Raymond L. Dyer, 86, the last owner of the former Dyer's Chop House in downtown Toledo, a storied lunch and suppertime landmark frequented by the city's elite, died Monday in the Hospice of Northwest Ohio, Perrysburg Township.
The cause of death was emphysema, his son, Raymond, Jr., said.
Situated in the 200 block of Superior Street, the chop house was known for its fresh lobster and seafood and served generations of Toledo civic and business leaders.
Whenever celebrities such as entertainer Bob Hope or boxer Jack Dempsey came to town, they often dined there too.
Mr. Dyer was involved with the restaurant for nearly 50 years, beginning in 1939 when he began working under his father, the late Louis Dyer. "The first thing I did was sweep the floor," Mr. Dyer told The Blade in 1989. "I've done everything except play the organ."
He and his brother, the late Joseph Dyer, bought the restaurant from their father in 1960. Mr. Dyer continued to run the chop house after his brother's death until 1993, when it closed after a period of decline that Mr. Dyer had said reflected the fortunes of downtown Toledo. The building was razed in 1999.
"He was very outgoing, very friendly, and very dedicated - not just to his own restaurant, but in the industry," said Mary Alice Powell, former food editor for The Blade. "It was a one-of-a-kind fish and seafood house. It was never replaced."
A graduate of DeVilbiss High School, Mr. Dyer served in the Army Air Force during World War II. In 1947, he married his first wife, Annetta Riek. After she died in 1971 he married Lucille English, who died in 2006.
Surviving are his son, Raymond, Jr.; brother, Arthur; sisters, Dorothy Eckert and Alice Wilson; stepson, Gerry Traucht; stepdaughter, Linda Bye, and three grandchildren.
There will be no visitation. A memorial service is set for 1 p.m. Friday in the Coyle Funeral Home, where the family will receive visitors at noon Friday.
The family suggests tributes to the Hospice of Northwest Ohio or Epiphany Lutheran Church in South Toledo.