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Obituary of David Lyons
EUGENE-It is with great sadness that the family of David R. Lyons announces his passing. David was born in Eugene, Oregon on November 4, 1938 at the original Sacred Heart Hospital. He was the son of Harold and Ellen Lyons. He was 84 years old and passed on February 10, 2023.
David was raised in Eugene and his education included: Frances Willard grade school (kindergarten-grade 6), Woodrow Wilson Jr. High (grades 7-9), and Eugene High School (grades 10-12) where he graduated with honors. He later graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Oregon’s Business school with a degree in Marketing. He went on to New York University where he studied merchandising and attained a master’s degree in the School of Retailing. After an internship in New York City with Federated Department Stores, he returned to Eugene to take the helm of his father’s enterprise, which opened during the years of the depression. Lyons Fine Furniture Store was a fixture at 1203 Willamette St. for over 50 years.
As a child, David enjoyed sports and the great outdoors. He played basketball, baseball, golf, and water skied. He loved watching the University of Oregon’s football and basketball teams. He joined the Boy Scouts where he learned to hike and camp. He traversed the state from the beaches to the high Cascades. One winter day at scouting camp, he tried snow skiing, and he was enthralled! Little did he know he had discovered the sport he would revel in for the rest of his life; much later becoming the president of the University of Oregon’s Ski Team and Club. For nearly 60 years when February rolled around and the powder began to fly, David would be off for “The Valley” (Sun Valley, Idaho) to join his many friends from Eugene, Seattle, and Europe. Each year they gathered for fellowship and incredible skiing on Mt. Baldy.
During the winter months he spent any spare time he found on the mountains. His love for skiing was intense. He skied locally, including Willamette Pass, Hoodoo, Mt. Hood, and Mt. Bachelor. His all-time favorite was Sun Valley, Idaho. When Eugene snowbirds headed South for sunshine, he was preparing to head North or West for sunshine and snow. He loved taking Teri and his kids skiing; they always enjoyed the slopes with Dad and learned much from him about the sport.
He loved to travel. His early trips were taken with his parents and family friends to see the natural wonders of the west including Yellowstone, Bryce Canyon, The Grand Canyon and Zion National Parks. Of particular interest was a trip he made with friends and family near the end of World War II. They sailed to Honolulu and spent time on a secluded Waikiki Beach (prior to the existence of any large hotels). Even more exhilarating was the voyage; he rode the steamer Lurline for a week while watching for rogue Japanese submarines still hunting for commercial shipping in the Pacific. Later in life, David spent time at hostels, and even a convent. He travelled the world with his wife Teri, visiting London, Paris, Rome, Istanbul, Athens, Buenos Aires and many other destinations. Although he loved traveling, it also reminded him of how much he treasured Eugene.
David had a flair for music. His father was a barbershop singer and David liked to sing along. He attended a Sons of Norway festival with his grandparents and became intrigued by his ancestry. At the age of eight, he decided to play the accordion. Playing the accordion and skiing would eventually fit together for a lifetime of enjoyment.
David was a Rotarian for decades and served on the board of directors of the Oregon Trail Council of the Boy Scouts of America where he initially acted as Treasurer and 30 years later as President. He was awarded the Silver Beaver by the Oregon Trail Council, an award given “In recognition of his exceptional character and distinguished service.”
David served honorably in the United States Airforce during the Vietnam War as a Medical Services Specialist with the 40th AEROMEDICAL EVACUATION SQUADRON out of Portland International Airport, flying medevac missions carrying wounded soldiers on the C-119 & HU-16 Albatross cargo transports between Cam Rahn Bay and the American hospital in Japan. He was proud of his service, but due to his humble nature and the difficult things he witnessed, he rarely spoke of it.
Most importantly he was a man of great integrity, a family man, never too busy to take time to coach, console, or counsel his children, in childhood and adulthood. He had a generous spirit and put the welfare of his family above his own. By all measures he was the epitome of a true gentleman, a man with whom confidences were safe and unconditional love was always the standard. He was our North Star, and we will miss him tremendously.
He is survived by his wife of nearly 44 years, Teri Lyons, of Eugene, Oregon. His daughters Katy Lyons (Daughter of Anne Fabian), of Sandy, Oregon (Guy Shinagawa) and Ashley Lyons (Daughter of Teri Lyons) of Eugene, Oregon and sons Doug Lyons (Son of Anne Fabian) of Madison, Mississippi (Neely Carlton Lyons) and Burns (Son of Anne Fabian) of West Linn, Oregon (Jennifer Lyons). Also, his grandchildren: Alexandra Rains, Melissa Lyons, Claire Lyons, Emily Lyons Hodges, Mackenzie Beaumont, Samantha Lyons, and Michael Lyons. And three great grandchildren: Odin Beaumont, Skadi Beaumont, and Max Hodges.
It was David’s wish to leave the Boy Scouts of America a sizable donation upon his death. Anyone wishing to honor David, may donate to the Boy Scouts. David’s Celebration of Life will be held at 4pm on April 1st, 2023 at the Eugene Country Club. His family welcomes family and friends to join them in their commemoration of his life.