Richard L. Lyon was born in Princeton, IL, west of Chicago. In June 1952, when he was 18 years old, Richard decided to join the Air Force and would go on to serve our country for 26 years on active duty. He was mostly stationed in California and worked in data processing.
During this time, Richard met his wife Deanna and they were married nine months later. They enjoyed a wonderful life together for the next 60 years.
They started their family in Morocco, where Richard was assigned for two years and where their first daughter was born. Richard was later transferred to a base near Sacramento, where they had their son. Today, he could not be prouder of his four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
After Richard retired from the Air Force, he joined the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, where he worked for almost 20 years. He was responsible for ordering equipment and supplies for eight fire stations.
Like so many of our families, the Lyons have been profoundly touched by cancer—but harder than most, as both he and his wife received cancer diagnoses.
In 1997, Richard was distressed to learn that he had colon cancer. He and Deanna kept a positive attitude as best as they could. Thankfully, Richard was able to beat colon cancer. And then a few years later, Richard faced yet another challenge when he had to undergo surgery for prostate cancer.
In 2005, while Richard was well on his way to recovery, Deanna was diagnosed with breast cancer. She had a mastectomy. It was many years later, during a hysterectomy, that surgeons found cancer in her fallopian tubes. Sadly, Deanna succumbed to the cancer shortly afterward and Richard was broken-hearted.
Richard shared that when Deanna was a breast cancer survivor, it was important to her to give to several cancer charities. After losing her, Richard wanted to continue what she’d started, and he chose to focus his giving on AICR. He has steadily increased his support, because he wants to do more to help fight cancer and foster hope so that others can have longer lives with their loved ones. He has decided to begin making automatic monthly donations, to make giving easier and so he can give even more on a regular basis.
Richard said, “As long as I’m alive, you will get a donation from me.”
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