Donald Robert Lyons, 80, of Tryon Estates, Columbus, NC died unexpectedly on March 8, 2022, from the complications of a stroke.
Don is survived by his wife, Donna; daughters Christine (Robert) Krause of Feasterville, PA, and Stephanie (Michael) Vostenak of Delran, NJ; brother Richard (Marty) Lyons of Berlin, NJ; four grandsons; Jake, Luke, Peyton and Shane; stepdaughter, Judy Bond (Chip) and one stepson Jeff Dahl (Sonya); seven step-grandchildren and two step-great grandchildren, and his dog Shelby. He was predeceased in death by his parents, John and Eleanor Lyons; his brother, John Lyons; and his late wife, Peggy Ann Lyons.
He was born in Philadelphia, PA on June 28, 1941, and lived in Philadelphia and Media, PA prior to moving to Tryon, NC in 2003. He graduated from West Catholic High School in 1959. He held an Associate’s Degree in Administration of Justice from Widener University (1977) and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from LaSalle University (1989). He attained his degrees by attending night school for nearly a decade.
After high school graduation, he joined the US Marine Corps Reserve where he served for eight years and attained the rank of Lance Corporal. He retained a life-long identity with and passion for the Corps.
He was a very caring and humble man who did not share details about his professional life and his many accomplishments. His faith in God meant very much to him. Don was an active member of Tryon Presbyterian Church where he had served as an Elder.
Don began his career in law enforcement in the Philadelphia Police Department, starting as a patrolman but was quickly promoted to a detective in the Major Crimes and Homicide Divisions (1962-1979). He was appointed by the Mayor of Philadelphia to serve on two select committees: Task Force on Police Corruption and Task Force on Video-Taped Confessions. Both of his brothers also had careers in law enforcement.
In 1979 he was recruited by Sunoco, Inc. (Sun) to develop a company-wide security system; he retired in 1998 as Director of Security and Emergency Response.
Throughout his career he was actively involved in a wide range of professional police and security organizations.
Following his retirement he moved to Fox Chapel Farm in Tryon, NC to pursue his passion for horses, including his horses, Shamus, Talley, Toby and Fritz. He was active in and a board member of many equestrian oriented organizations including the Foothill Equestrian and Nature Center (FENCE). He was a member of the Polk County Equestrian Group, Third Light Dragoons a Revolutionary War Cavalry Unit where he participated in re-enactments of the US Revolutionary War Battles, riding his horses Fritz and Talley. Drawing on this experience he went on to become an advisor to the Polk County Sherriff’s Mounted Patrol.
In addition, he was a member and past president of the Tryon Rotary Club, Polk County Community Foundation, Thermal Belt Outreach, Tryon Downtown Development Association, Tryon Fine Arts Center, Foothills Humane Society and the House of Flags.
A memorial service will be held at Tryon Presbyterian Church, 430 Harmon Field Road on March 26th at 10 AM. A time of reflection and shared memories will be held in the Mountain Club Room at Tryon Estates, 617 Laurel Lake Drive, Columbus, NC from 2-3:30PM.
Memorial contributions to Don’s memory may be made to the charity of your choice.
Sanders Funeral Home.