Dr. Elmer “Kirk” Lyon was born near Londesborough (Huron County), Ontario on the 1st of October, 1901. He was the eldest of 4 children born to William Lyon and the former Jennie Gray Kirk. His parents were farmers and his siblings were; Marjorie Gray Lyon, Arthur Herbert Lyon and Ruth Lyon. Dr. Lyon’s primary education was obtained at a local rural school and he graduated from Clinton Collegiate Institute prior to attending university at the age of 16.
Dr. Lyon graduated from The University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine in 1923 at the age of 21. He continued his post-graduate education for the next 3 years at Scranton, Pennsylvania and in New York City, where he studied obstetrics, gynaecology and surgery. Upon his return to Canada he practiced medicine briefly in Hamilton and Stratford before settling in Leamington in 1927.
Dr. Lyon was married to Marion Jeanette Lowe on the 25th of April, 1926 in Simcoe, Ontario. Mrs. Lyon was born on the 24th of January, 1903 in Paterson, New Jersey, the eldest of 4 children born to Richard Lowe and the former Myra Defries. Her father was a manager of a grocery wholesale warehouse and her siblings were; Richard “Harold” Lowe, Myra Lowe and Carolyn Leslie Lowe. According to the 1920 census, Mrs. Lyon was a doctor’s assistant in Paterson, New Jersey.
Dr. and Mrs. Lyon had one child, Robert Kirk Lyon.
Due to the close proximity of Leamington to Wheatley, Dr. Lyon routinely travelled the 12 kilometres to Chatham-Kent to deliver babies and attend to the sick and injured.
Dr. Lyon was the chief of the surgical department at the Leamington District Memorial Hospital for 18 years and he served as President of the Essex County Medical Association. From 1947 until 1950 he served as the chairman of the Leamington District Memorial Hospital Board. In 1950, Dr. Lyon was elected President of the Ontario Medical Association. That same year he opened the Leamington Medical Centre with Dr. M. J. Setterington. Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles visited Canada in 1959. At a ceremony on the 30th of June, 1959 Prince Philip was installed as the President of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA). Prince Philip formally deputized Dr. Lyon to represent him in the matters connected with the presidency and thus began Dr. Lyon’s year as the President of the CMA. His travels that year took him to every province and twice Dr. Lyon travelled to England on CMA business.
Dr. Lyon volunteered his time and expertise and travelled to St Kitts in the West Indies in 1968 and 1969. At the time the area had no surgeon and Dr. Lyon was quoted as saying that he performed, “130 operations in 2 months”.
Dr. Lyon practiced medicine in Leamington for 45 years prior to his retirement in the fall of 1972. At the end of October in 1972, Dr. and Mrs. Lyon moved to Don Mills, Ontario.
Dr. Lyon was the recipient of the Canadian Centennial Medal, the Canadian Medical Association Medal of Service and the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Medal.
Mrs. Lyon died on the 20th of February 1977 in Sun City, Arizona. After the death of his wife, Dr. Lyon moved back to Leamington. Just 2 months after the death of his wife, Dr. Lyon’s son died suddenly. Dr. Lyon died at his residence, 300 Sherk Street, (Leamington) on the 25th of June 1983. Dr. and Mrs. Lyon were buried at Evergreen Cemetery in Leamington.
*Both of Dr. Lyon’s sister’s became nurses. His brother Dr. Arthur H. Lyon graduated from The University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine in 1939 and practiced medicine in Windsor, Ontario. He died on the 11 July, 1961 in Windsor. His son Dr. Robert Kirk Lyon (b.1927-d.1977), practiced medicine in Toronto.