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Thomas Justin Lee "Buddy" Lyons

North Little Rock, AR, 1926 - 2010

THOMAS JUSTIN LEE "BUDDY" LYONS, 84, of North Little Rock passed away Monday, Nov. 22, 2010. He was born Aug. 21, 1926 in Republican, Ark. to Oscar G. and Ella Lee Lyons. He was a member of Amboy United Methodist Church. He retired from Fort Roots of North Little Rock as ward administration assistant. He received numerous performances, suggestion and attendance awards for never missing a days work. He was involved with several life saving situations of military patients at Ft. Roots. He retired from the Arkansas National Guard as the Command Battalion Sergeant Major of the 39th Infantry Division of which he was the State of Arkansas first appointed Command Battalion Sergeant Major. He was a World War II veteran who served in the United States Navy as a Specialist Combat Underwater and Demolition Frogman which was the first newly formed underwater combat unit within the U.S. Armed Forces history and was created for the Pacific Theatre of Operations now known as the Navy Seals, at the age of 17. His Frogman unit was actively missions engaged throughout the Pacific Islands and Japan before the war ended. He was an active member of the Senior Leadership Conference Arkansas National Guard. He also served in the Arkansas National Color Guard. After retirement from Ft. Roots and the National Guard Thomas was involved in the Kentucky Fried Chicken's of North Little Rock for Jerry Haynie and later the Haynie Distribution Company for Mexico Chiquito and KFC with the Haynie Companies. He was a graduate at the KFC National Training School in Nashville, Tennessee. Thomas formed a dance band while in college and played at Conway Country Club and clubs in Little Rock and toured the North and Southeast United States after signing a recording contract with Columbia Records featuring Big Band, Boogie Woogie, Jazz and Blues from 1947-1949. He attended school in Conway, Arkansas Teachers College now the University of Central Arkansas, Little Rock Junior College in Little Rock now UALR and U.S. School of Music and was accepted to and attended the Julliard School of New York City at the Music Division from 1949-1950, leaving to return home to his wife Idalee and first born son, Tom. His musical training and skills included classical and big band piano, accordion, organ, trumpet, trombone, all of the brass instruments and was foremost a pianist which he began at the age of 4 in classical piano. He was a Conway High School Pround Antique Wampus Cat and attained Eagle Scout status in Conway BSA Troop 71. He was a Cub and Boy Scout Master at the North Little Rock Amboy area. He is survived by his wife, of 63 years, Idalee Lyons, of North Little Rock; sons, Thomas Hilliard Lyons and wife, Judy, of Sherwood, Michael Lynn Lyons and wife, Donna, of Benton and Colin Dixon Lyons and wife, Shelia, deceased, of Morgan; grandchildren, Jeff and Christina Lyons, Keith Lyons, Stephanie and Shawn Long, Catherine and Travis Robinson and Zachary Lyons; great grandchildren, Cole and Connor Long, Emma and Evan Robinson and Alexis Lyons and Max Lyons; niece, Ella Jo Grant and nephew, Malcolm E. Ritchie, Jr. He was preceded in death by two brothers, Hilliard and Diberal (Dib) and sister, Avinel (Lyons) Ritchie. Memorials may be made to Amboy United Methodist Church, 311 E. Military, North Little Rock, Ark. 72118 designated for the pulpit stained glass fund. Funeral services will be held 11:30 a.m., Tuesday at Amboy United Methodist Church. Burial will be in Arkansas State Veterans Cemetery. The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Monday at North Little Rock Funeral Home, 1921 Main St., 758-1170. Online obituary and guest registry at

Published November 28, 2010

North Little Rock Funeral Home
1921 Main St, North Little Rock, AR
Phone: 501-758-1170