John Anthony Lyons, lifelong Walla Walla resident, passed away on April 16, 2013, at home. John was born on April 1, 1920, to Harriet Denzel and Joseph W. Lyons, the sixth of 12 children. John served in the U.S. Navy as a fireman first class during World War II. He returned home to Walla Walla to farm for his father, and later with his brothers, Joe and Bill. Following retirement, John worked for several of his farmer friends and then farmed with his sons.
John met Geraldine Elizabeth Farrell in New York on one of his business trips. John and Gerry corresponded for a year before marrying in Brooklyn, N.Y., on July 11, 1950, at St. Ephrem’s Catholic Church. John and Gerry moved to Walla Walla and raised seven children.
John is survived by his seven children and their spouses, John (Jack) and Kathi Lyons of Amarillo, Texas, Alice and Woody Armour of Street, Md., Connie and Mike Sobotta of Summerville, S.C., Frank and Tonya Lyons, Mike and Susan Lyons, Gerald and Rosanne Lyons all of Walla Walla, and Dr. James and Stephanie Lyons of Moses Lake. John is further survived by 20 grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. John is survived by six of his 11 siblings, Bill, Rita, Mary, Stephanie, Denise and Monica. John is also survived by his second wife, Jackie Long Lyons with whom he enjoyed nearly 10 years together.
John was involved in the Knights of Columbus, VFW, the Elks Club and he was a founding member of Assumption Catholic Church. John supported the Catholic Schools in Walla Walla. He was a loyal supporter of DeSales High School sports for both the boys and girls and enjoyed watching his grandchildren participate in their events.
The family is grateful to Ivan and Charlotte Taylor, whose care allowed John to remain at home during his final months.
Viewing and visitation will be held on Sunday, April 21, 2013, from 1 p.m. until after the Rosary at the Herring Groseclose Funeral Home, 315 W. Alder, Walla Walla. The Rosary will be recited on Sunday, April 21, 2013, at 6 p.m. at the Herring Funeral Home with Father Paul Cochran officiating. The Funeral Mass will be held on Monday, April 22, 2013, at 11 a.m. at Assumption Catholic Church with Father Paul Cochran, celebrant. Interment will follow at Mountain View Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the “Lemon Drop Scholarship Fund” at Assumption Grade School, DeSales Catholic School or charity of choice through the funeral home. Family & friends are invited to sign the online guestbook at www.herrringgroseclose.com.