Judge James Lyon

Judge James Lyon

James W. Lyon Sr. was born September 17, 1931, and went to eternal rest on April 10, 2021.

Left to cherish his memory are his loving wife of 61 years, Jean, two sons, James Lyon Jr. and his wife Beverly, and Dr. Ben Lyon and wife Tracee. He also leaves five grandchildren, Andy Lyon and wife Shelby, Mitch Lyon, Claire Lyon, Jenna Ward and husband Palmer, and Grace Lyon, a sister-in-law, Pat Frese and brother-in-law, Ron Foster.

Jim was born without arms and with only one leg. His life was not defined by his disability but by what he did in spite of it.

Jim was raised in Raceland by his mother, Valla and father, Benjamin Lyon. He had two loving brothers, Dr. Paul Lyon and Earl “Buck” Lyon, both deceased.

Jim graduated as salutatorian from Raceland High School in 1949 and went on to the University of Kentucky to acquire his law degree in 1955. Upon graduation and successful completion of the bar exam, he started his law practice in Raceland. He soon moved his office to Greenup.

Upon moving his office to Greenup, a young lady from the office of the County Clerk, Jean, became his secretary. They later married in 1960.

During the 23 years in his law practice, he was known for a quick courtroom wit and persuasive way of speaking. He loved the people he represented and the communities he served. Aside from his law practice, he also served as Master Commissioner of the Greenup Circuit Court for 18 years and as Probation and Parole Officer for 20 years. In addition, he served two terms in the Kentucky Legislature in 1958 and 1960.

In 1978 he was elected as the first District Judge to serve Greenup and Lewis County. He later fulfilled his dream and was elected as Circuit Judge in 1983 and a second term in 1991. He retired in 1994 as Circuit Judge.

Aside from his professional work, Jim enjoyed being active in many community organizations and causes. He was a charter member of the Raceland Lions Club. He was Past President of the Greenup County Easter Seal Society and Greenup County Chapter of the American Heart Association. He served on the Board of Directors of Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital. He was active in the El Hasa Shrine and in the Greenup Masonic Lodge. He was Past President of the Greenup County Bar Association. He was Past President of the Raceland Little League and the Russell Jr Football League. He was also Past President of the Russell High School Band Parents Association.

Although Jim never considered himself disabled, in 1990 he was inducted into the National Hall of Fame for People with Disabilities. Deemed a friend to the Russell Schools, he was inducted into the Russell High School Hall of Fame in 2012.

Jim’s family wishes to thank all the Doctors, nurses and caregivers who have preserved and enriched his life. His was an example of a life well lived, enhanced by his family and friends who loved him.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic prevents what would normally be a great time of gathering and fellowship. The family would like to thank you for the outpouring of love and support. In lieu of flowers, they request donations to the charity of your choice in honor of Jim.

A graveside service will be Thursday, April 15, 2021, at Bellefonte Memorial Gardens in Flatwoods. Masonic Services will be conducted by officers and members of Greenup Masonic Lodge at 1:00 p.m. Scottish Rite Services will be at 1:15 p.m. by officers and members of Ashland-Russell Scottish Rite Club. Services will immediately follow.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Caniff Funeral Home in Westwood.