Leonard Michael (Mike) Lyon
June 22, 1943 – June 28, 2021
Leonard Michael Lyon passed away peacefully on June 28, 2021 in Pleasanton, California after a long battle with Parkinson’s. Mike was many things—designer, backpacker, artist, art collector, music-lover, friend—but above all he was a devoted husband, father, and grandfather. His family was the crowning jewel of his life.
The youngest of three siblings, Mike was born in Glendale California on June 22, 1943 to Leonard Joseph Lyon and Elsie Josephine Maurer.
After World War II the family moved north to the Bay Area, first to Oakland and then to Hayward, settling into a home built by his father and grandfather. Growing up in Hayward was idyllic for Mike. He spent many Saturdays as a boy exploring the canyons and hills with his dog, seeding a lifelong love for nature. His father and grandfather were in the building trade and often took him to job sites, where they tutored him in the art of building and woodworking. At home he tried to sit still and behave like his older sisters Suzanne and Linda, but Mike preferred to be outside, exploring and forging new worlds—or rough-housing with his Grandpa Charlie, who lived with the family.
At the age of 19 Mike traveled to Uruguay to serve a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where he became a fluent Spanish speaker and grew to love the Uruguayan culture and people.
In June 1965, after returning home from his mission, Mike attended a church fireside where he saw Sue Monson, an acquaintance from church. He drove Sue home, asked her on a date the following weekend, and by August they had fallen in love. Mike and Sue were married in the Oakland LDS Temple on June 30, 1966.
Mike finished up his undergraduate degree in Fine Arts, first at Brigham Young University and then at California State University, Hayward. He completed his education at the University of Utah, earning a Master’s degree in Art History.
Mike and Sue raised four wonderful sons, Matthew, Nicholas, Daniel, and Christian. The family kept growing in love, eventually adding three daughters-in-law and eight grandchildren.
His love for fine arts, education in Art History, and inherited building knowledge created the perfect skillset for his career as an Interior Designer. He loved to make spaces of beauty for his clients—designing custom cabinets and built-ins, selecting furnishings and accessories, curating art collections, and more.
Next to his family, Mike’s greatest love was the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Mike and his four sons took countless backpacking trips, bonding over long talks under the stars. Mike saw and celebrated beauty wherever he found it.
Mike had a wry sense of humor. His laughter and playfulness were a hallmark of his personality. He also loved a good discussion of philosophy, religion, politics, world cultures, film, food, and travel. He saw the world through a generous and loving lens. He judged no one. He was a loyal friend and when he loved, it was unconditional.
Mike created beautiful works of art in various mediums and forms, including paint, pencil, mosaic, sculpture, print, and lithography. No one loved his art more than his children, who have spent the past few decades engaged in a friendly bidding war for each precious piece.
Mike was preceded in death by his parents, Leonard and Elsie Lyon, his son Matthew, and his sister Linda Lyon Fisher. He is survived by his wife Susan (Monson), his sister Suzanne (Judd), his sons Joseph Nicholas (Chelsea), Daniel Marius (Holly), Christian David, his daughter-in-law Eleanor, and eight grandchildren: Connor, Jordon, Maxwell, Sierra, Madison, Micaela, Maisie, and June.
Mike’s family would like to send their deepest thanks to the incredible owners and staff at Queens Care Home and Hope Hospice for their compassionate, loving care during the final years of Mike’s life.
Funeral services will be held on Saturday, July 10, 2021 at 10:00 am at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 6100 Paseo Santa Cruz, Pleasanton, CA 94566. COVID protocols will be in place. Masks are not required indoors for fully vaccinated individuals. Non-vaccinated individuals are asked to wear a mask. A Zoom option is also available:
To plant a tree in memory of Leonard Michael Lyon, please click here.