Clair P. Lyons, 96, resident of The Regency at South Shore in Erie, formerly of Montpelier Ave. passed away July 17, 2020, of natural causes. He was born in Reynoldsville, PA, on July 5, 1924, the son of Ray S. and Mildred C. Love Lyons. He graduated from Reynoldsville (PA) High School Class of 1942. During his high school years, he worked for his father’s business making and delivering ice, and mining and delivering coal to Reynoldsville residents.
In World War II, he proudly served with the 89th Infantry Division in the European Theater of Operations, and took part in the Battles of The Rhineland in Central Europe. The 89th was the first to liberate a German concentration camp (North Stalag III at Ordruf) and his visit within hours of the break-in made him one of the very first Americans to witness this terrible atrocity. Clair studied engineering at the University of Denver as part of the Army Specialized Training Program (ASTP). Clair worked for Copes-Vulcan in Dubois, Erie and Lake City for 38 years. His duties included design of automatic controls for sootblower systems; coordination of training for licensees in Japan, India, Italy and Spain; 25 years of which as Contract Engineering Manager.
Clair fully enjoyed his 34 years of retirement. He was always a bargain hunter, designing a solution to a problem with whatever he had on hand. More often than not, one would hear, “I've been thinking...” from him. In writing his autobiography at age 92, adding it to his previous collection of WWII memoirs and, the family's ancestry, he left behind an amazing legacy for his family.
He was the strongest, most independent, amazingly wise man who was dedicated to his friends and family. Some people are very smart, some are very wise, some are very kind, some are very funny but very few are all of those things, the exception being Clair. He didn't have a selfish bone in his body, as he was always considerate of all around him. His faith carried him to the end as his beloved Edie reached down from heaven and guided him home to her. May their reunion be their best celebration after being apart for 3 1/2 years. In May 2020, Clair authored an article in Reminisce Extra Magazine, about a single day of his service in March 1945 during WWII. He was a member of Westminster Presbyterian Church for over 66 years.
Clair was preceded in death by his wife of 69 years, Edith Ann Johnston Lyons, who passed away March 14, 2017. Two brothers, Kenneth and Stanford, also preceded him in death. Clair is survived by two daughters, Dr. Ruthanne McCaslin and her husband Dr. Edward McCaslin of Chardon, OH, Kathleen Jakubowski and her husband Ronald of Cape Canaveral, FL; by one son, Kenneth Lyons and his wife Kathy of Girard, Pa and one brother, Donald Lyons of Erie and several cousins, nieces and nephews. Clair is also survived by six grandchildren; Jeffrey McCaslin and his wife Megan, Julia McCaslin and her partner Matt Depante, Rachel McCaslin and her husband Dan Parker, Rebecca Jakubowski Matteson and her husband Adam, Deborah Jakubowski Adams and her husband Chris, and Brenton Lyons and his wife Jennifer. Clair also leaves behind eight great-grandchildren, Isaiah, Hannah, Elijah, and Hadassah Matteson, Mason and River Depante, Margot McCaslin and Landon Lyons.
Thank you to the staff of the Regency and VNA Hospice for their kindness, support, and comfort. Memorial contributions may be made to The Erie City Mission in Clair's name. There will be no calling hours. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Edder Funeral Home 309 Main St. East, Girard, PA 16417.
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