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Beta Sig must sadly report on the passing of former President Robert Lyons '48. Bob was a community-minded business leader, educator, philanthropist, coach and proud member of our fraternity. He died on Friday October 19, 2012 surrounded by his wife of 64 years, JoAnne.

Bob was born April 9, 1925, in the Bronx, New York City, to Abraham and Estelle (Brieger) Lyons.

A graduate of DeWitt Clinton High School in 1942, he entered Pennsylvania State University the same year, but interrupted his college career to enlist in the Navy in 1944, where he proudly served in the South Pacific Theatre during World War II.

Upon returning to Penn State in 1946, from where he graduated in 1948 with a business degree, Bob was a member of Beta Sigma Rho, where he served as president. After graduation, Bob went on to become the fraternity's national president.

While at Penn State, he also met JoAnne Kranich, the sister of his roommate, Robert Kranich '48. JoAnne and Bob later married in the summer of 1948 shortly after graduation.

Bob and JoAnne moved to Lewisburg in 1950, where they opened The Lyons Shop, a popular upscale women's dress shop and bridal salon. Until they closed the business in 1984, they worked side by side for 34 years. During this time, Bob and JoAnne expanded the business by adding a second store in Selinsgrove and opening a bath and bed store.

In 1978, Bob started the retail business curriculum at the Williamsport Area Community College (now Penn Tech) as part of the college's business department. He taught full time until 1986 when he went to work as director of sales at PGS, one of the originators of a national mail-in prescription drug program. During this time, Bob was also a consultant with the Small Business Administration, where he worked closely with Charles Coder, the founder of the SBA program at Bucknell University.

In 1990, Bob started a new business, GCP, which was one of the first companies in the country to develop and utilize a networking program allowing for employees to purchase prescription drugs directly from local pharmacies.

Having a strong desire to give back to the community he loved, Bob spent decades volunteering, including as a member of the Lewisburg Area School District school board, where he served as president, the Lewisburg Zoning Hearing Board, the Union County Planning Commission, Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit, and the Lions Club.

After his retirement, Bob volunteered for Meals-on-Wheels, the Evangelical Community Hospital, where he developed a patient feedback system program, and the Cancer Society Daffodil Days, where he developed a computerized system for ordering and delivering flowers.

Bob had many hobbies and activities. In addition to being a lifelong New York Yankees and Penn State football fan, he was an avid reader, loved dancing and playing bridge with his partner JoAnne, and enjoyed playing golf and swimming. He volunteered as a swim coach for the Sunbury YMCA, where for many years he conducted early morning swim practices, and started the Lewisburg Area High School Swimming Team.

In addition to his wife, Bob is survived by his four children and numerous grandchildren, great grandchildren, and nieces and nephews.

Please keep Bob's family and friends in your thoughts and prayers. He was a Beta Sig of outstanding character and his presence will be missed in our community.