A most fond farewell to Jeannette Lyons
03/09/2014 10:01AM ● Published by Steve
By Steve Brown
Jack and Jeannette Lyons have served as theatre and film editors for The Sun Runner for nearly a decade. I had worked previously with Jack when I was news editor for the Desert Post Weekly, and had known the Lyons nearly all of my time in the desert. I am sad to say that we lost Jeannette this past Tuesday, March 6. She died in her sleep after a lengthy illness.
Jeannette was one of the most bright, engaged, and energetic individuals I've ever had the pleasure to know. She and Jack became far more than editors or writers, they became friends who really are family. Throughout my tenure at The Sun Runner, and into my new television project, the Lyons have been extremely supportive and helpful. But they've gone far beyond that. When our son Kieran died in 2006, Jack and Jeannette organized a mass at their church with a memorial for him. We'll be forever grateful for their kindness.
With an ever-present flair for the dramatic, Jeannette was capable of applying it to support her sincere concerns about issues in life, as well as her warmth, humor, and love. She was in command of every social situation with her wit and charm. It was not an easy undertaking to try and stay on top of a conversation with both Lyons at the same time. Their combined energy was truly impressive. Tesla would have been proud!
The two Lyons have not been present much on the pages of the magazine recently as they struggled to cope with Jeannette's long period of illness. It has been a most difficult time for both of them and their families, and Jack is devastated by her death.
We would like to not only express our condolences to Jack, but to all members near and far of the Lyons clan, family and friends (and Max!). Our prayers go out to you, and our love, and most of all, our thanks for sharing such a dynamic and truly beautiful person with us. The stage will be empty without you Jeannette.
- Steve Brown
(Jeannette's bio for her Desert Theatre League's 2011 Program “Lifetime Achievement Award")
Trained in the classics as a child actress and during graduate work
in Drama at Catholic University, in Washington, D.C. (MFA),
Jeannette has performed in all areas of stage, film, and television,
during some fifty years of active participation in acting, directing,
teaching, researching, and “carrying a spear”. Her acting versatility
has been showcased in such roles as Gertrude in “Hamlet”, Ruth in
“Wonderful Town”, Eliza in “Look Homeward Angel”, Eleanor in
“The Lion in Winter”, and four Mother Gibbs’ in “Our Town”.
Following Graduate School, Jeannette taught at Webster
College in St. Louis and wrote and participated in several productions
for Educational TV in St. Paul. She was a 30 year member and
participant of the Kentwood Players in Los Angeles, and she is often
asked to judge student competitions.
Since moving to the desert in 1993, Jeannette has received Desert
Theatre League nomination for her work in “The Rimers of Eldritch”,
at COD, “Hatful of Snow”, at Desert Rose Theatre, and “Shadowbox”,
at The Groves Theatre. She received the DTL Best Supporting Actress
Award in a Musical for her role in “My Fair Lady”, at The Palm
Canyon Theatre, and Best Actress in a Comedy for “The Cemetery
Club” at The Joslyn Players. In 2008/2009 season she performed in
“The Women”, at PCT; 2009/2010 season in “Gigi”, at PCT.
In 2005, Jeannette joined her husband Jack in taking over the post of
Co-Theatre Editors for The Sun Runner, an arts and entertainment
magazine published in Joshua Tree, CA, a relationship they continue
to enjoy to the present.
In the 2007-2008 theatrical season Jeannette directed “Doubt, a
Parable” for the Groves Cabin Theatre. The production received a
“Desert Entertainment This Week” Encore Award for Excellence
in the Performing Arts, as well as nominations from the DTL for
Best Director and Best Drama. In 2009/2010 season Jeannette
received the DTL Award for Best Director of a Stage Reading for
for “Ellipses”, at Dezart Performs.
In some 50 years of continuous theatrical activity, Jeannette figures that
she has been an actor in, or involved with, close to 80 stage
productions. (TV, film, and commercials are extra)
A long time active member of the Desert Theatre League, Jeannette
Lyons has served many years on the association’s Board of Directors.
In 2008 she was presented with one of the DTL’s community service
Honors – The Sidney Harmon Award, in recognition for the
advancement of theatrical Excellence, both on and off the stage.
The Sun Runner magazine proudly congratulates our “Spotlight On”
Columnist Jeannette Lyons on being selected the Desert Theatre
League Lifetime Achievement Award Honoree for 2011.