Lydia (Kushnereit) Dyson, 89, of West Hartford, passed away Sunday (Oct. 3, 2021) in the comfort of her home, surrounded by her family after fighting a courageous battle with Parkinson's.
She was predeceased by her husband Sturman F. Dyson, Jr. Born on Dec. 25, 1931 in Montreal, Canada, Lydia was a New Britain resident for 50 years, moving to West Hartford 10 years ago. A graduate of Montreal High School for Girls, she attended McGill University. Lydia was the director of UConn Health Center Family Planning and the New Britain General Hospital Family Planning Clinic from 1975 through 2000, and fought passionately for women's reproductive rights. Lydia was ahead of her time, bringing the culture and sophistication she found as a young person in Montreal to her married life in New Britain, Connecticut. She quickly became a member of the New Britain Junior League, New Britain Garden Club, South Congregational Church, as well as a member and longtime volunteer at the New Britain Museum of American Art. Until her final days, Lydia's style and grace were always apparent. Lydia was a lifelong lover of art, history and language. She was fluent in French and German, was schooled in Latin, and was always ready to discuss a new book in depth. Lydia enjoyed spending time outdoors, whether she was working in her garden, playing tennis, or walking the New Britain reservoir. She was also an avid duplicate bridge player, accompanied by her teammate and long time friend, Mary Krenn. When Lydia's only grandson was born, she hastily rejected the title of "grandmother" or "granny", adopting "Lydie", the name for which she would become widely known by family and friends. To these folks, Lydie was forever an all-knowing counselor and guide, offering answers and advice on any of life's many challenges. When she wasn't helping others, she'd often tell personal stories, using her own misadventures as comedic gold, filling any room with fits of laughter. Surviving are two loving daughters, Wendy Kirkland and husband John Howard of Bloomfield, Robin Ann Dyson of New York City; and a devoted grandson, Colin Kirkland of Somerville, MA. Lydia also leaves a sister-in-law, Ann Grimm of Apopka, FL; a beloved former son-in-law, Bruce Kirkland of Branford; and her loving and cherished caregiver over the past seven years, Beverly Moffatt of East Hartford. We also appreciate the additional support and kindness of her aide Deon Comer and the Hartford Healthcare Hospice team. Lydia was predeceased by a sister, Ella Shulemson. She also leaves several nieces and nephews. A celebration of Lydia's life will be held at a later date. There are no calling hours. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation or to Planned Parenthood. Carlson Funeral Home, New Britain, is assisting the family with arrangements. Please share a memory or note of sympathy with Lydia's family at www.carlsonfuneralhome.com