YARMOUTH – William “Bill” Patrick Lyons didn’t die doing what he loved … that would have been somewhere on the back nine at Bangor Muni with Kelly, George and Phil … but he did die doing that thing that everyone loved about him – being a stubborn Irishman. He reluctantly, but peacefully, departed this world on February 21, 2016, around midnight. He was 83.
Born on February 27, 1932, in Dublin, Ireland, the son of James Joseph and Margaret Rose (Garland) Lyons, he immigrated to the United States in 1960, leaving behind his mother and eight surviving brothers and sisters. He smoked. He drank. He swore. He was Catholic. Naturally, he fell for an American Baptist who did none of the afore mentioned things. They would go on to have three children and settle in the Bangor area.
His profession was typography. His occupation bore many names: printer, compositor, typesetter, journeyman and his expertise was as fluid as the quick-changing technology. He was a skilled linotype operator (the contraption Thomas Edison, it’s said, referred to as the Eighth Wonder of the World). He ended his career in his wee eponymous typography shop on South Main Street in Brewer after retiring from the Bangor Daily News.
His passion was golf and he was good. Very good. He encouraged many to take up the game and his talents as a player were bested only by his talent as a mentor.
There wasn’t a word he couldn’t spell nor a musical instrument he couldn’t figure out. He was tough as nails, had an infectious laugh, and if there was an award for whistling, it would be called ‘The Billy.’ There wasn’t a soul on the planet that would call him an enemy even though he would not hesitate to tell someone to “[expletive] off” if they rubbed him the wrong way. He was generous to a fault with his time, possessions and knowledge. As one of his nieces so succinctly put it, “We were all mad for him.”
William was predeceased by his cherished wife, Charlotte Ruth (Dow) in 2002; and his eldest son, James Joseph in 2006. He is survived by his son, William Patrick Lyons Jr. and his wife, Jennifer, of Camas, WA; and their children, Sarah, Kathleen, Margaret and James; and his daughter, Margaret R. Lyons and her partner, Troy Keiper, of Portland, ME.
A brief service will be held at Conroy-Tully Crawford Funeral Home, 172 State Street, Portland, at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 27, with a gathering to follow at The Snug at 223 Congress Street, Portland. To view Bill’s memorial page, or to share an online condolence, please visit www.ctcrawford.com.
With regards to flowers, Bill would have said, “It’s a matter of insignificance to me, your honor, what you do.”