Mary Katherine “Kay” Dyer


From Staff Reports

Mary Katherine “Kay” Dyer, who broke barriers for women in journalism, and became an editor at Oklahoma City and El Reno newspapers, has died.

Dyer, 92, died Monday, June 15.

Born in Oklahoma City June 11, 1928, she was the daughter of Ray and Helen Dyer. A graduate of El Reno High School, she attended the University of Kansas where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Journalism.

She was the first woman promoted to city editor at The Oklahoman and Times in Oklahoma City. She stayed in touch with several younger journalists she had mentored through the years.

She was known as a tough but fair editor.

After 21 years with OPUBCO, she joined her family’s newspaper, The El Reno Daily Tribune. She served as news editor, publisher and editor before retiring in 1990.

Dyer served on the advisory board for the Ethics and Excellence in Journalism Foundation, and is a member of the Oklahoma Journalism Hall of Fame. She was honored with a Ford Foundation Urban Journalism Fellowship, and is recognized as one of Oklahoma’s most talented journalists.

She said one of the highlights of her career was covering the struggle for civil rights led by Clara Luper in Oklahoma City.

Dyer was a volunteer with Birth Choice and involved in literacy efforts. She was instrumental in helping with the reopening of Sacred Heart Catholic School in El Reno.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Ray and Helen Dyer; her brother, Jack Dyer; cousin, Pat Armstrong; and dear friend, Ivy Coffey.

Survivors include her sister-in-law, Pat Dyer; nieces and spouses, Shanon (David) Eaton, Kelly (Chris) Fry, Tricia (Tod) Hobson, Erin (Daniel) Thompson and Teresa (Jim) Kaufman; nephews, Ray Dyer and Sean (Donna) Dyer; a number of great-nieces and nephews.

Mass of Christian Burial was Thursday, June 18 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church, El Reno. A wake was Wednesday, also at the church.

For those seeking to contribute in her name, the family suggests memorials to Sacred Heart Catholic School, 210 S. Evans, El Reno, Okla. 73036.