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Tom Lyons Sr. Passes
June 12, 2013

Tom Lyons Sr. of Maple Lawn Farm of Westfield, Wisconsin has passed away. His full obituary is below. Our deepest sympathy goes out to Tom Lyons Jr and his family.

Thomas Charles Lyon,  67, died at home  Monday, June 10, 2013. He waged a great battle against colon  cancer and its  complications and COPD. He was filled with optimism about his disease  and  believed that every day was a good day. 

He was born Sept. 4, 1945, to Fred and   Leila Johnson Lyon and lived his life on the land he loved and farmed in the   town of Westfield. He was active in school sports and 4-H, showing beef cattle   at local shows and the state fair.

He graduated in 1967 from the  University  of Wisconsin-Madison with a BS Degree in Meat and Animal Science and  was a  member of the judging team. He worked at the old Hasty Tasty/Amber Grid.  He  married Teresa Robinson on Sept. 9, 1967, at the Trinity United Methodist   Church, Montello. They entered into partnership with his parents at Maple Lawn   Farm, and moved to the farm in 1972. Shortly after, they took over the dairy   and cattle business following his father’s death. They were blessed with three   children, Tricia Renee, Tiffany Anne and Thomas Robert.

Tom expanded the business by selling  herds  and replacement heifers, buying those animals throughout the state. While  he  sent thousands of heifers to his largest market, Mexico, he also sold to   Central America, Venezuela, Korea, China, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Russia,   Turkey, Greece and Japan. He also had customers throughout the U.S., including   large dairies in the western states.

At home, he continued to build his   registered Black and White Holstein herd, adding Red and Whites as well as   Jerseys. Cattle carrying his ‘L-Maples’ prefix did well in the show ring,  winning multiple All-American  and All-Wisconsin honors. He was proud to have  won the Premier Breeder award  for Red and Whites at World Dairy Expo. His most  recent accomplishment was  having bred the winning spring calf of the Red and  White show at WDE. She was  just named Junior Champion of the New York Spring  Show for her new owners. Tom  was honored by being chosen Distinguished Breeder  by the Wisconsin Holstein  Association. Maple Lawn was featured on the cover of  “Hoard’s Dairyman” annual  judging contest. The farm was host to many judging  teams, international  visitors and was on a tour during the National Holstein  Convention. The farm  provided project animals for many youth and employed many  young men through the  high school ag work program.

Tom was a member of the Westfield  School  Board for nine years and was proud to have been presented with the  “Penny  Pincher Award” at his retirement. He was still serving as supervisor for  the  town of Westfield, beginning his 27th year. He was an elder in the  Presbyterian  Church and firmly believed prayers pulled him through his  illnesses. He did  most of his business on his good word and a handshake.

He sponsored and coached his son’s  club  basketball teams and enjoyed seeing youths excel and have fun, whether it  was  in sports or in the show ring. He was proud of his children and glad to  have  son Tommy come back to the farm after graduating from UW. His health  prompted  Tom and Teri to turn the milking operation over to Tommy and his wife,   Brittney, two years ago. He still was managing the field work and doing heifer   business until his death. He never tired of talking about dairy.

In later years, grandkids kept him  going  through each health crisis. He loved giving bobcat and “putt putt” rides  and  stalking turkeys and the “big buck” with oldest grandson, Carson. (Although   many have disputed his hunting skills.) Tom was a Badger fan, having season   tickets for many years; he cheered on the Packers, Bucks and Brewers. He never   tired of talking victories with his cohorts in neighboring states. (His phone   wasn’t answered in case of a loss.)

He is survived by his wife of 45  years,  Teri; children, Tricia (Henry) Sautin, Orfordville, Tiffany (Mark)  Jolicoeur,  Colorado Springs, and Tommy (Brittney), Westfield; grandchildren,  Molley Anne  Sautin, Adam Stephen and Sophie Rochelle Jolicoeur, Carson Thomas  and Austin  Michael Lyon; sisters, Kay (Roger) Reetz, Mequon, Jeanne Bengsch,  Beloit, and  Sue (Tim) Slowey, Westfield; brother-in-law, Al Imm, Cottage Grove;  aunt,  Roberta Johnson; sister-in-law, Sheryl Robinson; other relatives and  friends.  He was preceded in death by his parents; sisters, Barbara Imm,  Charlene  Marquardt, and infant sister, Cherie; brothers-in-law, Terry Bengsch  and Jim  Marquardt; nephew, Mike Imm; infant Imm siblings; niece, Pam Reetz; and   in-laws, Bob and Wilma Robinson.

A funeral service will be held at 11  a.m.  Saturday, June 15th at the First Presbyterian Church of Westfield. Visitation  will be  held from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at the church and again 9 a.m. until the  hour of  service Saturday. Pastor Brenda Pulver will preside and burial will  follow at  Oak Hill Cemetery, town of Westfield. At the family’s request, in  lieu of  flowers, donations are preferred to a memorial that is being  established in  Tom’s name.

 


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