Commercial Record Obituaries

Obituary: Mary Lyons, 89

Mary Lyons, nee Devine, age 89, died on March 3, 2023, in Geneva, Ill.
Mary was born on July 27, 1933, in Brooklyn, N.Y., the second child of Joseph and Mary Devine. On Dec 29, 1956, she married Thomas Richard Lyons. She attended St. John’s University in Queens, N.Y., working toward a degree in business.
Mary and Dick began their life together in 1956. They moved all around the East Coast, having children and moving a little further west each time.
They reached the Chicago area in 1965 with six kids and one more on the way. Mary worked for more than 30 years as an office manager in various businesses. She proved herself to be versatile, taking care of scheduling, payroll and other essential functions. She retired in 1996, but still had the ability to type 80-words-per-minute.
She and Dick moved to Saugatuck so they could enjoy the beautiful scenery, excellent sailing and ability to host their ever-growing family at their waterfront dream home.
Days in Saugatuck were spent with multiple families and generations spread across the house, laughing and telling stories. Mary was in the middle of it all, a beacon of love and happiness.
She loved being a member of the Saugatuck-Douglas Garden Club. During her time with the group, she held every officer position including serving as president. She helped organize and promote the annual Saugatuck-Douglas Garden Walk, which featured the area’s most beautiful gardens.
The group taught kids at the elementary school about local flowers and trees. Each year they worked on the town planters, teaching kids to plant lovely flowers and be proud of a job well done.
She loved working with her hands and enjoyed crafts of all kinds. She was an accomplished knitter, seamstress, cross-stitcher, needle-pointer, bow and wreath maker and quilter. Her knitting group met every Tuesday for years.
She created wreaths, which were displayed all around her house. She made bows for weddings and birthdays but saved the most beautiful and elaborate ones for Christmas. She crafted magnificent handmade quilts, now treasured heirlooms, and presented them to all her grandchildren.
Mary was most comfortable and happiest when surrounded by her children and grandchildren, though everyone was welcome. Parties often included extended family, friends and co-workers, and she treated them all like they belonged. Gatherings were held as often as possible, and she made sure that everyone had a place at her table.
She was famous for her signature sayings. She had words of wisdom that could apply to about any life situation. If you were having a difficult day, she’d say, “Into each life, a little rain must fall.” If you were disappointed in how something turned out, it was “Well, it’s better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick.” And, of course, you’d have to agree.
Mary was a legendary storyteller. Her stories could be hilarious, inspiring, cautionary. We all eagerly listened to her tales of our family history and life growing up at the beach.
One of our favorites was when, at age three, she won the Mardi Gras beauty pageant at Breezy Point, complete with a picture from the day.
She was the keeper of our family tree. Her research led to the rediscovery of lost cousins in the U.S. and Ireland. Her determination to trace our roots have kept us all mindful of our heritage.
Mary is survived by her children Rick (David Green) Lyons, Mary Jo (Mark) Sandheinrich, Tom (Kelly) Lyons, Mark (Tom Clark) Lyons, Rob (Jenny) Lyons, and Joe (Kim) Lyons; her son-in-law Dave Piekarz, and her grandchildren Andy (Nicole Cooke) Lyons, Molly (Uli) Werner, Adam (Sam) Lyons, Mitch Lyons, Patrick Lyons, Katie (Patrick Leitheiser) Sandheinrich, Lou Piekarz, Ian Lyons, Maddie Sandheinrich, Mary Rose Piekarz, Megan Sandheinrich, Will Lyons, Tommy Piekarz, Grace Lyons, Hattie Lyons, Maggie Lyons, Phoebe Lyons, and Tommy Lyons.
She was especially excited to welcome her first two great-grandchildren, Brynn Rose Werner and Eleanor Rose Lyons.
She was preceded in death by her dear husband, Dick, her parents, Joseph and Mary, her brother, Father Richard Devine, and her beloved daughter, Roseann Piekarz.
Donations can be made to St. Jude in Mary’s honor at Services will be private.

Leave a Reply