Richard H. Lyon

Born: Sat., Aug. 24, 1929
Died: Mon., Jan. 21, 2019


5:00 PM to 7:30 PM, Fri., Jan. 25, 2019
Location: Short, Williamson & Diamond

Memorial Service

11:00 AM Sat., Jan. 26, 2019
Location: First Church in Belmont, Unitarian

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Music by The Piano Brothers

Richard Lyon died peacefully in sleep on the evening of January 21, 2019.

Richard H. (Dick) Lyon was born August 24, 1929, in Evansville, Indiana, to Chester C. and Gertrude B. (Schucker) Lyon.  Dick built radios at Bosse High School, majored in physics at Evansville College and graduated Magna Cum Laude in June of 1952.  

Dick attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology as a graduate student and received his PhD in 1955.  After professorial appointments and post docs at the University of Minnesota, University of Southampton, and University of Manchester, Dick joined Bolt Beranek and Newman.  By 1967 Dick became a Vice President of the Company.

In 1970, Richard Lyon joined the faculty of MIT.  He taught and led research in noise, vibration, and sound quality.   Dick has written several books, hundreds of technical papers and reports, and earned international honors for his contributions to the field including Gold Medals in acoustics and election to the Academies of Science and Engineering.

Dick developed the field of Statistical Energy Analysis for modeling the transmission of vibrations in structures.  He founded two companies, Cambridge Collaborative in 1970 and RH Lyon Corp in 1974.

Dick Lyon was an avid reader with a curious mind.  He enjoyed music and might break into dance at Little Jimmy Dickens, Bix Beiderbecke, or Boots Randolph.  He also enjoyed classical music, especially string quartets and classical guitar. Throughout Dick’s years at MIT he rowed a single scull - called the Suzy Eldot - on the Charles River in Cambridge and Long Pond in Centerville, Mass.  

Dick enjoyed hiking and the outdoors.  He loved cars.  As a young man Dick raced and rallied, taking his cars fully apart and putting them back together, better.   Following his retirement from MIT, Dick learned the classical guitar and played every day.    

Dick Lyon was an enthusiastic educator and problem solver.  He supported and developed long lasting ties with his graduate students and colleagues.  Dick was a warm holiday host to his international students.  He encouraged the best for his family and friends through education, hard work, finding solutions to problems, and enjoying lively times together.

Dick is survived by his wife of 53 years Jean Wheaton Lyon, children Katherine Lyon Davis (John), Geoffrey Cleveland Lyon (Jen), and Suzanne Lyon Riggle (Jason); grandchildren Carolyn Lyon Sukkha (Sean), Marshall and Mollie Davis, Jack and Dani Lyon, Matthew and George Riggle, and great grandchildren Clyde and Cecilia Davis and Isaac Sukkha.  

Dick’s younger sister Elaine Lyon Wamsley preceded him in death; Dick is survived by her children Felicia Osborne, Tony Greubel, and Delana Wentzel, their children and grandchildren.

Visitation will be Friday, January 25, from 5-7:30 pm at Short, Williamson & Diamond Funeral Home, 52 Trapelo Road in Cushing Square, Belmont.  Memorial services will be Saturday at 11 am at The First Church in Belmont Unitarian Universalist, 404 Concord Ave., Belmont.  In lieu of flowers, contribution in Dick’s memory to the Alzheimer’s Association, 309 Waverly Oaks Rd., Waltham, MA 02452 would be sincerely appreciated.

Charitable donations may be made in Richard's memory to the following organization:

Alzheimer's Association
311 Arsenal St., Watertown, MA 02472
Tel: 617 868 6718

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