Longest Serving Current Board Member Dies Unexpectedly

It is with much sadness we announce the sudden death of the OFA Family Genealogist, James (Jim) L. Lyons. Our heartfelt condolences to his wife Joan Lyons, their daughters Kitty Crow, Elizabeth Lyons, and Kimberly Lyons, and their son Rodney Lyons. Jim died unexpectedly on December 27, 2018 at home.

We will be forever grateful for his hard work and dedication to our organization. He was generous with his time and knowledge. His easy-going manner and wealth of genealogical information will be missed by all who knew him.

Genealogist: James L. Lyons

August 8, 1938 - December 27, 2018
Jim Served on the Board of Directors of the Ostrander Family Association as
Treasurer 1996-2002 and Genealogist 2004-2018.
Big Book # 10611/p397 [Arent]
OFA member #264.

Below find his obituary as published in the OBSERVER.



James L. Lyons, age 80, died unexpectedly at home on December 27, 2018. James was born in Dunkirk, on August 8, 1938, the only son of James and Dorothy (McMartin) Lyons and made his home in Dunkirk his entire life. He attended Dunkirk High School and graduated from Devereaux High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He attended Carnegie Institute of Technology to study architecture. After a two year apprenticeship, he became a journeyman electrician with IBEW Local 106. Learning was a lifelong interest for Jim who furthered his studies by attending the University of Buffalo and SUNY Fredonia.

Jim was incredibly funny, hard-working and kind-hearted. Since childhood, he had an interest in stamps and coins. In later life, he had a consuming interest in genealogy and was a member of many genealogy societies. He was a past president of the Barker Library Genealogy Society, a past President of the National Genealogical Society of America, and current Genealogist of the Ostrander Family Association.

Jim was passionate about music, especially opera. He loved Wagner and Puccini. He traveled to Seattle for a week long performance of The Ring. He also traveled extensively in the US, visiting all of our states except New Mexico. In 2015, Jim and his family spent a month in London celebrating his 50th wedding anniversary.


At home in Dunkirk, Jim loved to attend his Saturday men’s club, the “Elderly Men’s Cockeyed Association”, to entertain friends on Saturday night, and Sunday family dinners that often included a lively debate on any number of topics.

Jim was predeceased by his parents James and Dorothy Lyons. Jim will be sadly missed by his loving wife of 53 years, Joan Lyons; his three daughters, Kitty Crow of Fredonia, Elizabeth (Scott Majcher) Lyons of Seattle, Washington, Kimberly Lyons of Crested Butte, Colorado; and his son, Rodney Lyons of Tampa, Florida. He is survived by 7 grandchildren, Alex Crow, Violet Majcher, Casimir Majcher, Izzy Majcher, Amber Bennett, Rodney Lyons, Jr. and Autumn Lyons.

Funeral services will be held Thursday morning at 10 o’clock in the McGraw-Kowal Funeral Home. The Rev. Daniel P. Walsh will officiate. Calling hours will be held Wednesday from 4-7 p.m. at the funeral home. Burial will be in Forest Hill Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to The Salvation Army, The Dunkirk Historical Society or The Dunkirk Library.

2005 OFA Board Meeting in Ontario, Canada
2008 OFA Board Meeting
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