Jack Lyons, a native New Yorker and resident of Boca Grande for more than 20 years, died suddenly on Feb. 27, 2015 while on a boat trip with fellow BIPS volunteers to Don Pedro Island.
His wife, Bette, was with him. He was 87.
Jack was a well-known and much loved figure on the island. He was a designer and creator of handmade jewelry that he sold at the Boca Grande Art Alliance, where he was an exhibiting artist. Many of his signature shackle bracelets can be seen on the wrists of local residents.
He was a volunteer at the Boca Grande Lighthouse, where he entertained visitors with stories of the island and its early settlers. He was quartermaster/historian of the Boca Grande Pass Yacht Club where he was a member for 19 years.
Jack was vice president of the Boca Grande Historical Society and dedicated to its success. He spent many hours in the Society’s museum greeting visitors and attending to the Society’s business. When the Society’s annual fund-raiser required Cajun cooking to feed 300 people, Jack and Bette opened their kitchen to help the Society President Tim Dumas prepare the meals.
In fact, the kitchen was one of Jack’s favorite hangouts. He would ask Bette what she wanted for dinner and she would say “surprise me.” Jack’s surprises might include some fish he caught earlier in the day with his buddy, Bill Caldwell, on Bill’s boat, Runaway. He was also a master butcher and it was not unusual for him to stock his freezer with 50 pounds of his homemade hot Italian sausage.
Before moving to Boca Grande in 1990, Jack spent 30 years in St. Croix in the Virgin Islands where he owned and operated The Gold Shop.
There will be no memorial service. Contributions may be made to the Boca Grande Historical Society.
Left to grieve for Jack are his wife, Bette; son, Andrew Lyons; stepson Aaron Brattstrom; adopted daughter, Jennifer Chandler; his sister, Muriel Herold; his beloved animals, Bentley and Susie, and the many people on the island who treasured his friendship and were heartened by his winning smile and the devilish twinkle in his eyes.