Rebecca M. Lyons10:27 am | February 6, 2013
KAUFMAN, Texas — Rebecca Morgan Lyons, 79, of Kaufman County, died February 1, 2013, from complications of pulmonary fibrosis. She was born December 13, 1933 in Taylor, Texas, the child of W.T. and Ruth Speegle Morgan, who preceded her in death.
Becky and her husband Bill retired to the country near Kemp in 2001 after living in the Pleasant Grove section of Dallas since the early 1960s. She was a career educator and guidance counselor, beginning her career in the Panama City, Florida school system following graduation from Baylor University in December 1954. She also earned a Master’s degree from East Tennessee State University and a Doctorate in Education from East Texas State University (now Texas A&M-Commerce). She taught at Hampton High School in Elizabethton, Tenn., before moving to the Dallas area in 1961. She joined the Dallas Independent School District as a teacher at William M. Anderson Elementary School and later taught at Vickery Elementary before becoming a counselor at Thomas C. Marsh Junior High. She opened Skyline High School as a counselor and still counted those who joined her in establishing one of the nation’s first magnet schools among her closest friends.
Becky and Bill were married on December 20, 1954 at Immanuel Baptist Church in Elizabethton. They had been married 58 years at the time of her death. Actually, they’d been together 64 years, having been high school sweethearts. Bill long said Becky wouldn’t date him until he started drinking coffee. Separately and together they traveled the world, pursuing individual and collective interests.
She retired from DISD and Skyline in 1990 and became director of the re-opened Buckner Academy, on the Buckner Children’s Home campus. She retired from there in 1996 and developed a family counseling practice. It was her work in counseling that connected her to Kaufman when she was asked to facilitate a Parkinson’s support group at First Baptist Church of Kaufman.
Always active in church work, first at the former Pleasant Grove First Baptist Church and, later at the Kaufman church, Becky was particularly involved in missions and ministries for persons with special needs. She and Bill made a number of mission trips throughout Texas, and celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary by participating in a mission trip in Tanzania where they realized a lifelong dream of being directly involved in African missions. She and Bill are particularly appreciative of their relationship with Reverend David and Betty Ann Whitson, longtime missionaries to Tanzania, who helped make this trip possible.
She developed many close, lasting relationships through her life. One in particular was Janis Schell, who she first met as an administrative assistant at Buckner. Through the years she came to regard Janis, and her three children, Kevin, Sarah and Randy, as surrogate daughter and grandchildren as they became a daily part of the lives of Becky and Bill and many of their friends.
In addition to the Schell family and her husband Bill, she is survived by many friends as well as a son, Morgan Lyons, daughter-in-law, Denise Lyons of Arlington, and grandson, Nathan Lyons and granddaughter-in-law, Rebekah Lyons of Dallas.
Graveside services were held February 4 at Wilson Chapel Cemetery, 8901 County Road 154, Kaufman, TX 75142, officiated by Rev. Whitson. They were followed with a memorial service at First Baptist Church of Kaufman, 302 S. Washington, Kaufman, TX 75142, with Dr. Brent Genzel, Sr. Pastor of First Baptist, and the Rev. Abraham Garcia, pastor of Amistad Cristiana in Kaufman, officiating. The Handy Helpers ministry and the Special Education class of FBC Kaufman served as honorary pallbearers. The family also expresses tremendous thanks to their many friends as well as the staffs of Walnut Place and Hospice Plus for their love, courtesy and support during these past months. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial donations be made to First Baptist Church of Kaufman, designating either “Beth James Children’s Building,” “Handy Helpers,” “Global Mission Fund,” or the charity of your choice.
Parker-Ashworth Funeral Home of Kaufman (2217 S Washington Street, Kaufman, TX 75142, (972) 932-8152), was in charge of arrangements.