In memory of
March 22, 1933 - March 4, 2020 Marian Louise (Alford) Lyons of Compton passed away peacefully from complications due to pancreatic cancer on Wednesday, March 4, 2020, at Kaiser Permanente South Bay in Harbor City. She was 86 years old. Marian was born on March 22, 1933, in Abilene, Texas, to John and Sara (Giddings) Alford, and spent her formative years in Abilene, attending Carter G. Woodson School. She moved to Los Angeles at 17 to attend Compton Junior College. Staying with a cousin of her mother, she met and fell in love with a neighbor from the same streetMatthew Lyons, Jr., the only one she ever dated. They were married in December 1950, shortly before Matthew was drafted into the Army and shipped out to the Korean War. Living with her in-laws, Marian worked as a department store gift-wrapper and Internal Revenue Service keypunch operator until Matthew returned from the service. Their first child, Kenneth Bradley, soon followed in December 1954. Moving from Los Angeles to be among the original homeowners on a new street in West Compton, their second son, Jeffery Scott, was born June 1957. Once Jeffery began attending first grade, Marian returned to the paid workforce as a clerk at LA Unified School District's Instructional Materials office, and then as a case worker for the LA County Department of Public Social Services. However, it was in returning to the schools, first as a classified employee for the Enterprise and later Compton Unified school districts, that she found her life calling. Determined to become a schoolteacher, Marian resumed her undergraduate studies and completed her bachelor's degree (1976), and obtained her teaching credential at Immaculate Heart College, enabling her to begin a 30-year career as a results-based, caring, and much-loved and admired first-grade teacher at Mayo, Laurel Street, and Kennedy elementary schools in Compton. Retiring in 2007, she delighted in still being remembered and warmly greeted well into retirement by students she taught in decades past. Marian was a lively, engaging, dedicated, wise, independent, spirited, politically aware, fun- and laughter-loving, beautiful mother, wife, daughter, and friend. She was an early advocate of healthy eating and an excellent cook; a talented home seamstress with an eye for simple, elegant design in both clothing and decorating; an enthusiastic devotee of jazz and blues, spontaneous dancing, and vintage tv westerns; a faithful supporter of Junipero Serra High School ever since her sons attended school there; and a great storyteller with a mischievous gift for mimicry. She derived great joy from her annual Christmas round of charitable giving to the many organizations, most in aid to children and the poor, to which she was generously loyal. This last original resident of South Maie Avenue made a lasting impression and touched the lives of so very many. We are thoroughly heartbroken that we will no longer see her dazzling smile, or hear her rollicking laugh and repartee, but she lives on in deeply cherished and loving memory. Marian was predeceased by her father, John, in 1965; by her husband, Matthew, in 1988; and by her mother, Sara Kelley, in 2002. She is survived by her sons, Kenneth (Laura) of Santa Cruz and Jeffery (Robin) of Auckland, New Zealand. Burial of Marian's ashes and a celebration and remembrance of Marian's life will take place once pandemic restrictions on group gatherings are lifted. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in Marian's name to the Los Angeles Mission ( losangelesmission.org ).
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