Dec. 27, 1919-Feb. 6, 2005
WESTBROOK, Maine -- Lillian B. "Bunny" Dyhrberg died on Feb. 6, 2005, at Bay Square in Yarmouth, Maine, after a long illness.
She was born Dec. 27, 1919, in McCook, the daughter of Clarence and Lillie Glahn Bunstock. She attended local schools, graduating from McCook High School. Among her many school year activities, she was the first female drummer in the high school band and orchestra, an early evidence of a love of music, which never left her. Subsequently, she graduated from the Bishop Clarkson School of Nursing in Omaha. There she formed deep friendships, which she kept for the rest of her life.
In 1941, she married Norman E. Dyhrberg, a student at the University of Nerbaska Medical School. They returned to Dr. Dyhrberg's home state of Maine, first to Bangor, then to Gorham and finally, in 1946, settled in Westbrook where they established their home and medical practice over the next 30 years.
Along with assisting her husband with his practice and raising their four sons, she was very active in the community. She was a member of the Cumberland County Medical Association Auxiliary, the Westbrook Parent Teachers Association and, in the 1960s, was elected as the first female member of the church council of Trinity Lutheran Church. She also sang in the Trinity choir for many years. She served as a Cub Scout den mother.
Home, family and church were cornerstones of her life. She raised her sons in values she had learned from her parents: honesty, hard work and concern for others. She kept in close contact with her parents and siblings, making several visits back to McCook and entertaining the Nebraska branch of the family of their visits to Maine. After original diffuculties with the procedure, she became a first rate instructor in the fine art of lobster eating to prairie neophytes.
In the late 1960s and 1970s, she was the constant companion and primary care giver of her husband during his long illness. Together they found spiritual strength which sustained them.
Her husband's death in 1977 opened a new chapter in her life. She became even more active in the community. She was a member of the Westbrook Current Events Club, the Westbrook Historical Society and numerous groups in her church. She reached out to many individuals in need of support, serving as a taxi driver, care giver and friend to the less fortunate. At one point, a friend and recipient of her kindness nominated her for the local Jefferson Award, an unsought but appreiciated gesture.
She traveled extensively during the 1980s and 1990s. She accompanied her son, Bill, to many of his activities throughout the state and New England. While he participated in his pastimes, she provided an audience and support. She made trips to China, Africa, Poland and France, as well as many tours through the United States, often with her sister, Doris. A highlight was the Bunstock family reunion every five years in McCook.
Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren were a special source of joy in her later years. Having raised four sons, the appearance of girls into her life gave her an experience of which she had always dreamed. In turn "Grandma Bunny" brought warmth and fun to the new generations of Dyhrbergs.
Lillian Dyhrberg was a woman of great personal faith, compassion for others and willingness to put her beliefs into practical action. Her life was a testimony to the power of fundamental values and commitment to family, friends and community.
She is survived by her four sons, Larry, John, Bill and Tom, all of the greater Portland area; three granddaughters, Erika, Caroline and Annika; a grandson, Geoff; and two great-grandchildren, Kiersten and Marcus. She was also predeceased by her siblings, Edna, Doris, Robert and Laura. She is also survived by brothers, Richard of Cedar Bluffs, Kan., and William of Chico, Calif.
The family wishes to express their appreciation to the staff of Harbor Unit of Bay Square in Yarmouth and to the CHANs Hospice organization for the steadfast and loving care they gave to our mother and grandma. In the months that she was at Bay Square she touched the lives of many and all reciprocated with true compassion and respect.
As she wished, there will be no visiting hours. A memorial service at 10:30 on Saturday, Feb. 12, will be at Trinity Lutheran Church, 612 Main Street, Westbrook, followed by a reception at the Westbrook High School Cafeteria, 125 Stroudwater Street, Westbrook.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Trinity Lutheran Church Memorial Fund, 612 Main Street, Westbrook, ME 04092 or Huntington's Disease Society of America, 1253 Worchester Road, Suite 202, Framingham, MA 01701.