Durango resident Lyle G. Holyoak died Sunday, Feb. 3, 2013, at his home after a 20-year battle with amyotropic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. He was 74.
Mr. Holyoak was born to Ervin and Maxie Lee Holyoak on March 30, 1938, in Pima, Ariz. He graduated from Bisbee High School with the Class of 1957, and he served in the Army.
On Oct. 3, 1969, he married Lucille Boots in Bisbee.
In 1973, Mr. Holyoak moved to the Durango area, where he worked for Durango School District 9-R as a bus mechanic for 20 years. He took a medical retirement in 1993. During his time at 9-R, he earned several awards for outstanding service from both the local school district staff as Transportation Support Person of the Year, 9-R School Board of Education for 20 years of dedicated service and the Colorado Department of Education for dedicated service.
Mr. Holyoak enjoyed hunting, fishing and sports. He was a fan of the Denver Broncos, and he was a loyal Colorado Rockies fan, never missing a televised game from the beginning of spring season through the last inning of the last game. In his earlier years in Arizona, he played first base on the Bisbee/Douglas Copper Kings baseball team.
His family said he did beautiful woodwork, making treasure boxes, lamps, tables and bowls for his family and friends. Mr. Holyoak rode his Harley-Davidson and took many trips with his son, Bill. He even attended the 100th anniversary Harley Rally in Milwaukee.
He loved spending time with and mentoring his children, grandchildren and his great-granddaughter, whom he called a “real keeper,” his family said.
Mr. Holyoak is survived by his wife of 53 years, Lucille (Boots) Holyoak, of Durango; daughters Janis Short of Durango and Dianne Johnson of Tucson, Ariz.; son, William “Bill” McDowell, of Tucson; three grandchildren; and one great-granddaughter.
Mr. Holyoak donated his body to Veterans Affairs for ALS research.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Paralyzed Veterans of America, MSC-PVA, 12200 E. Iliff Ave., Suite 107, Aurora, CO 80014-5376.