Muriel Irwin Lyons departed this life on Monday, January 4, 2021. She was born in Coleraine, Northern Ireland, 95 years ago. At the age of 5, Muriel showed promise studying the violin. By the age of 6, she was performing musically on the BBC radio every Friday during the Children’s Hour. Throughout Northern Ireland, Muriel competed in music festivals winning many medals and accolades for her violin performances. At the age of 13, she entered Methodist College and then after graduation, attended Queen’s University where she received degrees in Liberal Arts and LRM and LCRM degrees in Music. Post graduate studies continued at Cambridge University. Following her studies at the Universities, Muriel took the Civil Service exams and scored well enough to be appointed to the IRS (Inland Revenue Service).
When World War II began in Europe in 1939, Muriel served in the Air Raid Precautions Service Corps. The job assigned the Corps was to go from home to home to alert residents to an imminent attack and to help the residents to the bomb shelters, if needed. In 1941, the Army Air Corps from the United States began arriving in Northern Ireland to help in the war efforts. It was at this time that Muriel met her future husband, Earl, while dining out. Earl was with the Army Air Corps stationed at Langford Lodge which was an Army Air Corps bas located outside Belfast. On March 17, 1945, Earl and Muriel were married in Belfast. In April, 1946, Muriel arrived in Bellville, TX, where she would raise the family and become a well-beloved member of the community.
In July 2006, the BBC television produced a documentary to be shown in the Great Britain about British citizens who had married person from other countries who were stationed in Great Britain during World War II and had moved to other countries following the war. Although hesitant at first to participate in the documentary, Muriel finally said “yes” and the film crew arrived from the BBC to film a segment about Muriel and Earl’s life following the war. The television crew stayed in Bellville and for a week filmed a segment on Muriel’s life in Texas. The documentary aired in Great Britain. It was called “Tail Wind.”
Muriel never hesitated to help when needed. She was very active for many years with the Girl Scouts, the Cub Scouts, the Cancer Society, the BHS Band Boosters and the PTA. She was president of the PTA; Neighborhood Chairman of the Girl Scouts for the Bellville and Sealy areas; Chairman of the United Way and March of Dimes. The Lions Club honored her as Person of the Year. Before there was a public library in Bellville, she worked with a group of likeminded individuals (Friends of the library) to help establish a permanent library available to residents of Bellville. She was also a Founding Member of St. Barnabas Anglican Church in Bellville. Muriel dedicated her life trying to fulfill her Christian values. She loved St. Barnabas Church and found peace and comfort with her church family. Until her declining health prevented her from attending services on Sunday mornings, she could always be found sitting in her special spot beside the stained-glass window which was given in memory of her husband, Earl, and son, Stuart; while faithfully listening to the service and hanging on every word.
After working for 14 years for the City of Bellville as a bookkeeper, Muriel’s love for working with children led her back to work for 28 years as a substitute teacher with Bellville ISD. After retirement, Muriel enjoyed doing calligraphy and traveling as a hobby.
Muriel was preceded in death by her husband, Earl, and son Stuart. She is survived by her son, Harle Lyons of Bellville; son, Eric Lyons and wife, Melissa, of Cypress and daughter, Deborah and her husband Larry McCarty of Bellville. She is also survived by grandchildren; Ethan and Ava Lyons of Cypress and Kelly Ross of Boise, Idaho; and great granddaughter, Ashley Ross of San Antonio.
A family graveside service will be held with a memorial service to be held at a later date because of the Covid pandemic.
A visitation will be held from 7:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m., Friday, January 8, 2020 at Memorial Oaks Chapel.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to St. Barnabas Anglican Church in Bellville or Brazos Valley Hospice in Brenham.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Memorial Oaks Chapel, 1306 West Main Street, Brenham, TX 77833.