Carolyn Bartel Lyon Memorial Service Set for Sept. 30, 2006
A memorial service for Carolyn Bartel Lyon, who died on August 4, 2006, will be held in the Pomona College Bridges Hall of Music, on Saturday, September 30, 2006, at 11 a.m. Ms. Lyon, the widow of E. Wilson Lyon who was the sixth president of Pomona College (1941 to 1969), had a significant impact on the College and on the community. Please join members of the Lyon family and the campus community at the service of readings, music and reminiscences to celebrate the life of an extraordinary individual.
Born on March 28, 1908, in Richmond, Indiana, she entered nearby Earlham College at the age of 16 and transferred two years later to Wellesley College, where she graduated in 1928. After earning a master's degree in history from the University of Chicago in 1930, she stayed on at the University to work as an editorial assistant at the Journal of Modern History. While there, she met Wilson Lyon, and they were married in 1933.
After their marriage, she accompanied her husband to Hamilton, N.Y., where he was a professor of history at Colgate University. During those years, she gave birth to their two children, Elizabeth in 1936 and John three years later. In September 1941, the family moved to Claremont, Calif., where Wilson Lyon became president of Pomona College.
Carolyn Lyon became an active participant in the life of both the College and the Claremont community, particularly noted for her lifelong devotion to the church, music, gardening and the public schools. She beautified the grounds around the President's House, transforming a utilitarian back yard into a fitting and attractive site for College functions. In honor of her love of growing things, the garden between Thatcher Music Building and Rembrandt Hall was renamed Carolyn Lyon Garden in 1969.
An active member of the Claremont United Church of Christ for almost 65 years, she served at various times as a member of the church’s Education, Building, Music and Library committees. From 1958 to 1964, she served as alumnae trustee at Wellesley College. Awarded an honorary degree by Pomona College in 1974, she remained active with the College for many years, serving as honorary co-chair of the Campaign for Pomona College which was completed in 2002. She lived in San Antonio Gardens from 1989 until the year 2000 when she moved to New York.