Obituary: Nancy M. Lyon, 1932 – 2019
Nancy M. Lyon passed away peacefully on Thursday, August 29, 2019. She was 87.
Nancy was born on June 18, 1932, in Aurora, Illinois, to Hellen Murphy and Haakon Andersen. Nancy had one brother Roger who was three years her junior. He passed away in 1956.
She graduated East Aurora Illinois High School in June 1950. She enjoyed school, played violin in the orchestra and was a member of the New England Congregational Church.
Nancy became one of only four women to graduate from the University of Illinois-Chicago in 1954, earning a bachelor’s degree in pharmacy. She lived in a dorm her freshman year, and then rode the train from Aurora to college each day for the last three. Nancy became a lifelong member of the fraternity for women pharmacists, Lambda Kappa Sigma. She frequently attended the annual conventions.
In May 1955 Nancy married the love of her life, Robert W. “Bob” Lyon. Bob was an airline pilot for United Airlines for the next 26 years until his death in 1981 from lung cancer. As a young bride, Nancy was active in the Aurora Junior League and was a Den Mother for Brownies and a Scout Master for the Girl Scouts.
Nancy and Bob had two children. Pamela Cipriano Tafoya of Eagle, Colorado, and Bradley Dean Lyon of Campbell, California. She worked as a pharmacist in hospitals and sometimes in retail drug stores until 1995.
The Lyons found Vail in 1964 when the area was very young and offering special skiing packages to airline employees during Airline Week. Nancy and Bob came skiing by themselves for a couple of years, and then started bringing the children. This exposure to Vail fostered the family’s love of the mountains and skiing.
During the summers the family spent a few weeks at a small cabin on a lake near Mercer, Wisconsin. In that idyllic setting their days were spent swimming, water skiing, collecting wood for the stove, berry picking and making jams. In the summer months, while Bob raced Alfa Romeo SCCA sports cars from the 1950s through the ’70s, Nancy worked in timing and scoring and was a valued member of the officiating staff for both professional and amateur auto races.
Nancy loved to read and enjoy the peace and nature of Crystal Lake near Mercer, where she watched the hummingbirds and loons and got hooked on identifying birds in the wild.
After Bob passed away, Nancy spent her winters in Mesa, Arizona, with her parents, and her summers at the lake in Wisconsin.
When Pam and Cip gave Nancy three grandsons she spent the winters near the Tafoyas in Eagle and summers at the lake or traveling the world. Nancy visited Eygpt, Russia, China, the Marshall Islands and other exotic places while birding.
Nancy adored her three grandsons. She was always eager to hear of their latest adventures and escapades. Eight days before she passed she became a great grandmother when Nicholas and his wife Morgan Hatfield Tafoya had a baby boy, Quinn.
Nancy was preceded in death by her husband Bob, her parents Haakon and Hellen Andersen, and an infant son Ronald Alan. She is survived by her son Brad Lyon her daughter Pamela Tafoya, her grandsons Nicholas Morgan Tafoya of Bryan, Texas; Austin Tafoya serving in the U.S. Navy in Monterey California; Travis Tafoya of Chicago Illinois; and great-grandson Quinn W. Tafoya in Texas.
A Celebration of Life is scheduled for 1-4 p.m., Oct. 20, in the Brush Creek Pavilion, located on Capitol Street in Eagle.
Eagle County Schools added six mental health counselors and the district will add two more school resource officers, according to the school district’s 2019-2020 budget book. The district also aised starting pay and gave staffers a 2.3% cost-of-living raise.