John Lyding(1923 - 2012)

John Daniel "Jack" Lyding, Jr.
May 3, 1923 - Nov 11, 2012
Resident of Orinda
Jack Lyding, age 89, died peacefully on Sunday, November 11th (Veterans Day) in Walnut Creek, California. Jack was born in Chicago, Illinois on May 3, 1923 and had two older sisters - Joan and Pat. He spent his first 19 years in Chicago, graduating from Hyde Park High School and then enrolled at the University of Chicago. His second year at the university was interrupted by the outbreak of WWII, and Jack enlisted immediately in the Army Air Corps to serve his country. He was trained in Texas to fly a B-24 bomber, and piloted his 10 man crew on 45 missions in the South Pacific. At his discharge as First Lieutenant in October, 1945, he was 22 years old.
Before going overseas, he had met Natalie Doe of Piedmont while out one evening in San Francisco. They had corresponded during his military service and upon his return to California, Jack renewed his courtship with Natalie. They were married in 1947. He continued his education by enrolling at the University of California, Berkeley, and graduated with a degree in Economics in 1948. After graduation, he began his career in the food and drug retail industry. After a 34 year career with Safeway Stores, he retired in 1986 as a Vice President. Together Jack and Natalie raised their sons Dan and Rick in Piedmont and developed many lifelong friendships and roots in the East Bay Area. He loved the family vacations at Lake Tahoe in Glenbrook, Nevada and seaside in Carmel/Monterey.
After Natalie's death in 1973, Jack met Sally Wiser of Orinda and they were married in 1976. Jack and Sally traveled throughout the US and the world for business and pleasure. Safeway's international scope provided Jack with friends everywhere - and he loved to plan travel to meet his business acquaintances, to see Chicago friends and relatives, and to have reunions with his B-24 bomber crew. With Sally, he lived in Orinda for more than thirty years and developed a new sense of home there - surrounded by wonderful neighbors, friends, and members of the Orinda Country Club.
Jack was a proud member of the Psi Upsilon fraternity, Piedmont Boy Scouts, the Rotary Club of Oakland, and the Cal Alumni Association. Athletics were a big part of Jack's life - he loved sports of all types, as a spectator and as a participant. He took his sons to sporting events everywhere, enjoyed golf and tennis, and as a grandfather was a regular attendee at his grandchildren's soccer, baseball, football games and swim meets. He maintained a close relationship with his sisters' children, his three nieces and two nephews, who always enjoyed time with their uncle. Jack had a (little known) great appreciation for marching bands, making the half time shows at football games his favorite part of the outing.
Jack is survived by his wife Sally (Rossmoor), his son Dan and wife Joanne (Orange, CA), his son Rick and wife Mary (Alamo), as well as Sally's children Chip Wiser and wife Jane (Orinda), and Susan Peacock and husband Steve (Crescent City). With Sally, Jack was blessed with ten grandchildren: Sarah, Carolyn, Jamie, Kelly, Jack, Allison, Emily, Charlie, George and Katie. Jack met his first great-grandchild, Colin, earlier this year.
Jack touched many lives with his warmth, integrity, work ethic, kindness, enthusiasm, loyalty, and generosity. He will be greatly missed by all of his family, neighbors from Piedmont and Orinda, and many friends and business colleagues.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Jack's memory may be made to Diabetic Youth Foundation, 5167 Clayton Rd, #F, Concord, CA 94521, or to the UC Berkeley Foundation - addressed to UC Berkeley University Relations Gift Management, 2080 Addison Street Berkeley, CA 94720. Please specify "Cal Band Fund" on your contribution.
At Jack's request, services will be private. Friends are invited to a celebration of his life on Monday, December 3rd at the Veterans Memorial Building, 3780 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.


Published in Contra Costa Times from Nov. 25 to Nov. 28, 2012