November 6, 2013
Date of Service: November 9, 2013
Interment Location: Christus Garden
2nd Timothy 4:7 — I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith … Ray Lyons, born on July 8, 1925, went to be with Jesus November 6, 2013, at 3:10 a.m. He was born in the Fish Springs area and lived in Elizabethton most all his life. Ray worked at the Elizabethton Post Office delivering mail and then as a postal clerk for 50 years, retiring in May 1998 at 72 years old. Ray was at Ivy Hall Nursing Home from April 2012 until his death. A special thank you to the staff that was wonderful to him. He loved to participate in the activities and loved to visit the residents. Many came by to tell him goodbye in his last hours and prayed around his bed. It meant so much to him and his family. Ray was drafted his senior year at Elizabethton High School. He returned to graduate from Elizabethton High and Steed College, Elizabethton. Ray played for the Elizabethton Cyclones football team. He was proud to see his Great Grandson, Don Singleton, in his Cyclone uniform playing on the Mighty Mights Football Team. Ray was inducted into the 3rd Armored Division, October 8, 1943. Ray served in 5 major battles as a Tank Crewman in Normandy, Northern France, Ardennes, Rhineland, Central Europe, including the Battle of the Bulge. He received Purple Heart with an Oak Leaf Cluster and five Bronze Service Stars, Good Conduct Medal with Clasp, World War II Victory Medal. Shrapnel remained in his body. Ray gave his life to Jesus after returning from World War II. He joined Grace Baptist Church, Elizabethton. He was a deacon, Sunday School Director, Disciple Director and Bible teacher. He loved his church family. Ray loved people. His nickname was “Grinner.” He pitched for many years on the church softball team. He was known for his softball knuckleball pitch. Ray is preceded in death by his parents: John Joseph Lyons and Deamie Church Lyons; his first wife: Faye Lora Lipps Lyons (married July 11, 1927, until her death June 29, 1987); a sister, Pearl June Lyons Cox, who died May 12, 2013; and a great granddaughter, Julie Lynne Wilson. Survivors are: Margie McQueen Townsend Lyons (married May 18, 1998); a son, Herman Ray Lyons; a daughter, Kathy Lyons Wilson and her husband, Clarence Wilson Jr.; Three grandchildren and families: Kirk Edward Wilson & spouse, Heidi, children, Katie, Lydia, Kevin; Charity Hope Wilson Bell & spouse, Jeff, and daughter, Bethany; Legina Kay Wilson Singleton and sons, Don and Noah; Step-children: Gina Townsend Osborne & spouse, Mark, and son Alex; Ed Townsend, Step-son; Brother-in-law: Earl Cox. Ray was a man of God who put God first in his life. He cared for others and loved his family deeply. He loved to have family get-togethers, enjoying the fellowship and food. He loved getting with his classmates each year. He enjoyed taking his grandchildren to find creative and special things to do. Ray was very patriotic. He made a difference in so many lives. He will be missed here but is enjoying being in heaven with his Savior and brothers and sisters in Christ. A Service to Celebrate the life of Ray Lyons will be conducted at 7:30 p.m. Friday in Memorial Funeral Chapel with the Rev. Ron Owens officiating. Graveside Service and Interment will be at 1 p.m. Saturday, November 9, 2013, in Happy Valley Memorial Park. Music will be provided by the Grace Baptist Church Choir. Active Pallbearers, who are requested to assemble at the funeral home at 12:20 p.m. Saturday, will be: Alex Osborne, Mark Osborne, Kirk Wilson, Jeff Bell, Tim Parsons, Sam Shipley, Frank Quintero and Luther Bowers. Honorary Pallbearers will be: the 1945 Graduating Class of Elizabethton High School, His Post Office Buddies, His Church Family, Jim “Snuffy” Murray and Bruce Hill. Military Honors will be provided by the American Legion & Tennessee National Guard. The family will receive friends from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Friday in the funeral home. Friends may also call at the residence of his daughter: Kathy Wilson, 1204 Erie Lane, Elizabethton. Family and friends will assemble at the funeral home at 12:20 p.m. Saturday to go to the cemetery. Condolences may be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Memorial Funeral Chapel is in charge.