Kenneth Lyons, 92, was born in the Bronx, N.Y., March 20, 1927, and passed away Jan. 18, 2020, in Alpharetta, Ga.
He was preceded in death by Arlene Betty Gilbert Lyons, his wife of 63 years. Kenneth passed away one day after what would have been their 66th wedding anniversary. Arlene was his love, partner and the light of his life. Their first date, a family setup, was to the Roller Derby when Arlene was visiting her aunt in New York. After one date, Kenneth knew he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Arlene. He was also preceded in death by his sister Grayce Cooper and parents August and Isidore Lyons.
Kenneth is survived by his two children, Sharon Lyons and Gilbert (Tobi) Lyons; two grandchildren, Allyn Guy, daughter of Sharon, and Gavin Cole Lyons, son of Gilbert and Tobi; and two great-grandchildren.
Kenneth, a WW II veteran, was one of the few remaining survivors of the “Greatest Generation.” He was only supposed to survive three years on dialysis but survived an additional year. He was stubborn and strong-willed to a fault, but was the kindest and most non-confrontational individual you could ever imagine, and a staunch rule follower. Kidney doctors said he would be on dialysis for the rest of his life and he took that literally, willing to continue, even though his body was saying he no longer could. His body was worn out, but not his mind or will.
Kenneth was an accountant by trade and was therefore methodical, specific and orderly, but was a father first and foremost. He was involved in his children’s activities throughout their lives, attending just about every sport and social activity in which they were involved.
Despite today’s healthier trends, he loved his meat and potatoes. He did not eat chicken or fish because of the bones. If Arlene and Kenneth went to an event that served chicken or fish, Arlene would take the additional main course and Kenneth would take her potatoes and vegetables.
They did just about everything together, even paying bills. They would sit at the kitchen table and one would write the check and the other would seal the envelope and stamp it. After Arlene’s passing, Kenneth never expressed his loneliness, but you could see in his eyes that he missed his love and life partner every day.
Kenneth has now joined his partner, and they will forever be known as Arlene and Kenneth, not just Kenneth, as he has been the past three years.
Graveside services were held Jan. 22 at West End Synagogue Cemetery in Nashville, Tenn. Shiva followed in Nashville at the home of Kenneth’s nephew Alan (Regina) Cooper. Shiva will also be observed at the home of Gilbert and Tobi Lyons in Marietta at 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 26.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Kenneth’s honor to the American Kidney Fund.