George Reese Lyons, 83, of Blue Bell, Pa. and Boca Grande passed away on September 22, 2018.
He was the beloved husband of Anne (Starr) Lyons; devoted father of Bonnie Lyons (Lee) Richards, Laura Reese Lyons, and George A. (Hillary) Lyons ll; grandfather “Poppi” of Laina, Ashley, Connor, Samuel, Matthew (Lauren) and Jeffrey (Laura); and great-grandfather of Grace, Benjamin, Noah and Lee.
George, along with his family, first came to Boca Grande in 1976 and it was love at first sight after traveling past Cole Island. At that time people camped there, and Gasparilla Island was all-natural land – no buildings until 19th Street. His family stayed in a cottage, then part of the Boatel-Motel, now The Innlet. The cottage was right by the train tracks (now the Bike Path) and they were awakened at 5 a.m. by the freight train traveling past.
Time and change did not diminish George’s love of Boca Grande. He had his boat at Whiddens and would fish almost every day, sometimes switching to surf fishing. He was responsible for helping preserve Whiddens and founding the Maritime Museum there.
George enjoyed sharing Boca Grande with his many friends and the generations of his family that came along. They have now inherited his love of the island, thanks to him. He believed in keeping the island as genuine as possible.
That is how George lived his life.