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My Friend, Betty Lyons

Written by Robyn Flory

For me Betty Lyons has always had “Spirit!!” Last week North Fork lost this very special lady who kept all of us always “on our toes.” She had a way of asking all the hard questions when anyone else would have looked the other way. She was a real “firecracker!!”

When I moved here 28 years ago, I joined the Squirrel Cage Theatre, with my mom’s encouragement, for a little play called Gold Fever. Joining a group like this is a great way to get to know people in a new town. Betty Lyons was one of the directors, and I soon got to know this very feisty lady.

In the years after, there were many plays and productions in the spring and in the fall, and Betty loved being involved. One spring I found a very touching play called “Spirit” and being very moved by this script, I volunteered to direct this play.

I was used to working with kids at the school, but was nervous about directing adults. Betty showed up for auditions, and I immediately knew she was perfect for the part of Esther.

Esther was one of the residents at the Happy Hollow Rest Home, and Betty gave her character Esther so much heart. Betty always had a tough time memorizing her lines (she truly did have a bunch of lines to learn) and would often write her lines on her hand, or on the table during their poker games, or on her stuffed animals on stage, thinking that I wouldn’t notice. Yes Betty, I noticed!!

Betty delivered the very last touching line of the play, after her roommate Clara passed away. I can still remember Betty standing on stage all by herself, holding her “cat” looking up to the heavens, talking to Clara, telling her that everything was going to alright.

So for me Betty, you truly had “Spirit” in more than one way, and we will truly miss you, my friend!

And yes Betty we know… everything is going to be alright!




  1. Perfect tribute! I had forgotten about Betty’s acting career!

  2. Justine Shoemaker

    Barbara Grow and Robyn Flory, thank you ladies, both, so much for taking the time in writing about my Grandma Betty. Very touching. Robyn, I love your sense of humor.

    One thing I can say about my grandma is, she loved helping and taking care of people, including total strangers and she took no one’s bull. She wasn’t afraid of anyone and told it like it was.

  3. Thank you for sharing your memories, Robyn.

  4. Diane Graham Yamane

    Thank you Barbara And Robyn.

    Diane (Betty’s second daughter)

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