16 Sep Dr Wilbur H. Lyon Jr, 1925 -2014
Wilbur “BIll” Lyon
Dr. Wilbur H. Lyon, Jr. 89, of Coeur d’Alene, peacefully passed away surrounded by his children on Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014, at Hospice House in Hayden.
Wilbur Lyon was born and raised in India, the second of four children of missionary parents Rev. Wilbur H. Lyon, Sr.,and Mary Kirby Lyon. After graduating from Woodstock High School in the Himalayan foothills at age 16, Wilbur and a good friend embarked on an adventurous seven-week sea journey from Bombay to San Francisco, passing through Southeast Asia in 1941 just weeks before World War II began in the Pacific.
After attending Wooster College in Ohio, Wilbur served as a 1st Lt. in the U.S. Army Air Corps, stationed on Tinian Island as squadron navigator in the 509th Composite Air Group. Wilbur was part of a small contingent who were among the first Americans into Nagasaki after the atomic bombs ended the war.
Like many members of the Greatest Generation, Wilbur advanced his education after the war, attending Harvard Medical School and graduating in 1950. During his seven year surgical residency in New York and Boston, Wilbur met Joan, a beautiful young O.R. nurse from Connecticut.
Wilbur and Joan started their family in Boston, where David and William were born. Dr. Lyon practiced in San Rafael, Calif., for two years, and welcomed James to the family. Taking the opportunity for a family adventure, Dr. Lyon moved Joan and the boys to Pago Pago, American Samoa, where he served as Chief of Surgery and established a school to train Samoan nurses and physician assistants. After two professionally challenging and extremely rewarding years in Samoa, the Lyon family relocated to Coeur d’Alene in 1961 where they settled down, completing their family with daughter, Elizabeth.
Dr. Lyon was the 14th doctor and first board-certified surgeon in Coeur d’Alene, and practiced in Coeur d’Alene for nearly 50 years. He especially enjoyed the early decades when the practice of medicine allowed frequent house calls and long-term close doctor-patient-family relationships. Dr. Lyon retired at age 78.
Wilbur was an active member of the Coeur d’Alene Lion’s Club and Rotary International, where he had many friends and was a Paul Harris Fellow. The Lyon family have been long-term members of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, where Dr. Lyon served as Senior Warden. He traveled internationally on charity assistance visits, supporting a medical clinic and helping to build a school. He served on the Idaho Board of Medicine and was a board member in the developmental period for Hospice of North Idaho. After Dr. Lyon retired from his surgery practice, he took great joy in volunteering at the Kootenai Cancer Center for several years. Wilbur and Joan were also 40 year members of Hayden Lake Country Club.
Dr. Lyon was preceded in death by Joan Parker Lyon, beloved wife of 58 years. He is survived by his loving children David C. Lyon (Karen Stafford) of Hayden; William C. Lyon (Aster Saliba) of Singapore; James T. Lyon (Lisa Kincel) of Hayden; and Elizabeth P. Lyon of Seattle; grandchildren Heather, William, Dana, Raymond, Kate, Lyz, and Andrew; brother Cameron Lyon (Lorraine Duckworth) of California, and sisters Dr. Lois Lyon-Newman of Massachusetts, and Dorothy Bushnell (Paul) of Indiana.
Memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Aug. 29, 2014, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, 501 E. Wallace Ave., Coeur d’Alene. English Funeral Chapel is entrusted with Dr. Lyon’s arrangements.
Dr. Lyon was especially thankful to the staffs of North Star Retirement Community, Life Care Center of Coeur d’Alene, and Hospice of North Idaho. Expressions of sympathy may be made in Dr. Lyon’s memory to Hospice of North Idaho.
Please Visit Dr. Lyon’s registry and view online memorial at www.englishfuneralchapel.com.