TOPSFIELD — A saddened town is trying, today, to come to grips with the loss of a man who had given so much to the town he loved so dearly.
Topsfield residents expressed shock and sadness at the news that Selectmen Chairman Mark Lyons is dead.
Lyons, 57, was found dead in his car Tuesday afternoon by the side of Route 1 in Rowley after a caller alerted police. There were no signs of an accident and it is believed, Lyons was stricken by a sudden medical problem.
In a statement, Interim Town Administrator Robin Crosbie said, "it is with deep sadness that the Topsfield Board of Selectmen announces to the community that Chairman Mark Lyons passed away suddenly on August 6, 2019."
Crosbie said she had just met with him and several staff members earlier in the afternoon
In a tribute to Lyons, Town Moderator Stephen Whelan recalls him as "someone whose dry wit and quick sense of humor was guaranteed to make you smile ..."
"He gave more to our town," Whelan said, "than simply time. He envisioned what our town should strive toward and worked tirelessly to achieve that goal and a better community for all."
State Rep. Brad Hill, R-Ipwich, remarked "how compassionate he was in dealing with people."
Fire Chief Jen Collins-Brown remembered him as "a really great person ... someone you would seek out for advice and counsel."
Selectman Dick Gandt said "the board is going to miss his experience and leadership."
Like Collins-Brown, Gandt remembered that Lyons "really listened to what people had to say. He was skilled at gathering the facts and forming a consensus for making a decision."
Lyons, 67, was a founding partner of Lyons & Tzanoudakis, LLP, and has been practicing law for 35 years, concentrating in real estate, business and estate planning and administration.
In addition to his work on the Board of Selectmen, Lyons served terms for Topsfield as a member of the Planning Board and the School Committee. He served on the Finance Committee, was active on the Town Hall Building Committee, and was appointed, in 2014 to a special committee to study the use of fluoride in the town's drinking water.
He leaves wife Althea, son Alex and his wife Madison, and daughter Julia Lyons and her partner Kristian Hval.
See complete obituary at salemnews.com