John W. "Bill" Lyons Jr. Fightin' Texas Aggie, John W. "Bill" Lyons Jr., class of '59, died at the age of 76, on Wednesday afternoon, April 16, 2014, at the family ranch in Iola, Texas. He was born October 12, 1937, in Galveston, Texas and was a resident of Dickinson, Texas.|
Bill graduated from Galveston's Ball High School in 1955 and from Texas A&M with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology in 1959. He graduated from South Texas College of Law in 1970.
A long time Galveston County resident, Bill was an attorney and partner with the law firm, Lyons and Plackemeier PLLC. He began his career with Neugent, Lilienstern and Douvry P.C. of Texas City, Texas. He was involved in various areas of business including real estate, banking and chemical manufacturing.
Bill was preceded in death by his wife, Connie Stroud Lyons of Devine, Texas; his parents, J.W. Lyons Sr. and Lucille Stousland Lyons; his grandparents, T.W. Stousland and Margaret Bradley Stousland of Wellborn, Texas, and Robert A. Lyons and Mary Jo Feehan Lyons of Galveston, and his dear friend, Edward R. "Eddie" Harris, of Houston, Texas.
Bill is survived by his son, Mark A. Lyons, and wife, Tina, of Santa Fe, Texas; daughters, Missy Lyons, of Iola, Texas, and Michelle Lyons Spier of Texas City, Texas; his grandchildren, Robert W. "Robbie" Spier, and wife, Tiffany, of Montgomery, Texas; Madison Spier of College Station, Texas; Rachel Lyons of Sealy, Texas; Zachary Lyons of College Station, Texas; and Nathan Norgan of Santa Fe, Texas; his great-grandchildren, Taylor Haden Spier; McKenzie Spier; and McKayla Spier, all of Montgomery, Texas; his brother, Tommy Lyons, and wife, Ann, of Millican, Texas; and sister, Cinda Youker, and husband, Rob, of Rancho Viejo, Texas; numerous nieces and nephews; and not to forget, the many friends whose life he touched. He also leaves behind his beloved labs, Captain and Will.
A memorial service will be held at the First United Methodist Church of Dickinson at 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 23rd , located at 200 FM 517, Dickinson, Texas. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the
or to the Millican United Methodist Church of Millican, Texas. Arrangements are under the direction of Nobles Funeral Chapel, Navasota, Texas.
As a man of many interests with a voracious appetite for learning and life, he was involved in business endeavors, humanitarian, community and charitable causes, as well as environmental projects. Bill served on the boards of Mainland Bank, Texas A&M University - Galveston, The McDaniel Charitable Foundation, Texas Molecular LLC and Sea Lion Technologies LLC, among many others. He was a member of the Texas A&M 12th Man Endowment, 12th Man Foundation, American Bar Association, and the Grand Lodge of Texas.
An avid believer in education, Bill focused on helping Galveston County students with programs ranging from SAT training for at-risk students to starting a 9th grade initiative program. Scholarship programs include the Connie Jo Lyons FUMC Devine Scholarship; Galveston County Scholarships and Lyons Scholars Scholarships.
Bill had a longtime interest in biological research at Texas A&M's Galveston campus, where he served as director of the Board of Visitors. In 2006, Bill was inducted into the Texas A&M College of Science Academy of Distinguished Former Students. His love for Texas A&M fueled his establishment of the first endowed chair to the Texas A&M Biology Department. He contended that "… quality professors are essential to attract quality students". He saw it as the job of the university and the former students "to view new students as customers searching for knowledge and provide them with the very best product".
Bill shared his passion of the outdoors with many of his friends. He grew up and lived his life on the Gulf of Mexico beginning his love of fishing with his father along with his best friend, Mickey Gaido. Together they spent glorious days out on the Gulf and in the Galveston bays and estuaries. His love of waterfowl hunting had him following the migration from pea fields of Alberta, Canada to the marshes of Galveston Bay. He especially enjoyed pursuing the mallards or "greenheads" as Bill preferred to call them throughout the flooded timber river bottoms of Texas. He was able to accomplish this with his many partners, including Max Fuglar, Jump, Spade, Will, and Captain.
We will all miss our dad, our brother and our good friend, Bill. He lived a 100+ years in his 76 years and left us with this bit of wisdom: "If you work hard, you can play hard, Paz."
Kind words and fond memories may be shared at www.noblesfuneral.com.
Published in Houston Chronicle from Apr. 19 to Apr. 20, 2014