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Evelyn Hyer and Gertrude Hyer Lillie Collection

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OCPL Archives and Special Collections

Evelyn Hyer and Gertrude Hyer Lillie Collection

About this collection:

➤ Evelyn V. Hyer and her sister Gertrude Hyer Lillie established the Raymond A. and Gertrude D. Hyer Charitable Foundation in honor of their parents, long time residents of 320 North Huron Street on Wheeling Island. 

Gertrude “Bettie” was born on April 26, 1917. She graduated from Wheeling High School in 1935, attended the Elliot School of Business and worked for the Consumer Account Department of Wheeling Electric. Gertrude married Harold “Pat” Lillie, just home from World War II, on August 7, 1945. Harold Lillie served in the war for almost five years and was on the ground in Normandy, Northern France, the Rhineland, the Ardennes, and central Europe, and received the Bronze Star for meritorious service. After the war, he was employed as a salesman for the Jewel Tea Company for 15 years and then worked for the United States Postal Service for 22 years, retiring in 1982. Mr. Lillie died in 1987 at the age of 71. He and his wife enjoyed traveling and for many years they would spend time vacationing in Florida. Gertrude and Pat lived on Romney Road in Wheeling, West Virginia where they rented a simple home. They had no children and there is no record of Pat or Gertrude ever owning their own home. Gertrude continued residing at the townhouse after Pat’s death, requiring two round-the-clock caregivers toward the end of her life, and she died at home in the presence of her caregivers on April 9, 2011 at the age of 94. Through her estate, Gertrude Lillie provided a bequest to her sister Evelyn, with the remainder funding the Hyer Charitable Foundation.

Evelyn Virginia Hyer was born in 1919. She graduated from Wheeling High School in 1937 and worked for the Credit Bureau of the Merchants Cooperative Association in the 1940s. Most of her employment was at the R.P. Harold Agency, an insurance firm in the Methodist Building in Wheeling, from which she retired in July, 1972. Throughout her life, Evelyn lived in the family residence on Wheeling Island and she never married. Evelyn was an avid photographer, compiling hundreds of slides, and contributing her expertise as a member of the board of the Camera Club of Wheeling. She loved dogs, her island garden, baking, and golf. Evelyn also loved to travel, her destinations included Cuba, Canada, London, or anywhere in the United States. The Hyer family often took trips to Ohiopyle and vacationed in Atlantic City, Ocean City, and Myrtle Beach. Evelyn was a member of The Order of the Eastern Star and of the Junior Patrol of the Holy City Shrine No. 1, serving as the secretary in the 1980s. Evelyn also required round-the-clock assistance in the last years of her life and she died at her home in the presence of her caregivers in 2018 at the age of 98.

Gertrude and Evelyn’s father, Raymond Adam Hyer, was born on September 22, 1886 to David and Ida Suter Hyer of Hannibal, Ohio and was employed as a heating engineer for the Wheeling Plumbing and Industrial Supply Company. Their mother, Gertrude (nee Dinger), was born on April 19, 1889 to Daniel and Elizabeth Morris Dinger. Gertrudge Dinger Hyer was a lifetime member of the Thompson Methodist Church and was also active in the Wheeling Scottish Rite, the Osiris Temple, and the Fraternal Order of Eagles, Wheeling Aerie No. 344. Gertrude Dinger and Raymond Hyer married on September 2, 1915. Raymond died in 1966 at age 79 and Gertrude Hyer died in 1980 at age 91. Raymond and Gertrude passed on a significant inheritance to their daughters Gertrude and Evelyn that became the Hyer Charitable Foundation. Gertrude Dinger Hyer also funded a trust with the remainder of her estate which, following the death of Evelyn Hyer, benefitted the Methodist Church and The King’s Daughters Child Care Center.

Evelyn Hyer’s estate provided small bequests to Oglebay Institute and five different local animal humane societies, and bequeathed the remainder of her substantial estate to the Hyer Charitable Foundation. The chartible foundation that they set up during their lifetimes in memory of their parents received the remainder of their estates after their deaths.  This collection consists of their family papers, including correspondence, photographs, ephemera and other items.

➤ Interested in this material? Please use our "Ask an Archivist Form" or call 304-232-0244.


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