Jan. 5, 1935 - Dec. 21, 2017
Don was born in Fayetteville, Ark., Jan. 5, 1935, the oldest of seven children, to Ernest and Martha Lyons. He passed away in Coos Bay Dec. 21, 2017, just before Christmas and his birthday. He was 82 years old.
After a brief time in the U.S. Army, he traveled to Coos Bay in a Ford Coupe with his cousin, Dick Williams, to find work. While he was working full time at the Georgia-Pacific mill, and part time at a gas station, he met Shirley Dowell. They were married Oct. 18, 1956 in Aloha, Ore., and started raising their family. They had their first “bambino” and went on to have five more! Dad said it “was fun” having kids.
Having a big family meant working hard to take care of them. His whole life was spent providing for his family, which grew into having grand kids and great grandkids!
Don kept busy over the years at local mills, the city of North Bend for 13 years as a heavy equipment operator, part time at the longshore hall, drove tanker trucks for Arrow Transportation and Ron’s Oil, retiring from International Paper in Gardiner, where he worked for 17 years as a heavy equipment operator and log truck driver.
In their early 70’s Don and Shirley bought four-wheelers to ride on the sand dunes. We enjoyed some good times together. They enjoyed camping, puzzles, spending time with friends and family on various outings, car shows and cruises, going out to eat, rides to wherever, stopping to get an ice cream cone, birthday celebrations, the movies and especially the holidays, where Thanksgiving and Christmas were always over the top.
Don was an animal lover and enjoyed going to the park to feed the ducks or the squirrels, the West Coast Game Park Safari, feeding the birds at home and just all animals in general, both wild and domestic. In 2013 Don and Shirley adopted two miniature wiener dogs. Bella and Lucy were welcomed to their empty nest. They were great companions to them.
In 2014 Shirley passed away. They had been together for 60 years and had been married for 57 years at the time of her passing. Don spent the next 3 ½ years taking life as it came with his family and learning to go on without her.
Don is survived by his daughter, Susie Lyons of Coos Bay; son, Don W. and Lila Lyons of Coos Bay; daughter, Deena and Shawn Donovan of Salem; daughter, Sharon Lyons of Salem; son, Joe and Angie Lyons of Salem; 10 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by both of his parents, brother, Chuck; sister, Sue; his wife, Shirley; and a son, Ron.
At his request, there will be no services held. Private cremation rites were held at Ocean View Memory Gardens in Coos Bay and arrangements were under the direction of Myrtle Grove Funeral Service-Bay Area, 541-269-2951.
In lieu of cards and flowers, the family suggests contributions be made in Don's name to www.lungcancerresearchfoundation.org/donate.
Ride In Paradise Dad! We love you and will miss you until we see you again.