Bob was born to Ruby and John Lyons in Fruita, Colorado. The Lyons Family moved from Oklahoma to the small farm town of Brentwood, CA, when Bob was young. He received his early education in Brentwood and straight out of high school began his career in the pulp and paper industry at Fiberboard, Antioch, with electrical and mechanical apprenticeships. Bob became an excellent electrical and mechanical problem solver. His peers voted him in as West Coast Lumber Union President because of his strong work ethic, skills and opinions about the fair treatment of women in the workplace. He took great pride in providing for his family, carrying two full-time jobs: Fiberboard and cannery work along with electrical side jobs in the off-season.
Bob and his first wife, Janice Lauritzen, married in 1958. They raised their three children -- Leslie, Jeff, and Denise --- in Brentwood. Their family enjoyed camping, boating, fishing, and four-wheel drive ventures that often included nephews or their kids’ friends. Bob and Jan spent many nights Striper fishing on the Delta and lengthy camping trips at Milton Reservoir. Bob also liked hunting and deep-sea fishing with the men in the family.
In 1978, their family relocated to Twain Harte when Bob transferred to the Standard Lumber Mill as Maintenance Foreman in the Plywood Plant. He and Janice explored Tuolumne County and learned its history. They fell in love with Alaska, and took several remote wilderness fishing trips. Bob took an active interest in flying, and within a few years acquired his pilot’s license. Both he and Janice honed their artistic abilities creating beautiful paintings their family will cherish. After 10 years living in Tuolumne County, and 30 years of marriage, Janice passed away.
Soon after, Bob was introduced to Phyllis Teague. The two were inseparable and married that same year. Bob and Phyllis soon after moved to Sonora. After he retired the first time, Bob returned as Divisional Safety Administrator for Sierra Pacific Industries for an additional 4 years ending his career with over 40 years in the lumber industry. Bob and Phyllis finally settled in Mill Villa Estates, Jamestown, where they formed lasting friendships and enjoyed clubhouse activities. They frequented area restaurants and could be found at Black Oak Casino on Senior Wednesdays.
Over the years, Bob and Phyllis were active in RV and country-western dance clubs, traveled the United States, took cruises to Mexico and the Caribbean, and toured Alaska. Their favorite trips included visiting Phyllis’ family in Maine, and Bob’s brother in Thailand. Those who knew Bob and Phyllis knew they brought light-hearted cheer and a sweet tooth everywhere they went. Sadly, less than a year ago, Phyllis passed away.
Bob will be remembered as a hardworking, well-organized leader, full of great stories and interesting conversation. Bob could draw anything in perfect perspective and liked to explain details with pen and paper; which he called, “talking paper.” He loved the outdoors and history. People were drawn to him for his warmth.
Bob is survived by his children Leslie Lyons (Troy), Jeff Lyons (Monica), Denise Artzer (Bob); stepson Brian Teague (Ramona); grandchildren Melissa Fowler, Andrea Ege, Dylan and Ryan Rice, Stephanie Minick and Sarai Plumier; step-grandchildren Erin, Dennis, Melissa A., Melissa T., Michelle, Travis, Karli, Yolanda, Sergio, and Erica; step-great and great-great grandchildren, sisters-in-law Janet Lyons and Terry Lauritzen; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Bob was preceded in death by wives Janice Lyons and Phyllis Lyons; parents John and Ruby Lyons; siblings Bill Lyons, Violet Myers, and Dave Lyons.
A Celebration of Life will be held at Calvary Chapel Sonora’s Outdoor Amphitheater on Saturday, October 2 at 3:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate donations to: Sierra Senior Providers, 540 Greenley Rd., Sonora CA, 95370, Memo: Meals on Wheels.