William H. “Bill” Lyles, 89, of Lewisport passed away on Saturday, March 13, 2021 at the Heartford House. He was born in Saint Joseph, TN on June 17, 1931 to the late William C and Bertha McClanahan Lyles. Bill was preceded in death by a daughter, Leah Schwindel; siblings, Jimmy Lyles, Helen Matthews and Jean Carroll.
Bill was a pillar of the Hancock County community since moving there 56 years ago to help open what is now Commonwealth Rolled Products and get the plant ready to start production. He and Helen had originally planned to stay for two years, but he said that when they got to know the people of Hancock County they knew it would be their “home forever.”
As a young man when the Korean War broke out, Bill walked away from a Major League Baseball career after signing with the New York Giants in order to enlist in the Navy and serve his country. He played softball for the Navy All-Star Team and in 1954 hit the first home run in the Softball World Tournament, all while courting Helen through writing letters. After coming home from Korea, starting his family, and settling in Hancock County, Bill became a very active member of the community. His accomplishments and areas of service are too many to list here, but some highlights were serving on the boards that established Vastwood Park and Windward Heights Country Club, the committee that brought football to Hancock County for the first time, and all of his work to organize and build the Lewisport Antique Farm Museum. He was an active member of the Lewisport Lions Club and the Lewisport United Methodist Church, and was deeply loved by all the people there.
Survivors include his wife of 62 years, Helen Belew Lyles; children, Cynthia (Jerry) Parker, Greta (Dale) Beach, Melissa (Johnny) Norris, Bridget Lyles and Wade Lyles; grandchildren, Stephanie, Alana, Karie, Kevin, Kelly, Leslie, Mike, Andy, Mark, Lexi and Savannah; great grandchildren, Max, Ella, Alex, Lily, Zach, Willie, Boone, Maddox, Link, Bennett and a baby boy on the way; brother, Johnny (Doris) Lyles along with several nieces and nephews.
Services will be held at 11 am on Wednesday, March 17, 2021 at Lewisport united Methodist Church with burial following in Lewisport Cemetery. Bill’s family will be greeting friends from 5 pm until 7 pm on Tuesday at Gibson & Son Funeral Home, Lewisport and on Wednesday from 10 am until service time at the church. Memorial contributions may be made to the Heartford House. Share your memories and condolences with Bill’s family at www.gibsonandsonfh.com
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