Hazel Margaret Bilton Lyon
1925 - 2014
It is with deep sadness that we announce Hazel Margaret Lyon (Farrell) peacefully ended her wonderful life’s journey on September 6, 2014 surrounded by her adoring children, grandchildren and her faithful caregivers.
Hazey Bilton was born on July 8, 1925 in Maudsley, England to Percy and Edna Bilton. Hazey was a darling little girl and the apple of her parents’ eye. The family travelled from England, to Canada where they all fished, sailed, swam the oceans, camped and hiked the Rockies. The family lived in Pasadena where Hazey attended Westridge and Poly Tech until the war. Under the cover of darkness they sailed back to England where Hazey was a conscripted volunteer civilian in the Royal Admiralty.
During wartime England, she met, married and deeply loved her husband of 45 years, George Ray Lyon Jr., who at the time was the youngest captain in the United States Army. They were married in Pasadena in 1946 and the young couple then ventured forth to Johannesburg, South Africa. Their eldest son Christopher Johns was born in 1948 and their only daughter Candy (Carol-Anne) was born in 1950. The young couple’s dream of becoming wine farmers was realized when they moved to Stellenbosch, Cape Province and bought their beautiful farm, Groen Rivier, on the spectacular Heldeburg Mountain in 1959. Hazey and George threw their heart and soul into viticulture and growing the fantastic red wine grapes for which the region is known. George travelled to Israel and around the world looking for cutting edge irrigation and growing methods to maximize production. It was on the farm that they welcomed their youngest son Jonathan Bilton in 1964.
After many happy years on the farm, the Lyons left their beloved Stellenbosch community and church in Cape Town for George’s homeland, the US. George, Hazey and Jon travelled the country and ultimately chose Santa Barbara as their new home. They enrolled Jon in Laguna Blanca School, purchased their home in Hope Ranch and became members of the Santa Barbara Christadelphian church.
George and Hazey spent the next joyful decade living half the year in Monaco and sailing the Mediterranean on their boat Chesapeake. It was on the boat that their young son, Jon, began his lifelong love of sailing and his passion for the sea. In the summers, Chris, Candy and their friends joined them along the Cote d’Azure, Italian Riviera and Greece. George’s greatest delight was to see Hazey at the helm singing her heart out! After a wonderful 45 year marriage, George succumbed to lung cancer in 1986.
Years later, Hazey was blessed to find love again when her close friends Dick and Millie MacMillan invited her on a cruise where she met and then married the lovely Dr. Bill Farrell in 1994. The two had a lovely journey of deep love, fun, companionship and adventure late in life that took them all over the US, South Africa, England, Australia, South America and China. After many adventures over thirteen fabulous years, Hazey lost her beloved Bill.
The last two decades of her life, Hazey thoroughly enjoyed building the Canzelle Alpaca business with her daughter Candy, travelling, taking her children and grandchildren on family reunions to South Africa, Hawaii, Australia and going on ski trips. Hazey’s great joy was to entertain family, friends and church members from around the world in her beautiful home and garden that she shared with her beloved dogs, cats and birds. Her guest house always had to be well stocked with fresh food and flowers from the garden and a lovely dinner all ready for her guests! She loved taking family and friends to La Cumbre Country club for Friday night dinners and Sunday brunches.
Hazey was the beloved wife of two men who adored her, the most loved and dedicated mother, grandmother and staunch advocate for all her children, and grandchildren. The recent addition of her two great-grandbabies was a source of great delight. Hazey’s joie d vive, unwavering faith and boundless love inspired, encouraged and supported all her children and grandchildren, to follow their dreams, work hard and “Let Go and Let God.”
Hazey lived a rich, blessed life which also had its share of troubles and sadness, the greatest being the loss of Chris, her eldest son who filled her heart with love and laughter. Hazey was an excellent listener, a wise councilor and had boundless empathy for people. Her red address book and Bible by her bed, she would spend many mornings calling family and friends around the world that needed a friend. Hazey was deeply devoted to God, a generous and gracious giver and faithfully attended the Christadelphian church for 73 years. The ever-present twinkle in her lovely blue eyes, her incredible spirit and her love of life will live on in the hearts of all who knew and loved her.
Hazel is survived by Carol-Anne Lonson (Candy), Jonathan and Karen Lyon, Kitty Lyon, her seven grandchildren, Ashleigh and Dan Chu, Michael Lonson, Bradley Lonson, CJ Lyon, Angela Lyon, Megan Lyon and Jessica Lyon, two great-grandchildren, Evan and Graham Chu her German Shepherd, Lady and her beloved Maltese, Nidley. Special thanks to her loving care-givers Dr. Adolfo Garcia, Antonia Carrera and Juana Garcia.
Hazey’s celebration of life will be at 3pm on Saturday, September 13th, 2014 at the Santa Barbara Christadelphians Church at 206 Stanley Drive, Santa Barbara, CA 93105.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Hazel Lyon’s memory to the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission located at 535 E. Yanonali St., Santa Barbara, CA 93103 or www.sbrm.org.