philip was an active member with the New York Yacht Club as well as Ida Lewis and Storm Trysail.
Philip also restored his beloved 1804 home and garden in Wickford, RI. He was designing and planning until the very end of his life. While a man who lived many lives in one, he was above all a dedicated family man, and nothing compared to the love and admiration he had for his sons James and Tristan.
Besides his wife Sharon and his sons, he leaves his brother Andrew (Nicky), his brother in law Jack Sheehan (Val), sister in law Kathleen Sheehan Perrone (Steven), sister in law Patricia Sheehan, and Maureen Sheehan and her partner Mike, along with his nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews. He loved them all deeply. Philip was predeceased by his sister Christina Cooke (Richard), and his mother and father Barbara and Michael Dyer.
The family plans to hold a garden party celebration of his life at their home in Wickford RI, where all who knew him will be welcome once the current restrictions are over.