James “Jerry” Henry Lyons, 90, passed away at his home in Fulton, Kansas, on February 8, 2021. He was born on August 16, 1930, in Fulton, Kansas, the son of Luther Byron Lyons and Lucy Christine (Leitch) Lyons. He married Beverly Ann Kluge on June 27, 1964, in Joplin, Missouri. She preceded him in death on December 15, 2006.
Jerry graduated from Fulton High School and Pittsburg State University with a bachelor’s degree. He served in the U.S. Army in Korea from May 1, 1951, until April 22, 1953, and was decorated with the Korean Service Medal w/one Bronze Service Star plus the United Nations Service Medal. After Korea, Jerry joined the Army National Guard where he completed flight training in the L19 and then helicopters. He completed his military service with the guard as a Captain. He met his future wife Beverly in the laboratory where he was working as a Medical Technologist (Med Tech) at General Hospital in Kansas City. Once Beverly had completed her Med Tech training, they both moved to Springfield together where they worked for seven years. Beverly worked at St John’s Hospital and Jerry worked in bacteriology at the state veterinary diagnostic laboratory. During his time away from Southeast Kansas, Jerry’s dream was to always move back to farm in the Fulton area. That dream was finally realized when Jerry and Beverly moved to the 320-acre farm just west of Fulton, they had purchased from Jerry’s parents in 1969. Their daughter Belinda was 7 months old when they moved into the house that Beverly’s parents helped them build.
Beverly was born in northeast Oklahoma on April 1st, 1938. She grew up on a 160-acre farm in northeast Oklahoma located just a few miles from where Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri join. She helped her parents and siblings raise tomatoes that her dad sold to local grocery stores in Joplin, Galena and Baxter Springs. She was a graduate of Joplin Junior College and the University of Missouri, earning a BA in Creative Writing. After she determined that writing would not support her, she took an extra year of science courses to become a Registered Medical Technologist. In the Ft Scott area, she worked for Mercy Health Systems until she retired after 31 years. She put her creative writing skills to good use as she was an active member of the Fort Scott Writer’s Club and the Kansas Author’s Club, winning many state level awards for her writings. She also was a favorite local writer as she published many of her works in the Ft Scott Tribune over the years. Beverly loved flowers and gardening and graduated from two Master Gardener Programs offered in Nevada and Pittsburg. She was a member of both the Missouri and Kansas Master Gardeners, the Ft Scott Garden Club and Kansas Native Plant Society. She absolutely loved to write, garden, bird-watch, star watch and be in nature. She often volunteered with the Master Gardening Club, and at Country View Nursing Home in Prescott, Kansas.
Always dedicated to farm conservation, Jerry along with his wife Beverly worked tirelessly to control the travel of topsoil from their farm. Jerry had waterways and terraces built and monitored every inch of soil on their farm. They were rewarded for these efforts with two Bourbon County Conservation awards over their lifetime of farming. This was perhaps their proudest achievement.
Jerry and Beverly are survived by a daughter, Belinda Marie (Lyons) Zeitouni and her husband David, of Redmond, Washington; and two grandchildren, Rebecca “Becky” and Daniel.
Following cremation, Jerry and Beverly are being interred together at 10:00 a.m., Thursday, April 13, 2023, at the Fort Scott National Cemetery under the direction of the Konantz-Cheney Funeral Home. Military honors will be presented at the cemetery by the United States Army Funeral Honors Detail. Condolences may be submitted to the online guestbook at konantz-cheney.com.