OBITUARY

Jack Sullivan Lyle

January 21, 1952May 20, 2018
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Jack Sullivan Lyle completed his strong beautiful adventurous life on May 20, 2018 at the age of 66. Born in Clarksville on January 21, 1952, he led a life of honest compassion, generosity, hard work, good fun, and laughter. Jack was an A student and an Eagle Scout. He began his work life in high school, working summers for his father’s construction company. After graduating from Tennessee Technological University, he earned his Professional Engineering license and later his certification as a Professional Safety Engineer. Over the years, he worked for the Tennessee Department of Transportation, Clarksville City Engineer’s Office, Barge Waggoner Sumner & Cannon Engineering Firm, and most recently for over 20 years at Harpeth Valley Utilities District. He designed roadways, water towers, and many other civil projects, and his efforts in safety management significantly reduced injury accidents and possibly saved lives. Always athletic, Jack competed on swim team at Clarksville High School, then earned his private pilot’s license in college. He also joined the Tennessee Tech Skydive Club, and his team came in second in the Collegiate Nationals. He went on to become a skydive instructor and jump master, and to complete over 1,200 skydives, earning prestigious “Gold Wings” from the United States Parachute Association. Also while in college, he began a lifelong love of kayaking, literally building his first kayak of molded fiberglass. For nearly 40 years, he volunteered with Tennessee Scenic Rivers Association, as an ACA-certified whitewater instructor, BCU-certified sea kayak instructor, trip leader, roll school organizer, conservation activist, long-term board member, and club president for two years. He also taught kayaking to Boy Scouts and their leaders, and to classes at Tennessee State University. He was a skier (both water and snow), scuba diver, motorcyclist, bicyclist, hiker and nature photographer. He loved to travel, and he and his wife, Mary Buckner, kayaked and/or hiked throughout the United States, Canada, and the Caribbean, as well as Costa Rica, New Zealand, Japan, Norway, Austria, England and Scotland. He enjoyed carpentry and woodworking and built his own first house. Jack was a member of many professional societies, including the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the American Society of Safety Engineers where he served as regional training committee chairman. He was also a long-term member and volunteer with the Bellevue Exchange Club. He was the kind of man who would always pitch in when asked, and he has given generously every year to many charities. Jack is survived by his loving wife of 30 years, Mary Buckner of Nashville, and also his cousin John Putnam of Denver, CO, sister-in-law Bonnie Parker of Clarksville, brother-in-law, Larry Derrick of Florence, AL, as well as three nephews, Lance Derrick of Birmingham, AL, Wil Parker of Fairfax, VA and Nathan Parker of Nashville, and two nieces: Shauna Brink of Florence, AL and Misty Cook of Lexington, AL. Jack was also blessed with three great-nephews and three great-nieces. Honorary Pallbearers will be Lance Derrick, Wil Parker, Nathan Parker, Shauna Brink and Misty Cook. A celebration of Jack’s life will be held on Friday, June 1, 2018. Visitation begins at 4:00 pm, with service is at 6:30 pm at the Brentwood-Roesch-Patton Funeral Home. After the service, everyone is invited to Jack’s nearby home in Brentwood for food, beverages and joyful conversation. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Heart Association.

  • FAMILY

  • Mary Buckner Lyle, Wife
  • John Putnam, Cousin
  • Bonnie Parker, Sister-in-law
  • Larry Derrick, Brother-in-law
  • also survived by: three nephews, Lance Derrick of Birmingham, AL, Wil Parker of Fairfax, VA and Nathan Parker of Nashville, and two nieces: Shauna Brink of Florence, AL and Misty Cook of Lexington, AL. Jack was also blessed with three great-nephews and three great-nieces.
  • PALLBEARERS

  • Lance Derrick, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Wil Parker, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Nathan Parker, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Shauna Brink, Honorary Pallbearer
  • Misty Cook, Honorary Pallbearer
  • DONATIONS

  • In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Heart Association.

Services

  • Visitation Friday, June 1, 2018
  • Memorial Friday, June 1, 2018
REMEMBERING

Jack Sullivan Lyle

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Fred Matthews

May 25, 2018

Jack was the first person I met in Clarksville outside of my work. In the Fall of 1983 I was at the Fair Grounds honing my archery skills when this truck came by with a green canoe in the back. Throwing all of my equipment into my truck, I sped to the boat landing to meet Jack and his brother. From that meeting came a best paddling buddy that one could ever have.
Jack and I did a lot of paddling together and taught many a school for TSRA. We’d call one of his special moves the “Jack-back-flap”; he’d laugh and cut up and get the rest of us laughing as well - that was one of Jack’s special talents; getting others to enjoy life. We called him “piece-of-cake-Lyle” for his oft stated “Oh it’s a piece of cake” regarding most rapids. My favorite was on my first trip down the Gauley. At Pillow Rock Jack said “It’s a piece of cake. Just follow my line”. When his line didn’t quite work the way he’d planned, he ended up on river left holding onto a small twig facing upstream, you could see the thoughts going through his head, none of which worked the way he wanted. Two strokes later he was upside down and backwards against the Pillow, then swimming downstream with his paddle and kayak, but loving it all. That was “piece-of-cake-Lyle”. He’s given me wonderful memories for a lifetime.
One of the best things that ever happened to Jack was Mary Buckner. Jack, loving, kind, and gentle found Mary, loving, kind, and gentle. As true a match as there could be. Jack had had some rough times before Mary; she was his oasis in his wilderness. Together they lived, loved, paddled, taught, led TSRA, gave to others freely with loving kindness.
I’ll miss Jack greatly. We haven’t paddled together recently, but Jack was the one person that I’d’ve put my life in danger to save on the river. He was my best friend and paddling buddy for many years. Like many others that Jack’s caring, gentleness, and kindness affected, we’re gonna’ miss you; your laugh, your antics, your love for others.

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