William S. Lyons (IV)

William S. Lyons (IV)

Will Lyons (William S. Lyons IV) was the first son of William S. Lyons III and Kathleen Lyons, born into the world on March 16th, 1987. For most of his early life, he was known simply as “Billy” – that little blonde kid who was just a delight to be with, who was loving and kind to his younger sibling, Aurora, and who became a faithful friend to everyone he knew, regardless of how others felt. From the very first days of life, it was really evident from his big smile, bright eyes, and sweet, loving disposition that something special had arrived on earth.

It also very quickly became clear that he absolutely loved playing sports and playing games with his family and many friends. He joined T-ball and flag football teams starting at his earliest opportunity and began skiing with his family at only 4 years of age. He was a naturally-gifted athlete and was intensely competitive, becoming very good at the sports he played without much coaching or instruction. For instance, he joined the tennis program at Douglas County High and made the varsity team – yet had never even played tennis before!

That love of sports and games developed into a strong passion for all athletics – but particularly baseball and snowboarding, though he loved football as well. Throughout all levels in school, he played these sports and even carried baseball and snowboarding into his adult life. He had achieved at least college-level skill & abilities in baseball and was truly an outstanding snowboarder with fantastic abilities in the steep mountain backcountry as well as on the jumps and rails of the board park. He also became quite good later in life at disk golf and would make it a point to bring his disk set wherever he went and play courses in all those locations.

Driven by the early desire for an athletics-related career, Will studied in the field of sports medicine at the University of Colorado at Boulder where he graduated with a BS degree in Integrative Physiology in 2010. His love of baseball then led him to try a career in umpiring for Major League Baseball. For two years, he attended the MLB umpiring school in Vero Beach Florida and umpired college-level baseball leagues during the summers as part of that training. He also continued to umpire – and coach – in high school and youth league games.

Will was also quite interested in airplanes and was inspired by building and flying model airplanes as a child with his father. He was fascinated, too, by watching the real airplanes at the local small airport when his grandfather would fly out to visit with his own plane. Yet we did not quite grasp Will’s burgeoning interest in this area.

Upon reaching young adulthood, his grandfather took him up in that plane and let him fly it. Will loved this and took every opportunity to do so when we visited his grandfather. Then, when it later became clear that neither MLB umpiring or physical therapy were going to be his career direction, it occurred to Will that being a professional pilot could be instead. Soon he came to realize that this was really his life’s calling, in fact.

After discussing training options with his parents, Will moved to Washington DC both to aid his aging grandfather and learn to fly using his grandfather’s plane. Will was a kind, gentle, and caring young man who, with his physical therapy background, could provide excellent live-in care to his grandfather. While doing so, Will earned his private pilot’s license and built experience hours by flying his grandfather to all his favorite locations across the country and learning from his grandfather’s extensive 4000+ hour flying knowledge base.

Eventually, his grandfather did require a full-time care facility and Will returned home to begin taking higher levels of flight training with the ATP school in Centennial, Colorado (south suburb of Denver). Through this, Will earned additional pilot ratings of instrument, commercial, multi-engine, flight instructor, and instrument flight instructor. In 2019, he moved to Grapevine Texas (Dallas area) to take an instructor job at the American Flyers flight training school and began amassing hours toward becoming an airline transport pilot.

It was at this job where Will made a great, life-changing step forward. Flight instructor duties took him to many other airports, and at one of those, he met another pilot and extraordinary woman.., Jeanette Stone. Jeanette was an adventurous person who had become a pilot learning to fly tail-dragger aircraft and who was similarly building hours to become an airline transport pilot. Will truly admired her skill, courage, sense of adventure, and her beauty – inside and out. He became her instructor for an instrument rating, but they quickly started building a much greater relationship bond. She came to love his caring compassion for people, and his goofy sense of humor along with his athleticism and desire to both try new things and travel to various places (as afforded by their airplanes). Strong love for all family was also a dominant trait and he connected very well with children – entertaining them and teaching them. So, it was clear he would make a good father, too.

The two became engaged and together they sensed a business opportunity to start their own flight training school at the regional airport near his father’s vacation lakehouse in Granbury, Texas. At this small but bustling tourism-oriented historical town 45 miles southwest of Fort Worth, they purchased the Hyde Flight school and expanded it to become a popular fight training business known as “AV8 at the Lake”. Through it, they provided both basic and higher-level flight training to many of the nearby residents and they became well-known and respected in the community. Jeanette, meanwhile, also became a commercial pilot for Airshare – a private aircraft chartering company – and began to accumulate high quality flight experience in jets by flying many high- profile clients, such as Patrick Mahomes, to widespread domestic and international locations. She earned captain status with that company in the fall of 2022 and was well on her way to realizing her dream and opening the door for Will and her to begin building their future.

Will married Jeanette high in the mountains of Estes Park, Colorado on a beautiful sunny day, Sept 6th, 2022, with many relatives and friends present. Having sold the Texas flight school in the summer, the couple began preparing for a move to Colorado in the later fall to start their forever life together – which in addition to aviation, would include children and frequent snowboarding trips. Will had begun to apply for commercial jet freight pilot jobs and the two began looking for a home in the Denver area, near his father and mother.

Over Thanksgiving in 2022, Will and Jeanette flew the private plane of a close friend up to visit Jeanette’s family in West Virginia. Tragically on the return flight, following a brief routine fuel stop only 20 miles from their home airport, their plane crashed in an accident shortly after takeoff which claimed the lives of them both, along with their beloved dog and their ultra-bright futures together.

Will had found the love of his life along with the career that gave him so much happiness. He smiled a lot anyway, but of late, that smile – along with that special twinkle in his eye – had become a permanent fixture. He loved Jeanette immensely, and in the truest, most admirable ways. She, too, returned that the same to love him – and he was never happier.

Will was preceded in death recently by his paternal grandfather, William Lyons II MD, and Great Aunt, Eileen Serice, maternal grandmother Harriet and grandfather Jerry. He is survived by his mother and father, Kathleen & William Lyons III and by his sister, Aurora; his paternal uncle, Jon, and 1st cousins Janet, Mary, Mark, and Christina C.; his maternal uncle Eric, aunt Jackie, and 1st cousins Claire, Thomas, and Christina Z. And, of course all of his new family on Jeanette’s side.

Additionally, Will, and Jeanette, leave a very large following of close friends and co-workers who loved them both as well. Details of the funeral ceremony and final resting will be forthcoming.

We all knew and felt the great love and care he had for his family and friends. And we all now feel the great loss. Will, and Jeanette, will be sorely missed.


Fly now in peace my son, Will, with your beloved wife Jeanette, and faithful dog Kita forever at your side.

The post William S. Lyons (IV) first appeared on Silver Oaks Funeral & Cremations.

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