Archibald W. Lyon – Brigadier General, United States Army

From a contemporary press report:

Archibald W. Lyon, 88, an Army Brigadier General who served as a transportation officer for most of his military career, died of pneumonia July 4, 1998 at Integrated Health Services of Alexandria, Virginia.

General Lyon served 36 years in the Army, retiring in 1964 after two years as deputy director for defense coordination at the Commerce Department's office of emergency transportation. After his military retirement, he continued in this position as a civilian until 1974.

He was a resident of The Fairfax retirement facility at Fort Belvoir. He was a member of the George Washington chapter of Sons of the American Revolution, and, for more than 20 years, he had appeared as General George Washington at functions in the Mount Vernon area, including the annual Birthnight Ball. During the bicentennial in 1976, he appeared at school assemblies and other public events dressed as George Washington.

General Lyon was a 50-year Mason and a past worshipful master of Alexandria-Washington Lodge No. 22, which was founded by George Washington. He was a former commander of Heroes of '76, past national president of National Sojourners, and a recipient of the Masonic Legion of Honor Medal. He was a member of the Scottish Rite and the Shriners.

General Lyon was born at Fort George Wright, Washington. He graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1932 and served in the Army Corps of Engineers before World War II. During the war, he commanded an aviation engineer battalion in New Guinea and the Philippines.

After the war, he was a military rail commander in occupied Japan, then served in the Transportation Corps in the United States, Japan and Europe.

He received a master's degree in civil engineering at Carnegie Institute of Technology and attended the Armed Forces Staff College and the Army War College. His decorations included a Legion of Merit with Oak Leaf Cluster.

General Lyon was a director and vice president of support services for the Little Theatre of Alexandria, a former chairman of the board of administration of Washington Street United Methodist Church in Alexandria, and a founding director and past president of the Collingwood Library and Museum on Americanism, an eight-acre property on the Potomac River.

His wife of 57 years, Helen Hutchinson Lyon, died in 1991.

Survivors include his wife, Frances Abbott Lyon of The Fairfax; a son from his first marriage, David Allen Lyon of Washington; four stepchildren, Medora F. Abbott of Arlington, David Abbott of Ashburn, Va., Elizabeth A. Youngs of Centreville and Robert J. Abbott of Keymar, Md.; a brother; and two grandsons.


On Saturday, July 4, 1998, in Alexandria, VA, BRIG. GEN. ARCHIBALD W. LYON, USA (Ret.), of Ft. Belvoir, VA, husband of Frances A. Lyon; father of David Allen Lyon; stepfather of Elizabeth A. Youngs, Medora F., David and Robert J. Abbott; brother of David Lockwood Lyon. He is also survived by two stepgrandsons. Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, July 28, 1 p.m. at Ft. Myer Chapel. Interment Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors. Memorials may be made to the Collingwood Library and Museum, Mt. Vernon, VA or the Washington Street United Methodist Church, Alexandria, VA.

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