Elvin George Lyon, 98 years old, of the last of The Greatest Generation, peacefully passed through the veil on March 23, 2018. He was at his home, surrounded and loved by his family who had spent those last special hours at his bedside.
He was born on January 4, 1920 at the home of his parents, George and Emma Criddle Lyon, in Firth, Idaho, the youngest of five brothers and a sister. He grew up on the farm in Firth, and those were wonderful years, working in the potatoes, hay, and sugar beets, riding horses, making their own toys, ice skating on the canals, and sledding down Pullen Hill. His mother died when he was a teenager, and he became his Dad’s “side-kick,” especially when they’d go to the hills in the summer to take supplies up to the sheep herders or to help bring the lambs down in the fall. And there was plenty of time for loading young people in somebody’s car to go to the dances at the Eagles Hall. He graduated from Firth High School and loved singing in the choir and playing his trumpet.
He and his family were blessed for his service as a missionary for the LDS Church in the Eastern States Mission in 1942, and being a missionary was one of the great joys of his life. He briefly met Patrina Bolander before he left on his Mission and on returning, he gave her a bunch of wild-flowers on a dare and the rest is history. Shortly before their marriage, in Dad’s own words, “Uncle Sam gave me a brand new khaki suit for my 24th birthday,” and the young couple were separated for many long months while he was a tail gunner on a B17 bomber stationed in London during World War II. He participated in 17 bombing runs, his last being a “mercy mission” where his plane dropped 90 large cases of food to the starving people in Holland.
He was a farmer and a carpenter and always and forever his life was filled with charity….to his family, neighbors, and the Church. He was an extraordinary home teacher whose last visit was just a few months ago after 73 years of dedicated service. For years he sang with double-mixed and male quartets for Church meetings and socials, but his greatest service with Patrina was as LDS senior missionaries in the Georgia Atlanta Mission and as temple workers in the Idaho Falls Temple for seventeen years. He also served in the name extraction program at the family history library by transcribing several thousand German and Swedish names.
He was our Dad and our Grandpa so many times over! He loved us unconditionally, he taught us what was good and what was needful and what was right by his shining example. And most of all, he taught us that the greatest joy in this life is to “endure to the end” with courage and commitment and faith in Jesus Christ. It was difficult for him to leave this life, first, because he wasn’t 100 yet, but second because he loved and will miss his family here: His children…Robert and Sandy Lyon of Firth, Patty and Von Jolley of Orem, Utah, Richard Kelley, Mike Lyon and Lori Anderson, Dawn Hansen, Bryce and Diane Lyon of Idaho Falls, and Colleen and Randy Kidman of Shelley. Twenty-six grandchildren, seventy-two great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren will always love and remember their Grandpa!
He was preceded in his passing by his beloved wife, Patrina, a daughter, Mary Kelley, a grandson, Kay Kelley, a great grand-daughter Hannah Jolley, his parents, his brothers, Warren, Jim, Charley, Lawrence, Frank, and his sister, Edna. He is survived by brothers-in-laws, Vance Bolander, Von Bolander and Dale Christensen.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Friday, March 30, 2018 in the Firth Ward Chapel (744 North 600 East). The family will receive friends Thursday, March 29, 2018 from 6:00 until 7:30 p.m. at Nalder Funeral Home (110 West Oak) in Shelley and Friday morning from 9:30 to 10:40 a.m. at the church. Burial will be at the Basalt Cemetery with military rites by David B. Bleak Post 93 and the Idaho Honor Guard.
Our family has such gratitude for the tender care and friendship of Misty and Maggie of Alliance Home Health and Hospice….we love you for who you are and what you did!