Jo Ann Vestal (Jody) Lyon died at her home in Purcellville on May 20, 2019, at the age of 93.
The daughter of William Floyd Vestal and Lela Bottorff Vestal, she was born March 13, 1926, in Gothenburg, NE and raised in Sheridan, WY. Jody attended Sweet Briar College before marrying Robert B. Lyon of Purcellville, a Navy fighter pilot, whom she met in Sheridan shortly after the end of World War II. After living in Richmond for several years, the couple moved to Baltimore County where they resided at Wester Ogle, the Lyon ancestral home in Pikesville. They moved to Purcellville in 1984.
Mrs. Lyon taught mathematics at Garrison Forest School and later served as a librarian at McDonogh School. She also worked for a time as the Director of Activities at the Mount Wilson Hospital.
While living in Maryland, Mrs. Lyon became actively involved in gardening, particularly growing daffodils. She was a president of both the Maryland Daffodil Society and the Green Spring Valley Garden Club. In addition, she was a member of the altar guild at St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church in Owings Mills.
After moving to Virginia, Mrs. Lyon continued with her interest in horticulture, particularly native plants. Active in the Virginia Native Plant Society, she had an extensive collection of daffodils and native plants at the home she and her husband built in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Mr. and Mrs. Lyon were known for their charitable spirit. In 1975, under the auspices of Catholic Charities, they took in a Vietnamese family of five who had come to America after the fall of Saigon. The family stayed with the Lyons for fifteen months.
Robert B. Lyon died in 2015. Mrs. Lyon’s survivors include three children: Robert B. Lyon, Jr., of Annapolis MD, William F. Lyon of Pikesville, MD, and Sarah P. Lyon of Pittsburgh, PA; six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. Two children, Joann V. Lyon-Weiss and Charles E. Lyon, and a grandson, Andrew P. Lyon, predeceased her.
Burial was private. Contributions in Mrs. Lyon’s memory may be made to the Purcellville Library 220 E. Main Street Purcellville, VA 20132.