Robert Donald (Don) Lyon, BEd’59

Robert LyonDon was hardworking, irrepressible and known for his humorous, flippant remarks. Don grew up in Powell River and attended UBC from 1955 to 1959. Following graduation, he worked in a variety of fields in the Canadian Rockies including avalanche control, construction and teaching. In 1972, he moved back to the coast to become the resource centre coordinator for the Burnaby School Board, a position he held for 25 years. In the 1980s, Don and his wife, Heather, founded Galena Publishing, which created postcards of the Kootenays, an area they loved and eventually retired to, settling in the town of Nelson. Don was an active member of UBC’s Varsity Outdoor Club (VOC), first as a student and then as a grad member. For more than 50 years he was coordinator for past members who were in the club during the 1950s and 60s, helping to organize a yearly ski reunion in the Okanagan and, later on, an annual “Larch Lurch” autumn hike in the Rockies. As a mountaineer, Don was described by alpine historian Chic Scott as one of Canada’s leading alpinists in the 1960s. He was a member of successful expeditions to Mt. Logan, Yukon (1959), and the first ascent of the Pioneer Ridge on Mt. McKinley, Alaska (1961), as well as quarter master of the First Canadian Himalayan Expedition (1964). In 1966‑67 Don was seconded by the Alpine Club of Canada to mobilize the government‑sponsored Yukon Centennial Expedition to the Icefield Ranges of the St. Elias Mountains. In all of these alpine endeavors he was joined by a large contingent of VOC grads. As Marion (née Gardiner) Boyd, BA’63, BSW’64, MSW’66, stated at Don’s celebration of life, he “was the glue that kept our VOC community of the late 1950s and ‘60s together for many years.” He will be missed by family and friends.