Thomas Lyon

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Thomas Scott Lyon
Dec. 8, 1950 – Feb. 5, 2019

Thomas Scott Lyon, age 68, of Navarre, Florida, passed away early on the morning of Tuesday, February 5, 2019.

Tom was born to Fendall and Jane Lyon in Wiesbaden Germany when his parents were stationed there with the U.S. State Department. He was the middle son of three brothers, and grew up in McLean, Virginia, after the family returned to the U.S. He attended McLean High School, and graduated from William & Mary College in Williamsburg, Virginia, with a double major in philosophy and psychology. Tom was always known for his energetic, positive personality. While still in his teens, Tom earned his pilot’s license, played guitar and keyboard in a number of rock bands, and was active in student government.

After college, Tom and his brother Pete earned money painting houses to take a road trip across the states, flying their hang glider in locations from Jockey’s Ridge in North Carolina to the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean near San Francisco. Upon returning to Virginia, Tom worked in sales at several music and hi-fi stores. In 1975, he joined Federal Express as a courier, when FedEx was just a small company. He loved rising at dawn to help unload the packages from the Falcon jets before servicing his territory, which at the time was about a quarter of the entire Washington DC area. In his spare time, he played music, wrote songs, and regularly gathered friends in his apartment for impromptu jam sessions.

It was in 1977 that he met the love of his life, Kathy Lyon, who worked as a graphic artist for a furniture store which was a client of FedEx. The two began to perform together on weekends as “Two’s Company” with Kathy on vocals and Tom on guitar and keys. Married in 1981, the couple quit their jobs and traveled across the U.S. in their VW bus, booking gigs in cities where friends and relatives could put them up for a few days. They spent a year traveling and performing at ski resorts, restaurants and music clubs.

After returning to Virginia, Tom was able to secure the first of seven overseas tours over the next four years, doing shows for U.S. and multi-national military personnel as “The Kat Lyon Band”. Their travels took them all over the world, from Thule Greenland to Germany, Holland, Iceland, Panama, Antigua, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Japan, Korea, the Philippines, Australia, Egypt, and more. Between tours, the couple would play in local clubs, building a following in the Northern Virginia area.

In 1985, just before their final tour, Tom and Kathy were surprised to find out that their first baby was on the way. Daughter Michelle was born in January 1986, and Tom went to work in the automobile business. He first worked in sales, and quickly built a career with a large automotive organization in the D.C. area, in Customer Satisfaction, Quality Control and Marketing. The couple’s second child, son Gregory, was born in November 1988. In 1999, Tom founded his own company, TL Marketing and Kathy joined him in building a successful enterprise with five employees. The office of TL Marketing was divided into two areas, one for the business, and the back area was fondly named the “TomKat Nite Club”, and several times a week friends would gather to jam and listen.

In 2002, Tom suffered a severe stroke. Despite his disability, Tom worked very hard on his rehabilitation, always with a positive attitude. He even joined Toastmasters in an effort to regain his “gift of gab”. When it finally became clear that he was not going to be able to return to work, Tom, Kathy and Greg relocated to Navarre, Florida. By this time, Michelle was in college, earning her degree in Sculpture at Virginia Commonwealth University. Tom regained some of his music skills well enough to participate in local jam sessions, and performed several times with Kathy and Greg, who himself has developed into a professional musician after earning his degree in Guitar Performance from the University of West Florida. Tom was a wonderful father, so proud of his children as they developed their own love for art and music. In retirement, Tom enjoyed playing music in his home studio and in the last few years, traveling with Kathy in their RV to visit friends and family, and camp in National Parks and scenic areas of the country.

He was preceded in death by his father, Fendall Gregory Lyon; his mother, Jane Miller Lyon; and his older brother, Richard Gregory Lyon.

Tom is survived by his wife of 37 years, Kathy Lyon; his daughter, Michelle (Jason) Duvall of Longmont Colorado; his son, Gregory Ray Lyon, of Pensacola Beach; his 8-month-old grandson, Leo Duvall; his younger brother, Peter (Gail) Lyon of Fairfax, Virginia; numerous and well-loved nieces, nephews, in-laws (and out-laws); and many dear friends scattered across the country.

Honoring Tom’s desire for a private goodbye, his wife, children, brother and grandson gathered in Tom’s final days to surround him with love as he let go in comfort and peace. The family wishes to thank the staff of Emerald Coast Hospice for their love and care given to Tom in his last days.

Those who were fortunate enough to know Tommy Lyon will always remember his smile, his unbounded zest for adventure and travel, and the joy he took in making music. Although faced with an incredibly challenging health situation, Tom never became bitter or angry, but continued right up to the last to find happiness in life. He will always be missed but lives on in the memories of those who loved him.

Lewis Funeral Home, Navarre, has been entrusted with arrangements.

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