Gary Lyon, long-time resident of Beach Drive, Darien, died unexpectedly at Scripps Hospital in San Diego, Calif. on Friday, Dec. 28. He was 67.

Mr. Lyon and his wife of 41 years, April, had flown to California to celebrate Christmas with the families of their son Drew and daughter Erin. The day after Christmas, Mr. Lyon was hospitalized and subsequently died of complications from pneumonia and pulmonary embolisms.

Mr. Lyon grew up in Port Washington, Long Island, and graduated from Denver University, where he met his wife.

Back in New York, he obtained his pilot's license, and and in the late 1960's, operated a seaplane shuttle service, flying businessmen between Long Island and the Wall Street area. After a few years, he joined Cannon Mills and spent the rest of his business career in the textile industry, spending several year in Dallas and San Francisco.

Mr. Lyon moved to Connecticut in 1978 with his wife. Their joint love of flying and travel was enhanced when Mrs. Lyon became a Pan Am flight attendant. Between work and raising two children they traveled the world together, most often to out of the way destinations. More recently, they bought a house in Tortola, British Virgin Islands.

Mr. Lyon was a generous supporter of Darien's not-for-profit organizations. He was a member of the Tokeneke Club since 1985, and was often seen on local tennis courts and golf courses. He loved boating and was a member of the Darien Boat Club for over 25 years. Mr. Lyon coached in the Darien Youth Hockey League for several years when his son was young.

Mr. Lyon was an accomplished sportsman. A colorful and popular competitor, he made many friends with his warm, humorous personality, his family said. He was a good raconteur, was kind and patient, he loved his life, his wife, and family and remained youthful in spirit to the end, his family said.

In addition to his wife and two children, Mr. Lyon is also survived by two grandsons, a granddaughter, a daughter-in-law, a sister, Linda, his father, Herbert, several nieces and nephews and dozens of friends in the U.S. and overseas.

There will be a Celebration of Life for Mr. Lyon at the Wee Burn Country Club on Feb. 2, at 2 p.m.

Donations may be made to The Friends of David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust or to your favorite charity.