Lyons Family Reunion History
1959 to Present
In the mid 1950’s, Grand Rapids Michigan was the starting point of a long lasting tradition known as the Lyons family reunion. The first three to four years were known as the potluck and pokeno years, as small groups of family members would often come together on the weekends. During this time there were many discussions of a family reunion with much excitement. Then in the summer of 1959, the first official family reunion took place at Johnson Park. The reunion founders at that time were; Aunt Lelia Daniels (Lee), Earl & Mattie Whitney, Tommy and Kay Tolliver.
The center of attraction was Aunt Lee’s house where most of the activity took place. Mattie’s house was directly across the street from Aunt Lee on Sherman street and took-in a good bit of traffic. Sometimes family from Muskegon and Pontiac would come to town and stop by aunt Lee’s. Between Lee and Mattie the family would play cards during evening hours on Friday or Saturday. During the day on Saturday or Sunday the family would go to the park with a dish to pass. The park was quality time more so for the children to have fun while the adults relaxed. There were plenty of conversations to go around and having a family reunion was a preferred topic. Kay would frequently state how nice it would be to have a family reunion using her family as an example. Finally, the decision was made to have the first family reunion in the summer of 1959.
In the fall of 1958, Kay compiled a list of family addresses and sent out save the date post cards, to family members living in Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Pontic and Detroit. The post cards were met with great success and anticipation by everyone. The first reunion took place at Johnson Park followed by John Ball Park the second year. In time our reunions became so popular we started venturing out to different city with a two day planned event, which later became three day event. Looking back in time, our family has traveled over the years to the following Places: Grand Rapids, Muskegon, Flint, Pontic, Detroit, Chicago, Florida, Ohio, Maryland, Atlanta, Mississippi and New Orleans. This is our history in the making 57 years later.