John A. (Jack) Lyons, 77, Portsmouth

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John A. (Jack) Lyons, Jr, age 77, passed away peacefully on Aug. 29, 2020 in his home in Rixeyville, Va., after a seven-year battle with cancer caused by exposure to Agent Orange.

Born in Fall River, Mass., he was the son of the late John A. Lyons and Phoebe Boardman Lyons. He was preceded in death by his lovely wife of 35 years, Linda E. Enlund. He is survived by his sons J. Christopher and Stephen M. (Jenna) and his four grandchildren Elise and Andrew Lyons and Caleigh and Gracyn Lyons. His four surviving sisters, Mary Lyons, Frances L. Sammons, JoAnne Lyons, and JoEllen L. Hunt all live in Rhode Island. 

After graduating from the University of Rhode Island, Jack joined the United States Army in 1965. He served seven years, first in Vietnam and later at the Pentagon. His began his civilian career at Xerox Corporation in Washington, D.C. area, where he rose from sales to management. In retirement Jack was well known to his customers at Harris Teeter in Warrenton, Va. and appreciated by the young people he mentored there.

Later in life Jack lived simply but with great purpose. He began each day with a prayer of gratitude and looked forward to another day to meet people, engage in conversation, and maybe make life a little easier for someone else. People who knew him for even a short time loved his storytelling, his sense of humor, and his sincerity. 

On Sept. 9, 2020, Jack’s funeral mass was held at St. Barnabas Church in Portsmouth, R.I. and he was buried at Hillside Cemetery in Tiverton, R.I. with his wife and his parents. 

The family sincerely thanks Capital Caring Hospice and the nurses from First Light Home Care of Warrenton for the attention, kindness and support they gave Jack in his last two months. They also recognize Hero’s Bridge, a wonderful volunteer non-profit that gave significant help to Jack this past year, especially in times of Covid-19. Its mission is to care for older veterans by providing transportation to medical appointments, advocacy when dealing with the VA, and companionship to those who no longer have family nearby. Donations may be made in Jack’s memory to Hero’s Bridge, P.O. Box 861606, Warrenton, VA 20187. 

Funeral arrangements were made by Connors Memorial Funeral Home in Portsmouth, R.I. You may share memories and condolences with the family online by visiting www.memorialfuneralhome.com.

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A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.