Joseph Lyon Obituary (1939 – 2021) – Salt Lake City, UT

Joseph Lynn Lyon MD
05/13/1939 ~ 09/19/2021
Salt Lake City, Utah

Written by Joseph Lynn Lyon MD
I was born to good parents on Saturday evening, May 13th 1939, 10 minutes after my brother, which made me the last of the six sons of Thomas Edgar and Hermana Forsberg Lyon. I grew up in rural East Mill Creek before the suburbs came when my city-born parents learned to farm. I had a personal connection to a lot of weeds, including apple, cherry and apricot trees, raspberries, peas, corn, strawberries, cows, pigs, chickens and a large St. Bernard dog and thrived on fresh cow’s milk, home-grown chicken eggs, and the fruit and vegetables that we have grown.
I had two of the most wonderful parents in the world who gave me a foundation of love and support that has blessed my life ever since. I have also had close and loving relationships with my five older brothers over the years, each of whom has enriched my life.
I attended Sherman Elementary School, Olympus Junior High School, and graduated from Olympus High School in 1957.
I served in the U.S. Army at Fort Ord, Fort Chaffee, and Fort Carson for six months and then started at the University of Utah.
I served in the New Zealand North Mission from 1959-1961 and spent two years in this beautiful and rainy place loving the Polynesian people.
During the winter quarter of 1962, I met Juneil Fetzer in a LDS institute class and was drawn to her sweet smile and beautiful eyes. We were married on July 31, 1964 in the Salt Lake Temple and have been lovers, companions, and friends ever since. We had six children, Natalee, Joseph, Stephen, Maryanne, Rachael and Janet, and we are amazed at how different they all are, but we love them all.
Because I wanted them to know how to do difficult things, I started backpacking the Uintahs when I was five. We had wonderful times together, my kids learning a lot of things like the magic of Jolly Rancher candy to walk another 200 meters during the difficult parts of the hike.
I was admitted to the University of Utah to study medicine and graduated in 1967. While studying medicine, I spent two summers as a researcher and external collaborator for Dr. Russell M. Nelson, and his example, inspired me to try becoming a surgeon, but after a year of surgery in San Diego, I switched to the Epidemiology / Public Health Program at Harvard.
We returned to Utah from Boston in October 1970 and have been here ever since, something neither Juneil nor I planned or desired, but the Lord was very clear about His plans for us. At first I worked for the neighborhood health center.
In February 1974, I joined the faculty of the University of Utah School of Medicine and became a full professor, the hallmark of the parasite in society. I’ve been teaching epidemiology for 40 years. I documented many health differences between Mormons and non-Mormons and the harmful effects of radiation from above-ground nuclear tests on the citizens of Utah.
The LDS church has been the center of my life. I became a first gospel teacher in 1965 and have been blessed with that calling many more times, the last time in 2009. I have had many callings, including serving as a councilor, branch president, and enjoying serving and supporting my wife in our stake farm her young women camp in the stake.
When I retired from the University of Utah, I served as a church service missionary with the good people of the Church’s newborn resuscitation program. We served in the Salt Lake Temple and the Bountiful Temple from March 2005 to January 2019. At the time of my death, I was serving as a church service missionary / team leader for member project records.
My wife and I enjoyed traveling to New Zealand and renewing friendships with those I met on my mission.
I have been blessed by God in more ways than I can count and have now embarked on another great adventure. I look forward to seeing my parents and brothers who have left before.
I am survived by my 57 year old wife Juneil; our six children Natalee Lyon, Joe (Rachel Crook), Stephen (Jan Martini), Maryanne, Rachael (Chris Wheelwright) and Janet (Stephen); our 22 wonderful grandchildren; and my dear brothers Jamie (Dorothy) and twin Ted (Cheryl). Preceded in death by his parents T. Edgar and Hermana; his brothers David, John, and Laurie; and granddaughter Isabelle Elison.

Instead of flowers, donations can be made to the Humanitarian Aid Fund of the Church of Jesus Christ:

Friday, September 24, 2021 at the Larkin Sunset Lawn – 2350 East 1300 South, SLC, UT 84108
Visit 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Saturday, September 25, 2021, Yalecrest 1st Ward – 1035 South 1800 East, SLC, UT
Visit: 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Funeral service at 12:00 p.m.
Burial at Wasatch Lawn Memorial Park
3401 South Highland Dr., Millcreek, UT 84106

Published by Deseret News on September 22, 2021.

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