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Matthew R. Lyons

April 8, 1957 September 12, 2021
Matthew R. Lyons
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Obituary for Matthew R. Lyons

MATTHEW ROBERT LYONS, of Mt. Pleasant, formerly of Lathrup Village, passed away on September 12, 2021. Matt was born to James Robert Lyons and Mary Pauline (nee Higgins) Lyons on April 8, 1957 in Detroit, Michigan.

Matt attended St. Bede Elementary and Brother Rice High School, where he excelled at academics and was the Editor of the school paper. Matt graduated from the University of Michigan with a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. He went on to teach and coach football in Florida before returning and obtaining his Master’s Degree in Exercise Physiology from Michigan State University.

Matt was the Director of Cardiac, Pulmonary Rehabilitation at Boca Raton Community Hospital and later became a member of the Central Michigan University Health Sciences Faculty as an instructor in Clinical Exercise Science for almost 20 years.

The fifth of six children, blue-eyed, blond Matty was a lefty like his mother and earned the adorable moniker “little yellow ducky.” Matt was a lifelong, avid sports fan, player, coach, and advocate. Football was his favorite and he could talk about specific plays from specific games that had been played years before. He loved watching, talking, and living football.

Matt was also a lifelong Michigan-o-phile, studying the state and its history and traveling extensively. He loved his Irish heritage and was the family-tree historian, researching the Demery family in Cork and Dublin, Ireland, where he visited twice and was planning a return visit.

The greatest light in Matt’s life were his nieces and nephews: Stephen Lyons, Jr (Kiana) of Rancho Cucamonga, CA, Jon Lyons (Erin) of Newport Beach, CA, Peter Lyons, (Julia) of Whittier, CA, Matthew Quinn of Harbor Springs, MI, Michael Quinn of Grand Blanc, MI, Deenagh Gijsbers (Dave Robare) of Brookfield, IL, Remy Gijsbers (Brian Holder) of Lathrup Village, MI, Allie Gijsbers of Detroit, MI, Demery Gijsbers McHugh (Brennan) of Royal Oak, MI and Emma Gijsbers of Madrid, Spain.

Matt gave his family a lifetime of love and involvement. In an effort to be the cool unc, he would watch the most current kid tv shows and movies so he could relate and hold lively discussions. When he worked traveling across the country, he would send hysterical postcards where he put himself in the photo and make up elaborate tales of his latest crazy adventures.
As they got older, Uncle Matt followed the kids’ sporting activities closely, always making an effort to attend as many games as he could. Matt never missed a chance to travel to the various college campuses to take his nieces and nephews to dinner- always a nice restaurant- and always slipping them some much needed cash. He reveled in hearing about their latest antics and was as happy as their parents when they secured those post-graduate careers.

Matt’s annual DetroitTiger game outing preceded by dinner at Mario’s, was not to be missed. Matt also opened up the world of minor league and college baseball games and the Detroit Soccer Club was a recent favorite.

Matt held the vaunted position as holiday Irish Coffee extraordinaire and recently, but very reluctantly, agreed to share his super-secret recipe which will be forever cherished.

Matt is survived by his siblings Peter Lyons of Boyne City, MI; Martha Lyons (Tom Fons) of Lathrup Village, MI; Deenagh Steele (Richard) of Minneapolis, MN and Tucson, AZ; Stephen M. Lyons of Yucca Valley, CA, and Sarah Lyons Gijsbers (Brian) of Beverly Hills, MI.

A celebration of Matt’s life will be held at a later date.

If so moved, please remember Matt in the form of a contribution to any of his favorite organizations including The Carter Center, 453 Freedom Parkway, NE, Atlanta, GA 30307; Habitat for Humanity, 322 W. Lamar St., Americus, GA 31709-3543; Oxfam America, 226 Causeway Street, 5th Floor, Boston, MA 02114-2206; Catholic Relief Services, 228 West Lexington Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-3443 or The Salvation Army of Mt. Pleasant, PO Box 432, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858-0432.


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