- Roderick Neil Lyons, 93, passed away December 29, 2016, in Portland. He was born August 06, 1923, in T7R5 to Natalie McMannus Lyons.
He was married for sixty-six years to Evelyn "Honey" and lived in Patten where they raised their four children.
Our dad was a quiet, humble man who was admired by everyone who knew him. He was a person who never said, "I told you so" while patiently teaching his children and grandchildren his work ethic of tirelessly doing a job until it was done and done correctly. His motto was always, "if you don't give a man 100% effort, then you can't expect to be paid for the job."
His life's story was one of extreme hard work as a child, losing his young mother to tuberculosis and spending his early years in the Maine woods camps working long days for his grandfather and uncle. He began his lumbering career as a cookee while assisting the most important person in the lumber camp - the cook. His job as a teenager was to get the fires going and to keep them going which required getting up very early in the morning, cutting the wood, and carrying the noon meals out to the lumbermen. He gladly exchanged that job for cutting hardwood logs, and was then able to work "the rear" on one of Maine's last log drives. Dad was a bulldozer operator for many years. From observing coyotes chasing a deer across his path to accidentally awakening an angry bear from its winter's sleep were just a few of his stories that we never got tired of hearing. It was always a walk down memory lane to visit the Lumberman's Museum with Dad. He could easily have been a docent, guiding and sharing knowledge of the Maine woods with details that only a seasoned, experienced woodsman would know. He truly loved and appreciated nature and the outdoors and passed that love on to his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
During his working years, he was employed by the Patten Creamery, B&A Railroad, Sherman Lumber Co, and Huber Corp. He was a mechanic and had special talents working with his hands whenever it came to welding heavy equipment, expertly grading a woods road, or repairing any kind of engine or piece of machinery. But Dad confided that his favorite working years actually happened after he retired. He worked part-time for Buck McAvoy and was able to swap stories with someone who appreciated and had a true admiration for the world around them - the Maine woods.
Rod is survived by his children Rick (Linda) of Patten; Martena McAvoy (Dave Brown) of Limington; Ruth Fitzpatrick (Mark) of Winterport; Glenn (Melanie) of Bangor; his grandchildren who held special spots in his heart, Jason and Joshua Lyons, Oliver and Zachary McAvoy, Olivia Mayer and Annie Liacos, and Nicole Boucher and Neil Lyons along with his 15 great-grandchildren.
Rod wanted to say "thanks so much" to people he considered his special friends - Randy and Glenda Bossie, Gayle and Monica Noyes, Bob and Joyce Harvey, Ed and Jean Noyes, and Dick McManus. He was predeceased by his wife, Honey, his sisters, Carol, Frances, Amy, and a brother, Robert.
Dad also had two best friends who went on ahead of him, Guy Bossie and Earl Hanson. These three men shared the love of the outdoors together for many years, compiling memories upon memories. Dad shared those stories with his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren - painting pictures of three men who totally appreciated the Maine woods while hunting (most of the time legally), and fishing (most of the time legally), and camping in the wilds. Memories of those trips and adventures will live on forever and whenever his family gathers to celebrate his life.
We are all better people for having known this truly remarkable, quiet man. Thanks Dad.
Graveside services will be held in the spring. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Stetson Memorial United Methodist Church in Patten, Maine 04765. For an online memory book and to leave condolences, please visit