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Norman Belding Lyons.

FITCHBURG Norman Belding Lyons passed from this life on September 25, 2009 after a long and courageous battle with Parkinson's Disease. Norman was born in Fitchburg on March 31, 1922 to William E. Lyons, Sr. and S. Maude (Belding) Lyons. The youngest of their three children (brother William E. Lyons, Jr., who died in 1985 and sister Martha L. Woodward, who died in 1999), Norman graduated from Fitchburg High School in 1940 and then enrolled in the Eastern Radio Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, where he studied electronics. After his graduation from Eastern Radio Institute in 1941, he worked for Gensea Corporation as a radio operator for lightship communications. In March 1942, he accepted a position as the transmitter engineer for WWSR, a commercial broadcast radio station in St. Albans, Vermont. In March 1943, he joined the United States Army, and after engineering training at New Mexico State College, he served as a radio operator with the 97th Division, 303rd Infantry Regiment, 1st Battalion, HQ Company, until his discharge in 1946. After working for a short time as an engineer for WEIM in Fitchburg, Norman returned to the service of his country, working as a field engineer for the Central Intelligence Agency from 1946 through 1959. On his return to private industry in 1960, Norman worked as a field engineer for several companies. He retired from full time work in 1977 but continued to work on a contract basis for several years.

Norman's love for radio and electronics began when he was a student in the Fitchburg public school system. He earned his amateur radio operator's license from the Federal Communications Commission in 1938. He was given the call sign W1LXE, which he held until his death. He held the highest grade of amateur license, the Amateur Extra Class license. When his work took him to other countries, he often obtained amateur radio licenses in those countries so that he could continue to enjoy his hobby while away from the United States. He served as a friend and "elmer" (mentor) to many interested in the hobby, including his nephew, William Lyons. He was a member of the American Radio Relay League (ARRL) and the Montachusett Amateur Radio Association (MARA). Until his health prevented him from doing so, he enjoyed attending the monthly MARA meetings and the monthly "old timers'" lunches sponsored by MARA. He particularly enjoyed going to ham radio flea markets. He took great pleasure in finding anything electronic that could be revived, reused, or incorporated into a project.

Norman was an avid reader. His interests included science fiction, books about railroads and trolleys, and about espionage. He particularly enjoyed the stories of New England author H. P. Lovecraft. He shared with his family his love of British comedy, bad science fiction films, and most of all horrible puns.

Although he never married, family was very important to Norman. Sunday brunch with family members became a tradition, and nothing delighted Norman more than to find a new place to enjoy brunch. Among Norman's favorite places to have brunch were traditional New England diners.

After he retired, Norman lived with his brother and then, after his brother's death, with his niece Patricia Keller. Pat and her husband Bob were Norman's primary caregivers for many years. Norman often said that he could not adequately express how much it meant to him that Pat was there to help him as the Parkinson's Disease and macular degeneration increasingly took their toll. The members of his family who could not be there to help recognize how important Pat was to Norman.

The family gratefully acknowledges the wonderful care Norman received during the last weeks of his life from Life Care Center of Leominster. Everyone associated with Life Care and Summit Elder Care provided compassionate care for Norman and the family.

Norman leaves two nieces, Patricia J. L. Keller and her spouse, Robert E. Keller, Jr. (Fitchburg, MA), and Norma Sue Belloli and her spouse Glenn L. Belloli (Petersham, MA); four nephews, John A. Woodward and his spouse Nancy D. Woodward (Stafford, VA), William H. Lyons and his spouse Karen V. Lyons (Lincoln, NE), Robert B. Lyons (Palmdale, CA), and Gary E. Lyons and his spouse Jayne M. Squirrel (Madison, WI); two grandnieces, Tina M. Duguay, and her spouse, Marc E. Duguay (Petersham, MA) and Virginia L. Brown and her spouse Bradley D. Brown (Lake Bluff, IL); two grandnephews, Andrew P. Belloli and his spouse Tricia L. Belloli (Orange, MA) and Kevin M. Lyons and his spouse Megan M. Lyons (Lincoln, NE); as well as several great grandnieces and nephews.

When amateur radio operators end a conversation, they use a time honored shorthand, "SK," which means "silent key." When an amateur passes on, he is listed as a silent key. Norman has become a silent key but his family and his friends will always remember him as a friend, mentor and example.

Norman requested that no there be no formal funeral or memorial service. Those who wish to remember Norman could do so by making a gift in support of research on macular degeneration or Parkinson's Disease.

There are no calling hours. A graveside service will be held at a later day and time to be announced. The Lavery Chartrand & Alario Funeral Home, 99 Summer St. is assisting the family with final arrangements.
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Title Annotation:DEATHS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Sep 30, 2009
Words:887
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