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Dale A. Lyon

Dale A. Lyon

Dale Alvah Lyon, 79, of Menomonie, Wisconsin passed away surrounded by family at home on June 20, 2024. He was born in 1944 at Sacred Heart Hospital in Eau Claire to Alvah Daniel Lyon and Isla (Dodge) Lyon.

After graduating from Memorial High School in 1962, Dale attended UW-Eau Claire, where he earned a B.S. and a Master’s degree in school psychology. He went on to attain a Ph.D. in Human Relations from Indiana Northern University in New York City, then underwent five years of postgraduate training through the New York Center for Psychoanalytic Training. He culminated his academic studies with a second Master’s in psychiatric social work from Rutgers University and often joked that he had “extended his adolescence past previously known limits.”

Dale’s professional career began as an undergraduate when Dr. Joseph Tobin, a local psychiatrist in private practice, invited him to become involved in the first-ever citywide study of drug abuse among high school students. Before beginning his doctoral program, he studied with Dr. Bernard Aaronson at the New Jersey Neuro-Psychiatric Institute in Princeton, N.J. Both men became his mentors and dear friends as did Dr. Doris Rothman, a pioneering feminist therapist with whom he worked at the Institute for Experiential Learning and Development in Lawrenceville, N.J.  

After brief marriages to Sallie Hazell and Lynne Rothman ended in divorce, Dale married Barbara Weber of Yardley, Pennsylvania in 1979.

Following the birth of their son, Brett, in Princeton, Dale convinced Barbara that an “Old MacDonald’s Farm” existence would be a great way to raise a family. They moved to a small farm on the outskirts of Menomonie in 1985 when Dale accepted a position as a psychiatric social worker at Dunn County Department of Human Resources where he worked for nine years before going into private practice.

Two years after the move, son Zachary was born at Mayo-Red Cedar – and Dale bought his first tractor. Over the years, the family has worked together to fulfill Dale’s vision: Raising pigs, chickens, horses and Scottish Highland cattle in addition to Dalmatians, myriad cats and other critters.

A naturally gifted athlete, Dale always strove for excellence in whatever sport he undertook. Baseball was his first love. He was a key player on the Eau Claire Badgers All-Stars when the team advanced to the Babe Ruth World Series championship in Stockton, Calif. in 1959. In addition to baseball, Dale was also a standout on Memorial High’s basketball and football teams. In his early 30s, he took up tennis. It wasn’t long before he earned a standing of 6.5 and was on his way to achieving a national ranking before moving to Wisconsin.

Coaching youth basketball – including his sons’ elementary and middle school teams – gave Dale the chance to share his knowledge of the game. He and Barbara also relished their time in the bleachers and on the sidelines cheering on their kids.

Dale took up golf when Zack developed an interest during high school. Not surprisingly, his goal was to become a scratch golfer. Dale was grandson Jed’s primary daycare provider when he introduced him as a toddler to his new favorite sport. He regularly brought Jed along during practice sessions and league matches at Pinewood Golf Club – to the consternation of fellow golfers until they discovered how well behaved he was!  

Dale was preceded in death by his parents, Alvah Lyon and Isla Lyon Thiel, and stepfather, Albert C. Thiel.

He is survived by his wife, Barbara; sons, Brett (Deb Colman) Lyon and Zachary (Mariah) Lyon; daughter Michele Ertel; grandsons Jedidiah and Edwin Lyon and Derek Ertel, granddaughter Madison Lyon, step-grandchildren Colman and Geneva Selvig; sister, Jacqueline Peters of Newport News, Va.; niece, Robbin Spaulding (Jeffrey) Padgett; grandnephew Justin (Brooke) Peters, grandniece Chelsea (Alan) Griffith and their families; as well unofficial “adopted” family members Chuck and Meg Phillips among several others.

Dale’s family, friends, colleagues and teammates brought him great joy and satisfaction. His last words sum his feelings up perfectly: “I’ve seen many people short-change their lives. Mine has been a good one. I have no regrets.”

Family and friends are invited to share their stories and memories during a celebration of Dale’s life at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, August 7 at Olde Towne (903 Cedar Falls Road, Menomonie).  Dale’s cremains will be buried in a private family ceremony. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Bridge To Hope, Stepping Stones, or the Menomonie Area Free Clinic.

Condolences

  1. Curtis larson

    I worked with Dale at the census. He was an asset to the team and lived honorably.

  2. Janice Theberge

    Sorry to learn of Dale’s passing. Life is about learning to love yourself and others. Dale knew the ‘art’ and his methods were life fulfilling for many. Sad he is no longer with the world in the physical sense; look for his soft whispers in your heart and in the energy that fills the space. Hugs to you and the boys and may peace will come softly and quietly. ????❤️

  3. Chad Engelbretson

    Dale was my Psychologist from 1985 to 1990. He has helped me quit alot. He was a wonderful man and a wise person.

  4. Scott Jacobs

    So sorry to hear of Dale’s passing Barb. Thinking of you all as you grieve and celebrate Dale. Loved working with him at DCHS and getting “schooled” by him on the tennis courts back in the day.????????

  5. Benson Bader

    Dale was my psychologist from age ~14 to 17 (so 1974-1977). I was a short heavy child with low everything and nearly unable to function in my world of anxiety. Its funny, we never talked about the symptoms but how I was feeling. His warm deep voice brought me peace and he led me to myself, with love and great skill. Funny that, as an adult, I love, love, love playing basketball, at 63 I'm still playing. And I remember Dale taking me out to the court, I dreaded shooting a layup, the hoop seemed so far away. It seemed as though the top of his had would hit the rim as I gaze up at him. On another day we were outside, he wore his wonderful leather hat. As we walked in the yard of his office/barn looking place a bird pooped right on his hat ... PLOP! We were both stunned, I couldn't stop laughing, Dale was NOT so amused ha, ha. One of my favorite stories, that I still tell to this day, is the "Dale Pop" story. One day during a session Dale offered me a Pop! I was so excited as I had never had a Pop before. He opened his mini fridge only to discover he was out, but he said he would have some next time. So the next week I told him I was looking forward, all week, to have some Pop! He reached into the fridge and pulled out a Coke .... I was like, so wheres the Pop?!?!?! He just smiled and said, "well, this is what we call Coke where I'm from." I was like "ahhh man, I really wanted some Pop." Well fast forward, I'm down two marriages but ended with two wonder kids (Jaz-26 and William-17) and because of Dales early counsel I have always had the gift he blessed me with of trying to understand others feelings, caring, loving. I credit Dale with the emotional stability I have with both my kids, it allowed me to foster positive bonds with my kids that remain, continue to grow, and, God Willing, will follow them. A legacy I owe to a very, very, very skilled psychologist and friend. Lastly, I was able to talk to Dale a year or two before his passing and share my thanks and love with him directly. I sit here very sad to see him go but so thankful for having him have such a critical impact on my life (and my kids). Rest in peace my friend. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.

  6. L. John Peters

    Dale was my favorite hunting buddy.

  7. Jen Helmueller

    Brett and Family,
    We are so incredibly sorry to hear of your loss. We pray for friends to comfort you, faith to uphold you, and loving memories to heal your heart.

    - Jen & Brad Helmueller

  8. Ric Skamfer

    High School football, basketball and baseball star known as "trapper." During basketball game warm-ups Dale often wore a cool cowboy hat and headed up our lay-up lines. A so cool guy. We loved Dale.

  9. Don Winrich

    Dale was a great guy. Our days of playing basketball while attending Robbins School will always be remembered.

  10. Pamala Anderson

    I am daughter of Dennis Anderson son of Irma Anderson. Did not know Dale that well, but gram used to talk about him alot and l met him a few times. My condolences to his family.

  11. Brenda Smith

    So sorry for this families huge loss.

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