Robert William Dyas passed away on November 10, 2014 at Northcrest Health Care Center in
Ames, Iowa. A Celebration of Life memorial service will be held on December 6th, at 11:00 a.m.
at Grandon Funeral Home. A luncheon will follow the service. Burial will be in the Iowa State
Robert W. Dyas was born on May 4, 1919 in Maquoketa, Iowa, the son of Roy W. and Mary E.
(Weirick) Dyas. In 1935 he graduated from high school in Andrew, Iowa. Robert entered the
U.S. Army on December 5, 1940 and was commissioned as Second Lieutenant in July 1942,
serving in the 42nd Infantry Rainbow Division, including combat in France, Germany, and
Austria from 1944 to 1946. He earned the Purple Heart, the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, and
several combat ribbons. He was separated from service as Major in 1946.
Dyas received B.S. and MLA degrees in Landscape Architecture from Iowa State University
(1946-1953). He taught at Penn State University, 1954-57, and University of California,
Berkley, 1957-58. From 1958-60, he was employed as a landscape architect at Hare & Hare in
Kansas City, MO. Robert W. Dyas was a Professor of Landscape Architecture at Iowa State
University from 1960 until his retirement in 1989 as Distinguished Professor Emeritus. One of
his largest studies while teaching at Iowa State involved a field study (1970-71) of the
Midwest savanna, a region stretching from Canada to Texas.
Dyas received numerous awards including the Outstanding Teacher Award (1969) from Iowa
State University, the L. C. Chadwick Award (1978) from the American Association of
Nurserymen, the Horticulture Merit Award (1979) from the Iowa State Horticultural Society,
the Faculty Citation (1986) from the Iowa State University Alumni Association, and the Silver
Medal (1987) from Tau Sigma Delta for distinction in design education.
In 1956, he married Lorraine E. Roden in Paris, Texas. The couple moved to Ames in 1960
where he joined the faculty at Iowa State University. Robert Dyas was a member of the First
Church of Christ, Scientist in Boston, Massachusetts, and its Ames branch church where he
also served as a reader and board member.
Robert W. Dyas is survived by his brothers, John W. of Maquoketa, Richard H. and his wife Ann
of Eagle Grove, sister-in-law Rosella (Thomas) of Maquoketa, nephews, Willard, Richard,
James and John R., nieces Susan (Jeb) Johenning and Sandra Dyas and many more family
members not named here. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife Lorraine, his
brother Thomas, his nephew Floyd and sister-in-law Doris Dyas.
Memorial contributions may be made to:
Robert W. Dyas Internship, Iowa Natural Heritage Foundation; 505 Fifth Ave Suite 444, Des
Moines, IA 50309
Robert W. Dyas Scholarship, College of Design, Iowa State University Foundation, 2505
University Blvd, Ames, IA 50010
Anderson-Dyas Prairie, Research Farms, Iowa State University Foundation, 2505 University
Foundation, Ames, IA 50010
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