Eleanor Starling Lyons, age 90, peacefully entered into the presence of her Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, on Tuesday, October 17, 2023. She was a Godly Christian woman who served her Lord in a quiet and humble way, never seeking to have attention drawn to herself. She was a wonderful and faithful wife, loving mother, a kind Nana to her many grandchildren, and a loyal friend. She ministered to others during times of their sickness and grief with delicious food and a willing hand to help in any way that she could. Eleanor was saved and baptized when she was 15 years old at Johnstown Baptist Church in Lake Butler, Florida. Her example of patient faithfulness to Christ was influential in winning her husband, J.C., and her children to Jesus Christ as their Savior. She was an active member of Raiford Road Church until her illness, but she continued to look forward to their online services when she became homebound.
Eleanor was born on August 21, 1933 to James D. and Mary Raulerson Starling in Manning, Florida. She was predeceased by her parents, her husband of 52 years, James C. Lyons, Jr. (J.C.), her daughter-in-law, Mary Beth Lyons, son-in-law, Mike Mobley, and her siblings: Joe Starling, Ellery Starling, Ira Starling, Earl Starling, Elvin Starling, Myrtle Groves, Mabel Rollins, and Nadine Thornton. She is survived by her children Gail (Dean) Griffis, Robin Mobley, Greg (Denise) Lyons, Clay (Patty) Lyons, and Marcelle (David) Richardson; eighteengrandchildren, and twenty-six great-grandchildren, with three more on the way.
She raised her family at Pinetop as a housewife until 1970 when J.C. and his brother, Emil, purchased the Glen Cash Store. At that time she became the manager, working six days a week from 8 – 6. During that time she learned a lot about hardware, seed, feed, and fertilizer, while building long-lasting friendships with their customers. She continued to work full-time until her retirement with her husband in 1990. She was a co-owner with her son-in-law, Dean, from 1977 until her retirement. This was a unique relationship that was a blessing to both of them. She instilled a strong work ethic in her children and grandchildren, expecting them to stay busy when they were on the job.
Nana, as she was affectionately referred to, always had something to eat for anyone who came by. Her gift of hospitality always made visitors feel like family. She was a great cook and teacher to anyone who needed to know how to can vegetables, grow a garden, cook, sew, crochet, quilt, or embroider. She made quilts for all of her family, up until last year. Her quilt at Christmas was always the most sought-after gift during our white elephant Christmas drawing. We will cherish these for years to come.
Funeral services to honor the life of Eleanor will be held at 11:00 AM on Friday, October 20, 2023, at Raiford Road Church, 9201 South State Road 121, Macclenny, Florida, with Eddie Griffis and James Conner officiating. Graveside services will follow at Oak Grove Cemetery, Co. Rd. 23D. Visitation and gathering with the family will be on Thursday, October 19, from 6 – 8 PM at Raiford Road Church. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Archer-Milton Funeral Home, Lake Butler. 386-496-2008; archerfuneralhome.com
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to Gideons International for Bibles or the Isaiah 1:17 House.