Cover photo for Thomas McCormick Dyer "Mac"'s Obituary
Thomas McCormick Dyer "Mac" Profile Photo
1942 Thomas 2022

Thomas McCormick Dyer "Mac"

July 7, 1942 — November 20, 2022

Thomas McCormick Dyer was born July 7, 1942, in Pomona, California. He was known by the name Mac Dyer. Mac graduated with honors from California Polytechnic State University with a degree in Industrial Engineering with a minor in Electrical Engineering. While at Cal Poly in 1962, Mac created Robby the Robot as a publicity stunt. Robby was 6 feet tall and weighed 150 pounds with 3,400 feet of wire, a computer, a control panel plus a myriad of transistors, tubes, motors, relays and switches. Robby moved around the sidewalk and talked to people from a programmed tape with his mouth moving. Robby could open his hands and grasp objects. His computer was programmed to play tic-tac-toe.

Mac met his wife Jan at Cal Poly, and they were married on August 7, 1965. Shortly after the Vietnamese War broke out, Mac was ordered to active duty as a Second Lieutenant U.S. Army Reserve, a commission he had obtained through ROTC while at Cal Poly. Mac was sent to Maryland for Officer Basic Training and then graduated from U.S.N Explosive Ordnance Disposal Center and School. Mac was promoted to Captain during his tenure with the Army. Mac served as the Commanding Officer of the 75th Ordnance Detachment, Explosive Ordnance Disposal at Selfridge Air Force Base in Michigan.

When he left active duty, Mac returned to California to apply his knowledge of pyrotechnics in the Aero Space Industry before pursuing a career in Industrialized Housing. In 1973, Mac went to work for Pacific Modern Homes, Inc (PMHI) ultimately becoming President and one of the owners. Even though Mac retired and sold his interest in PMHI over 10 years ago, Mac was still consulting for PMHI up until he passed away.

Mac had two children with Jan. Teresa was born in 1967 and married Kevin Grindy in 1992. Debra was born in 1970 and is divorced but maintains her married name of Debra Sawyer. Both Teresa and Debra celebrated Mac’s 80th birthday with him in July this year. Mac had three grandchildren Kayla Grindy age 26, Samantha Sawyer age 20 and Jessica Sawyer age 16.  Kayla married Wil Brutke in 2021.

For the last 25 years, Mac had an amazing relationship with Phoebe Hsu and her son Max. Mac and Phoebe continued to travel regularly to various places around the world. Mac and Phoebe were to be on a Viking River Cruise this week in Panama. Mac will be buried at East Lawn in Elk Grove near Phoebe’s parents.

Mac was very active with his faith. He served as a Deacon for years at Carmichael Presbyterian Church when Teresa and Debra were growing up. For the past several years, Mac helped to live stream the Elk Grove Presbyterian Church services each week.

Friends are invited to attend a Memorial Service at 10:00 am on Saturday, December 3, 2022 at the Elk Grove Presbyterian Church, 8153 Elk Grove Blvd., Suite 50.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Thomas McCormick Dyer "Mac", please visit our flower store.


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