Gil Lyons, a sports reporter for 29 years at The Seattle Times whose beats included the Sonics and Seahawks, died Sunday from complications after surgery. He was 83.
Lyons joined the newspaper in 1962 and covered the NBA's Sonics from the inception of Seattle's first major professional team in 1967 until 1976. He switched to the expansion Seahawks that year and covered the NFL team until his retirement in 1992. Gil had a tough but fair style to his coverage. He established an unbreakable trust with several powerful Seattle sports legends and highly valued his sources. He cared deeply about the integrity of the story and did not report any unrelated personal transgressions of sports stars. He was also instrumental in supporting the effort of Seattle's expansion team, the Seahawks. Nicknamed "The Dean" by NFL reporters, he was voted the Washington Sportswriter of the Year in 1980.
Son of the deceased, Henry and Florence Lyons, Gil was a graduate of Everett High School and the University of Washington. Lyons lived in Redmond, was an avid golfer and was a former member of Bear Creek Country Club. He remained keenly interested in the Seattle sports scene after his retirement, particularly the Huskies football and men's basketball teams, the Mariners and the Seahawks.
He is survived by Joan (Fandel), his wife of 60 years; four children - Chris Lyons (spouse Sue) of St. Paul, MN, Lyn (Rick) Gregerson of Redmond, Lucy (Jim) Lampassi of Poway, CA and Michael Lyons of Bothell. He leaves 11 loving grandchildren; Becky, Matthew, and Carolyn Lyons; Ryan (Shana), Christopher, Jason and Michelle Gregerson; Laura and James Lampassi; Ian and Elizabeth Haddow-Lyons and one great grandchild, Hadley Gregerson. Gil was brother to (now deceased) Raymond (spouse Virginia) of Everett.
Memorial service is scheduled for Saturday at 11:00 AM at St. Jude's Catholic Church 10526 166th Ave NE, Redmond, WA 98052. Flintoft's Funeral Home, 425-392-6444.
Friends are invited to view photos, get directions as share memories in the family's online guest book at www.flintofts.com.
Published in The Seattle Times on June 6, 2013