Lyons, John W. (Bill)
John W. Lyons (Bill), 89, of Christiansburg, passed away on May 7, 2019. Born on November 30, 1929 in Eclectic, Alabama, Bill was the youngest of four children being the only boy. Bill was predeceased by his parents; three sisters; a son, Chris Lyons; a son-in-law who was more of a son to him, Tommy Bowen; and his wife, Brite Lyons. He was a member of St. Paul United Methodist Church in Christiansburg.
Bill’s first job was in construction where he worked his way up to superintendent for several large construction companies over the course of his career. His job took him from Alabama to Chicago to Virginia to North Carolina and places in between. While in Wilmington, Bill oversaw the extensive renovation of the historic Thalian Hall Center for the Performing Arts, which is one of the oldest theatres in the United States, opening in 1858.
In the New River Valley, he oversaw the construction of the Veterinarian School at Virginia Tech, where he met his match, Brite (Toots) Shull. They were married for 29 good years before Brite passed away in 2011. Bill retired from Clancy and Theys Construction, Wilmington, North Carolina branch at which time, they moved to Christiansburg to be closer to family. He also served in the U.S. Army and was honorably discharged.
Bill was an active member of Izaak Walton League until health prevented him from attending functions and meetings as a board member. He loved the ponds and fishing, and especially the children’s fishing rodeo each year. Bill gave many hours in going after and delivering fish and feeding them every day. He loved to fish anywhere, anytime for anything that swam in the water.
Bill loved making things with his hands. If you have any of his birdhouses or any of his holiday yard decorations enjoy them as he loved to make and give them to anyone who would ask. During the winter months, he would crochet kitchen dish towels and afghans just by looking at a picture. He was a man of many talents with his own way of doing things that did not include reading directions.
Bill is survived by his children and grandchildren; daughter Michele Bowen and her sons Brandon, Josh (Sarah), Cole (Mary), and Brett (Taylor); Barbara Cornelius (Frank) and son Seth (Whitney), daughter Anna; daughter-in-law Qin Lyons; Chris’ sons Scott and John. He is survived by his stepchildren and grandchildren, Judy Carter and her daughters, Denise, Heather and Angela; Brenda Woolwine (Roger), son Eric and daughter Shannon; Rufus (Buddy) Shull (Bev), sons Scott and Jess and one daughter Taylor; step-children Shea, Brea, and Dallas; and step-daughter Deborah Atkins. He is also survived by 17 great-grandchildren.
Please share all of your stories about Bill with each other as they are too numerous to put on paper. Once he was at the Crossing we thought all was good; he couldn’t get into any trouble. Well, we were wrong. In the wee hours of the morning he put a honey bun in his microwave for who knows how long and went to sleep. The smoke detector went off, the staff came running with fire extinguishers to find smoke rolling out of his room and him acting as if nothing was wrong. Next came the fire department. Bill had some things to say, and then he sat down and ate a honey bun. The staff referred to him as “Honey Bun” from then on. Always remember him as a character that comes through life but once, and laugh when you do.
Visitation will be Saturday, May 11, 2019, from 2-3 p.m. at Horne Funeral Home. Funeral Services will follow the visitation with his son-in-law, Frank Cornelius officiating. Burial service will follow in Roselawn Memorial Gardens.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Izaak Walton League, Christiansburg-Montgomery County Chapter, P.O. Box 595, Christiansburg, VA 24073, indicating on the check in memory of Bill Lyons.