Betsy Lyon McNiven Betsy Lyon McNiven passed peacefully June 6, 2013 in Olympia. Born March 13, 1927 in Minneapolis, Betsy was the oldest of the five children of Freeman and Cecil Lyon. During the depression era the Lyons "escaped" the dust bowl of South Dakota, finally settling in the Grand Mound area where they established Lyon Gardens Nursery. After high school in Centralia Betsy attended Willamette College and graduated from the University of Washington. In 1949 in Centralia Betsy joined with John McNiven for a 55 year marriage that lasted until John's death in 2004. Besides helping John with the Gesler-McNiven furniture company Betsy was active in numerous charities and civic organizations. In 1972 the couple moved to Olympia to enjoy the beauty of Puget Sound. Betsy prided herself in being a thrift shopper and was known for the splashy way she dressed. Betsy was also preceded in death by a son (Matt) and a brother (Bill). She is survived by a son (Scott), three sisters (Nancy, Mary Connie and Jane) and a brother (Jim). There will be a Betsy celebration 2 - 4 pm on June 23, 2013 at Prosperity Grange, 3701 Steamboat Island Rd NW Olympia. Those so inclined may honor Betsy's memory with a donation to their favorite political party as long as it has a donkey as its mascot.
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Published in The Olympian on June 16, 2013