Thursday, April 3, 2014

Thomas J Lyons

Thomas J Lyons was a teacher at Stockton from 1951 to 1963 where he initially taught 4th grade, then 5th grade, and, when Stockton added 7th and 8th grades in the late 1950's, Mr. Lyons taught in those grades. During that time, he took classes in school administration at Columbia University which led to his becoming an elementary school principal in the Roxbury Township school district in 1963, first at Franklin Elementary School and then, in 1969, at the newly built Nixon Elementary School. He retired in 1976.

                       From the 1951 yearbook, The Tower (Jersey City State Teachers College)
                (photo from his college yearbook courtesy of the New Jersey City University library)

Mr. Lyons is still remembered over 55 years later by Stockton students as one of their favorite teachers. Some recent responses to his obituary from those students: "May he R I of my favorites at Stockton!" "He was a brilliant educator." "What a great teacher. Had him for 5th grade." "I liked Mr. Lyons a lot."  "I had him for 5th Grade as well. He was such a nice person."  "I had him for homeroom and science. Yes, a great guy." 

A student at Franklin Elementary in Roxbury writes "Mr. Lyons was the principle in Franklin School in Roxbury when I attended in the mid-1960's. Everybody loved Mr. Lyons. Nixon school was built in the late 1960's and it sounds like he moved over to the new school when it was built."

Thomas Lyons grew up in Hoboken and attended Demarest High School where he played basketball and ran track. After high school he entered the army and served in France. After leaving the army he attended Jersey City State Teachers College on the GI Bill. At college he played varsity basketball and baseball and was editor of the yearbook and the photography magazine. Upon graduation in 1951 he took a job at Stockton School in East Orange teaching 4th grade, commuting from Hoboken to Stockton on the Lackawanna. In 1953 he married and moved to New Providence, and in 1958 to Berkeley Heights. He retired to Sarasota, Florida in 1976.

Below: more photos of Tom Lyons from his 1951 college yearbook courtesy of the New Jersey City University library

From an online obituary: 

Lyons, Thomas J.
May 24, 1924 - Feb. 26, 2014
Thomas J. Lyons, 89, of Sarasota, FL, formerly of New Jersey has passed away. 
He was born in Hoboken, NJ, played many sports and served in the US Army in WWII. A man who always saw the positive in every person and situation, he was a lifelong educator: a teacher, a principal and an MCC reference librarian.
He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Catherine Barbara; son, Thomas W. Lyons; daughter, Kathy Felden and two grandchildren, Ryan Felden and Brooke Felden; 7 nephews and 1 niece.

                                                          photo courtesy of Mrs. Lyons

Mr. Lyons was my 5th grade teacher in 1957/58 and my 7th grade science teacher in the 1959/60 school year until I left Stockton in December, 1959.


  1. Hi Jeff

    I attended Stockton School from 1956 thru 1962. Can't say I remember Mr. Lyons. I remember Mrs. Roberts as my 5th grade teacher. Miss Geddes (sp) in 1st grade, who kissed us all goodby as we left class for the day. Both my brothers and sister attended Stockton before me, so I'm sure someone in our family had him as a teacher. Great photo of the school. I have such fond memories of my years there.
    Best Regards
    Paul Paine
    Bristol, NH

  2. Thanks for the comment. Here's the blog post about teacher Madge Geddis: