Mr. William Hunter "Billy" Lyons, a native of Mobile and resident of Spanish Fort, died Tuesday, June 8, 2021, of complications from a stroke. He was 80 years old. Mr. Lyons was preceded in death by his parents, Mark Lyons, Jr. and Ruth Kelly Lyons; his son Robert Radcliff Lyons; his brother George Sage Lyons II; and his nephew Mark Lyons IV. Survivors include his daughter Lucy Lyons Broos (Dan) and son William Hunter Lyons, Jr. (Christie); his brothers Mark Lyons III (Sue) and James Kelly Lyons (Beth); his sister Ruth Lyons Shields, M.D. (Bry); four grandsons, Radcliff Lyons Spencer, Robert Randolph Spencer, Henry McCreery Broos, and William Kincaid Lyons; three granddaughters, Katherine Rennolds Spencer, Greer Radcliff Lyons, and Christian Hunter Lyons; as well as 15 nieces and nephews. Billy attended UMS Preparatory School where he was honored as an All-American high school football player in 1960. He went on to play for Clemson University and was selected as captain of the freshman team. As a wide receiver, after being told by Coach Frank Howard the forward pass was a play call of last resort, Billy decided to leave college for the Marine Corps. Billy later enrolled at the University of Southern Mississippi where he was a three-year letterman. In 1962, Billy's senior year, Southern Miss had a record of 9-1 and shared the national title with the University of Southern California. Following his senior year, Billy signed with the Dallas Cowboys, but his football career ended with a preseason injury. In 2015, Billy was inducted into the Southern Miss Hall of Fame where he celebrated with fellow inductee, Bret Favre. Billy turned his love for Mobile Bay into a series of entrepreneurial marine investments. He bought, sold and leased barges and tugs; owned a dry-dock for ship repairs; and ran salvage operations to clean up following Gulf hurricanes. While he was (allegedly) a close friend of the Prime Minister of Belize, Billy was the loyal confidant of and most comfortable with the underdog; he was generous and kind to those in need or otherwise struggling. Known to his grandchildren as "Big" and to his friends as "Oddie" or "Odd Job", Billy was charming, engaging, and a wonderful dancer who will be remembered most for his quick wit and fantastic sense of humor. Once asked by a friend if he thought he would be going to heaven or hell, Billy answered, "I'm not sure, but I have good friends in both places." In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to UMS - Wright Preparatory School. A reception for family and friends to celebrate Billy's life will be scheduled for a future date.
To plant trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store
Published by Mobile Register and Baldwin County from Jun. 10 to Jun. 18, 2021.