Helen M. Lyon
Dec 28, 1921 – Jan 3, 2018
Preceded in death by husband, W. Clarke Lyon. Survived by children: William Lyon (Sherene), Margaret Reichart (Calvin), and Kenneth Lyon (Brenda); five grandchildren; fourteen great-grandchildren.
VISITATION on Tuesday, Jan. 9th from 7pm to 8:30pm at the West Center Chapel. SERVICES on Wednesday, Jan. 10th at 10am, West Center Chapel. Interment, Forest Lawn. Memorials are suggested to Open Door Mission or Salvation Army.
Helen Margaret Mayer, our loving and spirited mother, was born on December 28, 1921 in Clinton, Missouri to Frank and Emma Mayer. During her early childhood, Helen lived in Omaha, NE with her mother, father, and sister, Marie, and brother, Earl. She and her siblings attended Catholic grade school. When Helen’s parents divorced, Emma moved the children to Billings, Montana where Helen attended Billings High school for four years. After graduation, the family relocated back to Omaha.
During the World War II years, Helen was employed by the Union Pacific Railroad doing office work and enrolled in a class to learn how to use a machine called a Comptometer, the predecessor to the modern computer. It was in this class that she met Lorraine Lyon who quickly became her best friend. They spent much of their free time together, enjoying bike rides, picnics, swimming, and many other activities.
One weekend Lorraine’s brother, Clarke, and his friend asked the two girls if they wanted to go to the movies. Helen and Lorraine agreed—it was the first date ever for both girls. This would turn out to be a fortuitous occasion, as Helen would soon wed W. Clarke Lyon, her best friend’s brother. Helen and Clark were married on October 12, 1946.
Helen and Clarke had three children together: Bill, Margaret, and Kenny. All three children attended Catholic school. An involved mother, Helen took excellent care of her children and her household. She shuttled them to scouts, baseball practices and games, and many other activities.
In her free time, Helen volunteered for the wedding circle at church and put on many beautiful ceremonies. She was also an exceptionally talented seamstress and spent hours sewing beautiful clothing and outfits. A fan of gardening, she enjoyed planting flowers in the yard and tending to her small vegetable garden. Each summer she used the crab apples from the tree in the backyard to make a delicious crab apple jelly. Her culinary skills should not go unmentioned; she was an excellent chef and baker, always whipping up something delicious. Her grandchildren will never forget the summer they visited and she made a scrumptious peach pie using the peaches that her son, Kenny, provided from his trees in Oklahoma.
As their children got a bit older, Helen and Clark started tent camping at local state and city parks. Eventually they purchased a pop-up camper and vacationed with their three children, visiting many national parks and forests around the country and seeing some magnificent sites.
After the children were grown, Clarke and Helen, who were avid lovers of nature and extremely active, joined the National Camping and Hiking Association as well as a walking club. They also upgraded to a motor home. The two fully enjoyed their retirement years, traveling extensively. They vacationed to Australia, New Zealand, Alaska, the Panama Canal, and Hawaii. Adopting a snowbird lifestyle, they fled the cold winters in Nebraska for the warm sun of Arizona. Their decades of camping and travels provided them with many life-long friends and many wonderful memories and adventures.
Their grown children, five grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren were a source of great joy and pride for them. They visited each of their children and the grandchildren and great grandchildren often. Every summer they hosted family reunions at their home in Omaha where everyone would gather for picnics, outings, hours of card games, and socializing.
Blessed to have fully lived for all of her 96 years, Helen left behind a legacy of love and family. Our loss is certainly heaven’s gain.