SAN DIEGO Jeffery Robert Lydiard, 64, of San Diego, died Oct. 4 of natural causes. Memorial service with military honors was held in San Diego Oct. 19.
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Jeff, born in Great Falls on July 27, 1948, was the eldest of four children born to Robert Edward Lydiard and Frances Neva Barber Lydiard. Jeff grew up in Great Falls where he attended school. He was an outstanding student and a remarkably talented musician, excelling at both piano and trumpet during his school years. He exhibited passion for learning, a love of music, animals, the outdoors, fishing and hiking. After graduating from Great Falls High School in 1966, he moved to Seattle to attend the University of Washington and studied forest resources. Having gone through school on a ROTC scholarship, Jeff was inducted into the United States Navy as a commissioned officer upon graduating from the university in 1970. This was the beginning of his 21 year career in the Navy.
While in college, Jeff met and later married Cathy Houseas. They were married in 1971 and had 41 years together. They made their home in San Diego and have two beautiful daughter's Elizabeth and Anne.
Jeff's naval career included special training and many leadership roles such as supervising the activities of 120 officers' and enlisted personnel. Many of his Navy years were spent aboard the U.S.S. Ticonderoga, U.S.S. Constellation, U.S.S. Tarawa, U.S.S. Frederick, U.S.S. Vancouver and the U.S.S. Lang. While aboard, Jeff's love of music was expressed by playing his guitar. At home other special interests included riding motorcycles with friends and working on computers. He had extensive experience with Microsoft applications both as a user and a technical support provider.
After 21 years he retired from the Navy with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. His computer knowledge became the basis of his family's livelihood. Jeff worked for Northrop Grumman as a project manager and planner, as San Diego County Desktop Refresh Coordinator and most recently, worked for Hewlett-Packard.
He had a great love of Montana and the outdoors. He will be sincerely missed. For Jeff, it was possible to take the boy out of Montana but not take Montana out of the man. Papa Jeff, as his grandson called him, would wish the beauty of nature, the sound of music and the love of the outdoors for all those most dear to him.
Published in Great Falls Tribune on Oct. 28, 2012