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Beloved civic leader passes

By By Adrienne McKenzie
Although Bishop Edward Lyons Sr. has passed away, he is leaving his mark of excellence for future Atmore generations to follow in his footsteps.
Lyons passed away March 11 after suffering from an extended illness at his Martin Luther King Drive home.
Even though Lyons is no longer physically with Atmore area residents, his name will always be remembered because of all the many activities he has been a part of during his time spent here.
A keepsake the Lyons’ family has kept is an article written by Joyce Bolden in the Feb. 25, 2001 edition of the Advance that has kind words about their beloved husband, father and grandfather after he was appointed the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year in 2001.
Bolden’s article proved Lyons was a busy person who was always trying to improve some part of the community.
Lyons was born on Feb. 7, 1929 in Conecuh County, which is where he went to school. Lyons has always been a believer in receiving a good education. After graduating from Conecuh County schools, he graduated from Alabama A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture education. He also studied at Tuskegee University. He earned both an associate’s degree and a master’s degree.
Lyons began teaching in Andalusia, but moved to Atmore after serving in the United States Army for two years.
According to Lyons’ daughter-in-law Renee, he stepped immediately into the role of changing the lives of Atmore youngsters.
Other than teaching in Atmore, Lyons joined many civic groups. He was a president of the Escambia County Teachers Association, vice president of the Southwest District Association for the Alabama Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association, the first African-American to be appointed to the Atmore Utilities Board in 1989, a member of the West Escambia Chapter Red Cross Board of Directors, the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Atmore Public Library Board and the Escambia Educators Federal Credit Union. He was also a charter member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity at Alabama A&M, a Master Mason and a founding member of the Atmore Area Community Male Chorus.
As a member of the retired teachers organization, Lyons was involved with is Charlotte Boyle, who had nothing but good things to say about him.
Lyons leaves behind a wealth of individuals including his wife, Tessie, along with many family members and friends.
See page 5B for Lyons’ obituary which includes funeral arrangements.