Margaret Marie Lyons, age 78, of Yankton passed away unexpectedly Monday, November 2, 2015.

Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:30 a.m. Friday, November 6 at St. Benedict Catholic Church, Yankton with Rev. Ken Lulf officiating. Burial will be in the Sacred Heart Cemetery.

Visitations will from 4-7 p.m. Thursday, November 5 at the Opsahl-Kostel Funeral Home and Crematory, Yankton with a 7 p.m. Rosary followed by a 7:30 p.m. Scripture Service and video tribute. Visitations will resume one hour prior to the service at the church.

Pallbearers will be Kyle Lyons, Matt Lyons, Grant Reade, Randy Gross, Steve Crane and Dave Johnston. Honorary pallbearers will be Delta Kappa Gamma and PEO.

Margaret Marie Crane was born in Ida Grove, Iowa to Catherine (Hartgenbush) and Clark Crane on January 13, 1937. She graduated from Ida Grove, Iowa High School in 1955 and from Clarke College in Dubuque, Iowa in 1959 with a major in Music Education and a Psychology minor. She married John (Jack) Lyons at Sacred Heart Church in Ida Grove, Iowa on August 8, 1960. They lived in Royal, Iowa for two years while Margaret taught vocal and instrumental music in the Gillette Grove, Iowa school system. They lived in Ackley, Iowa for three years before moving to Yankton in 1965.

Margaret taught music at Mount Marty High School from 1966-1967. In 1966, she organized and directed the Women’s Funeral Choir at Sacred Heart Church. Margaret completed 25 years as a music educator in the Yankton Public School, retiring in 1999. She was named Yankton Education Association Teacher of the year in 1987-1988 and 1998-1999. Margaret was a recipient of the Lincoln School Hall of Fame Award for 25 years of teaching music education. On this award, it is stated that "thousands of students were taught to play an instrument and sing under her guidance. Her patient and determined demeanor helped motivate many students to become successful musicians. Margaret was also an excellent role model for her colleagues."

Margaret was one of the organizers and directors of the Yankton Children’s Choir from 1994-2007. She was a member of the adult choir at St. Benedict’s Church and of Delta Kappa Gamma Int’l since 1976 where she served on local and state offices. She was a board member of Cramer-Kenyon Heritage Home since 1976, holding several offices. She was a display gallery dulcet for Yankton Area Arts, a member of the Yankton Area Retired Teachers Association, Chapter AS of PEO, precinct worker for Yankton County and City elections and adjudicator for local/regional school music events. Jack and Margaret received the Yankton Area Arts Advocacy Award in 2004 and were named Yankton Citizens of the Year in 2009.

Although Margaret was of diminutive stature, she had tremendous energy and perceived beauty in everything she came in contact with.

Margaret is survived by her husband, Dr. Jack Lyons; sons: Will (Jane) Lyons of Sioux Falls, SD, Sean (Jolene) Lyons of Yankton, David of Austin, TX, Derek (Dr. Sarah) Lyons of Houston, TX; grandsons, Kyle Lyons of Brookings, SD and Matt Lyons of Sioux Falls, SD; sister, Marilyn Crane of Omaha, NE; brother, Bob Crane of Iowa City, IA; brothers and sisters-in-law: Pat and Pearl Lyons of Yankton, Frank and Jean Lyons of Rock Island, IL, Dr. Eugene Lyons of Lexington, KY, Tom and Marcia Lyons of New Braunfels, TX, Bob and Dr. Nona Lyons of Kennebunk, ME and Henry Winckler of Carmel, IN.

Margaret was preceded in death by her parents, brother and sister-in- law, Jim and Elaine Crane and sisters-in-law, Barbara Crane and Sue Winckler.

Memorials may be directed to the Cramer-Kenyon Heritage Home, 509 Pine Street, Yankton, a yet-to-be established Margaret Lyons’ Music Scholarship or to a charity of your choice.

Yankton Press & Dakotan

November 5, 2015