Yvonne Jackson Lyon, age 94, passed away peacefully at her home on November 2, 2017. She was born on October 19, 1923, in Toquerville, Utah, the second child of Harvey and Irma Jackson. Yvonne grew up with her four sisters, Corris, Laurel, Eleanor and Maurine, on a farm in Toquerville. She attended Hurricane High School, Dixie Junior College and Brigham Young University. She was very determined to do well scholastically and graduated as the valedictorian of her class respectively at each of Hurricane High (1941), Dixie JC (1943) and BYU (1945).
Following her graduation from BYU, Yvonne’s first employment was as an English teacher at Moapa Valley High School in Overton, Nevada. In Overton she met her future husband, Harlan M. Lyon. As Yvonne would recount, she first saw Harlan at an LDS Sunday School class that he was teaching. She was immediately impressed by how much Shakespeare Harlan was able to quote from memory. Harlan was soon introduced to Yvonne, and they were married on June 3, 1947, in the St. George Temple. They became the parents of six children.
Yvonne was the “Great Basin” equivalent of a “Tiger Mom.” She attended fiercely and devotedly to her children, protected them, pushed them, expected much of them, comforted them and loved them with an unconditional love. She created a family culture where education was highly prized, where exposure to the great books and ideas of our common human heritage was mandatory and where music was to be incorporated as part of one’s life. At the same time, Yvonne also taught and practiced respect for all persons, and lived a life full of service and giving to others. She was active in her church and in civic and community affairs. And she did not shy away from challenging (respectfully) ideas and conventions.
Yvonne was a strong and forceful personality in all respects, yet was also a peacemaker, with a calming influence. Family and friends turned often to her because of her nurturing ways.
Yvonne lived in Overton, Nevada, from 1945 to 1978, when her husband sold his business and they moved to Provo, Utah. Several years following Harlan’s passing in 1998, she moved to Salt Lake City and lived with her daughter Elaine.
Yvonne was a lifelong and devoted member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, serving in many positions of responsibility including Ward and Stake Relief Society President in the Overton 2nd Ward (Nevada) and Oak Hills Stake in Provo, Utah. Harlan and Yvonne served a mission in1982 in the Rochester, New York mission, where they were assigned as missionaries in the branch on the Cattaraugus Indian Reservation near Buffalo, New York (the Indian tribe to whom Joseph Smith first sent missionaries – See D&C Section 32)
Yvonne’s impact on shaping the lives of her children, their spouses and the 20 grandchildren and 22 great grandchildren who survive her, cannot be overstated. She was a wonderful, active, energetic woman who embraced life and its challenges and who imparted the sense of appreciation and wonder she had for life to her posterity, all who love her deeply. She will be missed.
She is survived by her six children: David (Donna) of Sandy, Utah, Kent (Isis) of Daytona, Beach, Florida, Carla Lyon (Robert) Swift of Henderson, Nevada, Lucy Lyon (James) Sonntag of Salt Lake City, Utah, Ruth Lyon (Roger) Wray of West Bountiful, Utah and Elaine Lyon of Salt Lake City, Utah. Yvonne is also survived by her sister, Eleanor Jackson Campbell (Charles) of Woodland, California.
Funeral services for will be held Monday, November 6, at 11:00 a.m. in the Parley’s First ward building, located at 2350 South 2100 East, Salt Lake City. Viewings will be held in the same building on Sunday, November 5, from 6:00-8:00 pm and Monday, November 6, from 10:00-10:45 am.
To send condolences, please visit www.larkinmortuary.com.