Helen Ackle Lyons
June 4, 1925 – November 16, 2020
Helen Lyons loved to dance. From the jitterbug to traditional Lebanese dancing, all brought out her vivacious personality. She enjoyed the music of Spain and Flamenco dancers on stage. Her wardrobe was most fashionable. At an early age her coordinated outfits led the 1943 Central High Cotton Bowl staff to caption her picture: "Did you ever see a walking fashion plate?" That's Helen, whose taste in dress any girl might envy, as well as her affable manner, the indication of her good nature."
Helen was born in Jackson to Isaac Ackle and Margaret Simon Ackle June 4, 1925. Isaac, a businessman and native Lebanese served in the Spanish American War and WWI. When Isaac chose a middle name required for enlistment he proudly took Ellis, the U.S. port of entry to his new homeland. Her mother raised first-born Helen and 3 siblings to hear the Lebanese dialect in the home which Helen retained conversationally most of her life. At graduation Helen attended Jackson Commercial College and met Army Lt. John Lyons of Howard, PA. While Lyons was at Columbia University in 1944, she rode the train to New York City and married in the Little Church Around the Corner, a well-known Episcopal venue for celebrities of the day.
Helen worked at Dunn & Bradstreet Richmond, VA and the Mississippi Adjutant General's office Jackson. In Biloxi she was head cashier and loan officer at Keesler, the largest credit union in the U.S. at the time. Helen, an avid gardener, meticulous homemaker and seamstress, was president of the Biloxi Civic Women's Club.
Raising 2 children on the Gulf Coast where John served as U.S Customs Deputy Port Director Gulfport and finally Port Director Panama City Florida, Helen fit her customer service skills into sales at Gayfer's Panama City. Later at the Jackson store, she was often an unofficial personal shopper, assisting ladies with purchases including Van Cliburn's mother when she was a local resident. Helen served as volunteer in the St. Dominic's Auxiliary and with Mission Mississippi.
Helen was a lifelong member of the Cedars of Lebanon Club organized in 1934 by her father together with other local Lebanese. Her love of history and geography led to an intense knowledge and profound love for her Middle East heritage. A constant traveler and observer of minute details she was an excellent navigator. She gave the simple reply to how she knew where a place was, "I read the signs!" A sacrificial mother, efficient money manager and good wife, Helen was often complimented for delicious meals prepared at home with zero measuring.
Because of home visits by Father Capers of St. Andrews Jackson, Helen was a communicant of the Cathedral and later on St. Columbs Jackson, Church of the Redeemer Biloxi, St. Andrews Panama City. Her final memberships were First Presbyterian Jackson and Lakeland Presbyterian. To people she would meet Helen often said good-bye with "The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you." When asked once by her friend Dr. Joyce Wade-Hamme what her secret for living so long was, she said, "There is no secret. It's what He'll give you if you live with Him!" With an inexhaustible faith in the Lord she knew that God has not intended for anyone to be condemned, but instead have internal life through his Son Jesus. We can be forgiven and live eternally! The morning of November 16, 2020, Helen vanished from her earthly frame and is in the presence of the Father himself, her husband, her parents, brother Edward Ackle, sister Pauline Bearden and all who have proceeded her into eternity. Maybe she's even dancing! Helen is survived by her daughter Cindy Lyons, son John Lyons Jr., sister Lillian Ackle Psanos (Franklin TN), sister-in-law Grace Meadows Ackle (Vicksburg) and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. A service will be held at Lakewood Funeral Home on Friday, November 20, 2020 at 2 pm with a visitation one hour prior. Officiating is Chaplain John Vess. Pallbearers are Alfred Katool Jr., Arthur Jones Jr., Rusty Haydel, Buddy Quinn and Max Suddath. Honorary pallbearers are Ralph Wakeam, Gabe Green, Thyajuna Brown, Nicole McCollum and Margie Johnson.
- Alfred Katool Jr., Pallbearer
- Arthur Jones Jr., Pallbearer
- Rusty Haydel, Pallbearer
- Buddy Quinn , Pallbearer
- Max Suddath, Pallbearer
- Ralph Wakeam, Honorary Pallbearer
- Gabe Green, Honorary Pallbearer
- Thyajuna Brown, Honorary Pallbearer
- Nicole McCollum , Honorary Pallbearer
- Margie Johnson, Honorary Pallbearer
Friday, November 20, 2020
Friday, November 20, 2020
Helen Ackle Lyons
November 22, 2020
So sorry to hear of Helen’s passing. My condolences to the family and friends who will miss her dearly. God be with you and grant you comfort.
November 21, 2020
I am so sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. She was truly a remarkable woman and the obituary is such a wonderful tribute to her life. I will be keeping you in my prayers as I know this is such a difficult time for you. All my love and sympathy,
November 20, 2020
Cindy, Your Moms obituary, is lovely. I didn't know, the many things you wrote about. Truly a fine lady and great Mom. I loved the reference to her loving to dance. I am sure when the Angels brought her to Heaven, she was greeted with the most astonishing music. Something , we have never heard on Earth, with instruments unknown to us. She might have even had a dance with Jesus. What a joyous time for her. Now, able to see her family and friends, that have gone before her.
You will again, see your mom. May Our Father, wrap you in His arms, and comfort you.
November 19, 2020
My thoughts and prayers are with the family.
May God grant you His peace at this time.
Love and prayers,
Milton Brown (Sears)
November 18, 2020
Sorry for your loss Ed. Friend & co-worker from Sears