David Eugene Lyons, 83, of Gold Bar, WA, passed away on Feb 21st 2023, after a long battle with metastatic prostate cancer.
Dave was born in 1939, to Andrew Eugene Lyons and Marie Matilda Savage, in Grants Pass, Oregon. He grew up on the Savage family homestead, which was established in the Rouge River area in 1853. Throughout his childhood he enjoyed fishing, hunting, archery, football and found a love for baseball. He was trained to play by a professional baseball player. As an adult he coached women’s baseball. He taught his kids to play baseball, grandkids on down to his great grandkids. Watching them play, playing with them, or just throwing the ball always gave him the biggest smile.
While he was a senior in high school, he joined and trained in the US Navy reserves NJROTC. He joined the active Navy as a Firemen (Engineman) and then became striker to Machinist Mate submariner after graduation. During bootcamp he served in Company 271. He was unanimously selected by his peers as Company Honorman and cited by the Naval Training Center Commanding Officer during Company 271 Graduation. He went to Nuke Power school, Nuke Prototype school, then was sent to Pre-Commissioning unit of USS Dace (SSN-607) and Nuke pre-commissioning training leading the boats Commissioning and becoming a USS Dace (SSN-607) Plank owner. He earned his Submarine Qualifications (Dolphin Pin) 10 December 1964.
Of his many careers in life, he was a business law and accounting teacher and part owner of the Merritt Davis Business College in Medford, OR; he owned an insurance company in Medford, OR; he was Del Norte County Auditor and Youth Pastor at the Four-Square Church in Crescent City, CA, and in about 1968 he was also a member of a barbershop quartet.
He joined the Merchant Marines as assistant Chief Engineering Officer of ship’s propulsion equipment and sailed with them for many years. He enjoyed telling stories about his time with them at sea. He sailed with National Geographic when they took a group of kids to Greece. He sailed with Robert Ballard (who was responsible for eventually finding the final resting place of the RMS Titanic) and kept his skiff working when they were out. He was able to visit Mediterranean ports, Egypt, Africa and many other places while in the Merchant Marines.
David published several books. He wrote about growing up on the Savage family homestead: a book on politics, and he wrote many non-published, short stories that were just for him and the family. Of course, he loved to tell a story. Most often the story was about the mischievous, imaginary critters he told the kids in his life about, the Dingersnell Sesconerp. We all grew up hearing about the Dingersnell Sesconerp locker. (Don’t open it!)
He was known through the family for his imagination and honoring his pets with unique names. There were the pup dogs — Senator Finius Filibuster Such-a-pup, Roscoe Woowoo What-a-dog, Maxwell Mightybighty Dog-a-drink, Tatters DuSniff; and the kitty, Marbles DuPlay.
David’s parents and brothers; Robert, Richard, Thomas and Daniel, all preceded him in death. He leaves behind four children: Virginia Ratterree of Lake Stevens, WA; Daniel Lyons of Maple Valley, WA; Jeremiah Lyons of Vancouver, WA and Julia Geraghty of Bend, OR. He also leaves behind 10 grandchildren: Isaac and Emily Lyons; Keegan Geraghty; Daniel, Melisa, Heather, Cassandra, Kelsie, Mollie and Kylie Ratterree. He also leaves six great grandchildren, many nieces, nephews, other family members and good friends.
David’s big heart, love for his family, sense of humor and playfulness will be missed. He was laid to rest with full Military Honors at the Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, WA on March 10th 2023.