Eugene's Story

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Eugene Lehman Lyon, 88, of Lakeland, Fla., passed away on Jan. 31, 2018, surrounded by his family.
Gene was born Jan. 21, 1930 in Danville, Pa., to Theodore and Mary Lyon of Riverside, Pa.

He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Beverly Capps Lyon, and their children, daughter, Gigi (Lyon) Devanney (John), of Bel Air, Md., and son, Bruce Lyon (Tamara Sakagawa), of Winter Haven, Fla. Gene has five grandchildren, Drew, Danny and Lizzie Devanney of Bel Air, Md. and Raiden and Renzo Lyon, of Winter Haven, Fla. The oldest of three children, he is also survived by younger brothers, Robert Lyon (Anne), of Muncy, Pa., and Charles Lyon (Yvonne), of Palm Harbor, Fla., and three nieces and one nephew.

After graduating from Danville High School in 1947, Gene enlisted in the Air Force and served four years during the Korean War. While stationed at MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa, Gene attended Florida Southern College. After an honorable discharge, he continued his studies at FSC and graduated in 1956 with a degree in history. In 1963, he received his master's degree in education from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pa.

Following retirement from Polk County Public Schools after 28 years as a teacher and administrator, Gene served as the administrator of the Lakeland Rifle and Pistol Club, where he was later honored as a lifetime member. He was a two-term gubernatorial appointee to the Polk County Historical Commission, a member of the South Lakeland Kiwanis Club, member and former president of the now-defunct Lakeland Exchange Club and a 50-year Master Mason. He had a lifelong love of the shooting sports and poured himself into his hobby of firearms collection and appraisal, competitive shooting and firearms training. As an amateur historian and writer, he had many articles published in national periodicals including the American Rifleman and Susquehanna Life. He was an honorary Life Member of the Lakeland Rifle & Pistol Club, served as president for two terms and was on the LRPC board of directors for more than three decades.

A visitation and remembrance will be held Saturday, February 3, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. with service following at 11:30 at Heath Funeral Chapel, 328 South Ingraham Ave., Lakeland, Florida.

Due to his deep love of his time at Florida Southern College, in his memory, the family has established an endowed scholarship for a deserving student pursuing a degree in Education. They suggest that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made to the Eugene Lehman Lyon Scholarship Fund at Florida Southern College, 111 Lake Hollingsworth Drive, Lakeland, FL 33801.

Condolences may be sent to the family at www.heathfuneralchapel.com.
Published on February 1, 2018
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