Merrimac — Dorothy “Dot” Cloyd, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 at Kindred Country Manor Nursing Home in Newburyport, after a long and happy life.
She was born Dorothy Melvina Amidon on September 27, 1917 in Jamaica Plain, Boston, daughter of the late Walter and Ada Belle (Chapman) Amidon. She was predeceased by her late husband, Arthur Cloyd, a brother, Charles Amidon and a daughter, Shirley Omps.
She attended public school in Jamaica Plain and upon graduating began work at an insurance company in Boston. This is where Dot met Arthur Cloyd who ran Cloyd’s Grille in the same building that she worked in at 40 Broad Street in Boston. They later married and moved to Amesbury. Then in 1947, they finally moved to Merrimac, where her husband, Arthur, started building trailers at what is now the Coastal Metal building on Littles Court. Then they moved to 107 East Main Street, and started a trailer park which is now the site of North Shore Community Park. They continued to build and repair trailers until they sold the park in 1961 and moved to 101 East Main Street, and built a building to build and repair trailers. This building still stands today and houses several businesses. They also purchased, 97 East Main Street, which was the former Skip’s Snack Bar location and which also included a residence where they lived throughout their lives.
In 1949, four couples put together a small parade with a Santa and sleigh and a small car starting at Don and Rita Kimball’s Barn on East Main Street next to Skip's and went to the square and back. Little did they know they were starting a yearly tradition which became the Merrimac Santa Parade. Dorothy was the last surviving original member of that group.
For many years Dot and her husband, Arthur, supported the Merrimac Fire Department by serving coffee and beverages at fire scenes. In 1964, Dot finally got a group together and formed what is now the Merrimac Couplings. Dot was elected as Chief, a position which she held for 18 years. She was having problems with her vision so she stepped down but remained an active member to support the Couplings and Fire Dept.