Elizabeth “Betty” Kohlenberger Lyon was born on April 27, 1923, in Fullerton, California, and went to be with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, March 13, 2023. Her 100th birthday would have been April 27, 2023. Her parents were Hans and Louise Kohlenberger. She grew up with two brothers and two sisters. She graduated from Fullerton Union High School.
Betty was married for 71 years to W. DeWitt Lyon, who preceded her in death on February 10, 2015. They were married December 23, 1943, at the First Baptist Church in Fullerton, now Wilshire Avenue Community Church.
Betty is survived by her six children and their 5 spouses: Louise and Masao Uenuma, Charlene and Ted Wan, Joanne Lyon, Lawrence and Wendy Lyon, Virginia and Bob Travis, Stephen and Haruko Lyon. She is also survived by 11 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren, her younger sister, Beverley Fair Smith, nieces and nephews.
Betty received the Lord Jesus Christ as her Savior as a young child. Her desire was to love and follow the Lord throughout her life. With four children in tow, she and her husband, DeWitt, went to Japan as missionaries in 1960 and “retired” in 1989. Virginia and Stephen were born in Japan. Stephen has jokingly said that Mom always wanted five children! In addition to raising a family, she taught English and piano in Japan and assisted her husband in a church planting ministry.
At various periods in her life, Betty was organist at what is now Wilshire Avenue Community Church. She was a consummate musician and also played piano and violin. In 1982 she received a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in Music (Liberal Arts), having taken some courses remotely. She also received a Master of Music degree in 1996. Both degrees were from California State University, Fullerton.
Betty was very interested in the Japanese language and even taught Japanese in North Orange Continuing Education.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to White Fields, P.O. Box 1839, San Marcos, CA 92079. Donations may be made on their website, www.whitefields.org