Mary J. Lyons

GORHAM – Mary Jenette Gray Lyons, 86, of Gorham, by the grace of God, passed into the presence of her Savior on Sept. 30, 2011.
Mary was born in Bridgton on June 4, 1925, the eldest of the four children of Laurence Berry and Beatrice Davis Gray. Mary’s formal education was completed in 1938 when she graduated from Bridgton High School, but her love for music, writing, reading poetry, Bible study, and learning new professional skills continued throughout her lifetime.

In 1946, Mary and Francis “Ben” Lyons were married in Portland when Ben had been discharged from the U.S. Navy after serving in WWII. The couple made Portland their home until 1963, when they moved to Hiram with their ten children. There, Mary and Ben resided in the foothills of the White Mountains until 1998. After living near their daughter, Patricia Sanborn, and her husband, Earl, in West Baldwin for six years, Ben’s move to a nursing home was simultaneous with Mary’s move to Gorham to live with their son, Peter Lyons.

Faith and family were always important to Mary. She and Ben raised their children and cared for their parents during nearly fifty-nine years of marriage. While living in Portland, Mary also helped Ben start a Sunday School for neighborhood children.

Mary worked for a short time at Sebago Moc in Westbrook. Later, she was a highly-respected and well-liked receptionist, secretary, and technician, first at doctors’ offices in Fryeburg, then at Bridgton Hospital, from which she retired in l990. While Mary earned supplemental income for her home, she also earned the respect and friendship of coworkers and others.

Many Lyons and Grays, along with family friends, have fond memories of gatherings at the Lyons’ Hiram home. Those occasions were often highlighted by Mary’s love of music, demonstrated through her lively piano accompaniment. Not only did Mary and Ben keep a family library
of good books and movies for the enjoyment of all, but Mary’s inquisitive mind and her interest in the natural world also caused her to share her joy of the simple things of creation with her grandchildren.

Mary was predeceased by her husband, Francis Lyons; her parents; and her brother, Donald Gray and his wife, Joan; as well as a sister-in-law, Dorothy (Mrs. David) Gray. She is survived by her brother, David Gray, of Michigan; her sister and brother-in-law, Florence and George Cooper, of Naples, Maine; her daughters and sons-in-law: Marjory (Mrs. Harvey) MacLeod; Patricia (Mrs. Earl) Sanborn; and Mary (Mrs. Kenneth) Walker; her sons and daughters-in-law: Francis (Deirdre) Lyons; David (Delores) Lyons; John (Janet) Lyons: Paul (Beate) Lyons; Stephen (Nancy) Lyons; Matthew (Cynthia) Lyons; and Peter Lyons; thirty-three grandchildren; twenty-six great grandchildren as well as ten nieces and nephews. She will be greatly missed by her large family and her many friends.

Visitation hours will be on Thursday Oct. 6th from 2–4 p.m. and 6–8 p.m. at Dolby & Dorr Funeral Chapel, 76 State St., Gorham. A funeral
service will be held at Cressey Road United Methodist Church, 81 Cressey Rd, Gorham on Friday Oct. 7th at 9 a.m. Following the service, a reception will be held at the church until noon. There will be a private committal service for family members in Hiram.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Mrs. Lyons’ memory may be made to: The Salvation Army, 297 Cumberland Ave., Portland, ME 04104.

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