Boyce Marion Lyon, 86, died Friday, April 13, 2018 under hospice care at Brooks-Howell Home in Asheville.
Boyce was born November 16, 1931, in Wilkes County, NC, on the farm that has been in the family for two centuries. His father, Thomas Morgan Lyon, a farmer and Baptist minister, died in 1943, leaving Boyce's mother, Edna Cockerham Lyon, to raise Boyce and 5 younger siblings.
Boyce graduated from Traphill School and in 1951 joined the U.S. Navy. Boyce was assigned duty aboard the USS Henrico, an attack transport that deployed troops to Korea and Japan during the Korean War. In early 1955, Boyce earned the China Service Medal for participating in the 7th Fleet's Evacuation of Tachen Islands, where over 14,000 civilians and even more Republic of China soldiers were rescued from siege by the People's Liberation Army and evacuated to Taiwan.
Upon honorable discharge in 1955 at the rank of petty officer second class, Boyce enrolled at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, with assistance from the G.I. Bill. He graduated in 1959 with a B.S. in Chemistry. His first job out of college was at the American Enka plant near Asheville, and after a brief stint in Greenville, SC, Boyce returned to American Enka (later BASF) for a long career first in chemical research, where he was credited with several patents related to synthetic fiber production, and later as a process engineer, primarily in the nylon carpet yarn plant.
In 1961 Boyce married Nancy Cockerham Lyon, who taught Spanish and English in the Asheville City Schools for 34 years. Together they were active members of Skyland United Methodist Church, where Boyce served on several administrative committees. Boyce was an avid golfer. He also traveled extensively with his wife, attending many USS Henrico ship reunions and spending several summers exploring Europe and Mexico. After 49 years of marriage, Nancy passed away in 2011.
Survivors include a son, Gregory Boyce Lyon of Asheville; three brothers, Louis Lyon, of East Bend, NC; Joe Lyon of Elkin, NC; and Ray Lyon of Traphill, NC; and a sister, Fay Spicer of Forest City, NC. His brother Olin Lyon passed away in 2013.
A memorial service is scheduled for Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 2:00 PM at Skyland United Methodist Church with Reverend Wes Sharpe officiating. The family will receive friends from 1:00 to 2:00 prior to the service at the Church.
A private interment will take place later in the week at Calvary Episcopal Churchyard.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the American Cancer Society, www.cancer.org.