Dr. Gary W. Lyons

Dr. Gary W Lyons, 88, passed away peacefully on February 11, 2023. Born October 18, 1934 in Corry, Pennsylvania to the late Arch and Aralene (Drought) Lyons. Dr. Lyons was preceded in death by the love of his life, his wife Darlene.

Sweethearts since childhood, Gary and Darlene were married on June 21, 1958. Dr. Lyons was also preceded in death by his brother Dr. Richard Lyons and his sister Phylis Honey.

Dr. Lyons was a leader in his professional field of medicine. A proud graduate of Pennsylvania State University, he continued his education earning his M.D. from University of Pittsburgh Medical School and his PhD from University of Minnesota Graduate School. While attending University of Pittsburgh's medical school, he was selected to participate in an exchange program at University of London, where he studied with the famed vascular surgeon Dr. Charles Rob. While at University of Minnesota, Dr. Lyons worked with the esteemed Dr. C. Walton Lillehei - one of the first surgeons to perform open heart surgery in the United States.

Dr. Lyons was recruited by Saint Vincent Health Center to build the hospital's first open-heart surgery program and, in 1971, he moved his family to Erie, Pennsylvania to begin his career where he became Chief of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery.

Dr. Lyons holds both Alumni Fellow and Penn State Distinguished Alumnus designations. In 2017, he received Penn State Behrend's College of Distinguished Alumni Award. His contributions to the communities he served are too many to list. He served in all capacities on boards and organizations, schools and committees, societies and staff positions. 

Once retired, Dr. Lyons and his wife Darlene enjoyed their time at their home at the Old Baldy Club in Saratoga, Wyoming and at BIGHORN in Palm Desert, California. He will be remembered as a true gentleman with a beaming personality. He was kind and generous.

He was surrounded by family and friends as he took his final journey to Darlene.

Dr. Lyons is survived by his 4 children: Dr. Mark Lyons of Scottsdale, Arizona his wife Bethann and their children Christopher, Zachary and Hope; Steve Lyons of Grosse Ile, Michigan his wife Alisa and their children Samantha, Jack and Casey; Susan (Lyons) Swahn of Erie, Pennsylvania, her husband Clarence and their children Hannah and Max; and Scott Lyons of Erie, Pennsylvania and his wife Kandace. He is also survived by his sister Connie (Lyons) Wolford of Erie, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Lyons was a great man. Loved his family above all else.

He will be remembered for so many things, but his love for Darlene trumps all. His heart was irreparably broken when she passed. He yearned to be with her again. His heart is whole once more.


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