JOHN FRANCIS LYONS

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JOHN FRANCIS LYONS - BENNINGTON - John F. Lyons, 84, of Bennington, died peacefully at his home on Nov. 12, 2013, following a long illness. He was born Sept. 24, 1929, in Lisbon Falls, Maine. He was the son of the late James T. Lyons and Edna (Smith) Lyons. He attended public schools in Lisbon Falls, and was a graduate of Lewiston (Maine) High School. He attended Brown University, graduating in 1951 with a degree in economics. He was a member of Delta Phi Fraternity. Following graduation, John served in the U.S. Army as a forward observer with the 2nd Infantry Division in the Korean War. He was honorably discharged in 1953 following conclusion of the war, as a 2nd Lieutenant. He married the former Claire Schoenfeld on Aug. 26, 1955, at Sacred Heart Church in Bradford, Mass. In 1955, he began a 40year career in the insurance industry. He worked for Liberty Mutual, Norfolk and Dedham, and Hartford Insurance in Burlington before joining, in 1963, the Lonergan and Thomas Insurance Agency in Bennington as agent and co-owner. In 1996, he retired as President of Lonergan and Thomas, after 33 years. John was a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), a distinguished professional designation earned by very few in the insurance industry. He was an active member of the Bennington community, including: President of the Lions Club, Chairman of the Bennington Parks and Recreation Commission, member of the Bennington School Board, and Coach and General Manager of Mount Anthony High School Ice Hockey Team. He also served as the team's bus driver for a few years. John was a longtime member of Mount Anthony Country Club. He enjoyed a good round of golf, and along with his sons, brother and other relatives and friends, enjoyed playing in fourball golf tournaments around the state. John will be best remembered for his love of family: playing a game of Pitch, cookouts in the driveway, or telling great stories around the kitchen table. He is survived by Claire, his wife of 58 years and resident of Bennington, and their five children, John of Reading, Pa., and his wife, Karen, and their daughter, Danielle; Thomas of Bennington, and his son, Thomas, and daughters, Jenna and Catie, and great-granddaughter, Khiley, and great-grandson, Noah; Mary Kiersnowski of Doylestown, Pa., and her husband, Dave, and their sons, David and Mark, and daughter, Emily; Tim of South Burlington, and his wife, Jennifer, and their sons, Timothy, Owen, Michael and Jack; and Anne O'Shea of Salem, Mass., and her husband, Paul, and their sons, Connor and Kevin. He is survived by his sister, Edna Cray of Danvers, Mass.; cousins, Fr. Lawrence Lyons of Lauderdale Lakes, Fla., and John Lyons of Philadelphia, Pa.; and many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his brother, James T. Lyons Jr. John was a lifelong member of the Roman Catholic Church, having served as an Altar Server and Lector, and most recently, was a member of the St. John the Baptist Church in North Bennington. His faith was an important part of his life. Visiting hours will be held at the Mahar and Son Funeral Home in Bennington on Nov. 15, 2013, from 4 to 6 p.m. Funeral services will be held on Nov. 16, 2013, at 11 a.m. at the St. John the Baptist Church in North Bennington. Interment will be held following the Mass at the family lot at St. John Cemetery in North Bennington. Contributions in memory of John F. Lyons may be made to either Catholic Charities or the VNA and Hospice at the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center through the office of Mahar and Son Funeral Homes, 628 Main Street, Bennington, VT 05201. Guest book condolences may be made at www.maharandsonfuneralhome.net.

Published in The Burlington Free Press on Nov. 14, 2013
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