Sunday, April 30, 2017

RIP Charles J. Lyons Jr.

Los Angeles Times
April 30, 2017

March 5, 1929 - April 19, 2017

Charles John Lyons, Jr., lifelong Southern California resident, Attorney, Businessman, Golf Manufacturing Pioneer, and Real Estate Mogul, has died at age 88. Charles Lyons, Jr. passed away peacefully in the early morning hours of April 19, 2017 at his home in Lakewood, California. He died of natural causes after battling dementia for the past few years. Born March 5, 1929 in Buena Park, California to Armenian immigrant parents, Charles John Lyons, Sr. (born: Garabed Ohanes Arslanian) and Balasan Kardashian Lyons, Charlie (as he liked to be called) grew up and completed all of his lower division education in Buena Park and Norwalk, California, while working with his father on the family hog farm in Buena Park and vineyards in Delano, California. He graduated from Excelsior High School in Norwalk, California in 1946, and began his college education at Long Beach City College that fall. He transferred to the University of Southern California in 1948 where he graduated in 1950 with a Bachelor of Science, School of Commerce. He remained at USC for law school, and graduated in 1953 with honors from the University of Southern California School of Law in a prestigious class that included many Superior and Appellate court judges, including his lifelong friend Malcolm Lucas, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the State of California. In the summer of 1948 he met his soon-to-be wife Mary Lou Harris in Delano. Charlie married Mary Lou on June 24, 1950, and at the time of his death they had been happily married for 66 years. After graduating from USC Law School in 1953, Charlie started his personal law practice in San Fernando, California while managing his father's farming businesses. He and Mary Lou started a family in 1953, and had one daughter, Celeste Angelle, and two sons, Charles John, III and George Ove. In 1959, Charlie moved his family to Granada Hills, California where he lived until 1980, and then moved to Lakewood, California where he resided until his death. In 1956 he was Executive Producer of the feature film Flesh and the Spur, which starred John Agar, Marla English, and a young Mike "Touch" Connors of "Mannix" fame. During this same time Charlie earned his real estate, broker, and insurance broker licenses. In the 1960s his law practice led him into a friendship with Carl Ross, who was working for the Arnold Palmer Golf Company. Charlie and Carl bonded over a shared love for the game of golf, and together they founded Lynx Golf Company in 1971. Concurrently, Charlie started a restaurant development in Buena Park that is still there today. By 1973, Charlie's avid hobby of golf, and his expertise in designing and manufacturing golf clubs, turned into a business in Paramount, California. He started Holiday Golf Corporation which ultimately became Golf Products Inc. Over a short period of time his designs in investment cast golf clubs became the industry standard for how golf clubs were designed and manufactured worldwide. By the mid-1980s his companies included all phases of golf club manufacturing, from the foundry to the complete finished product. His persimmon woods were regarded as some of the finest ever made, and his metal wood designs helped pave the way for what became the modern-day metal wood used today. He produced golf clubs for almost every major golf club company in the world at the time, and helped current manufacturers like Cleveland Golf, Taylor Made, and Callaway when they were just getting started. The very first "Big Bertha" wood was manufactured by Charlie Lyons. His expertise in the field had his company ranked as the top component part supplier of golf clubs in the world for many years. At the peak of production in the mid to late '80s, Charlie employed over 500 employees in all phases of his golf manufacturing operations. In 1986 Charlie and his son Chuckie developed The Lyons Business Center, a large industrial park in Paramount, California. From 1986-1992 he was also advisor and mentor to Fu-Lyons Associates, an industrial real estate company owned by his son, Chuckie, and longtime friend David Fu. During this time, he was also part of a group that developed properties for Costco as they expanded into California, and was one of the original investors in Starbucks. By the mid-1990s the golf club business was moving to Asia, and Charlie converted his accumulated, first-class buildings into leasing properties. In 1993, he became managing partner of South Bay Pavilion in Carson, California, until the property was sold in 2003. For the final 20+ years of Charlie's life, he spent his time developing and managing his large portfolio of properties. He went to the office every day until the last four months of his life. His wife Mary Lou continues to run their business to this day. Charlie also served on the Board of Councilors of the University of Southern California Gould School of Law, Board of Councilors of the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine, Board of Lakewood Regional Hospital and Medical Center. Besides all of his accomplishments in business, Charlie's greatest pride came from his family. As a dedicated son, brother, husband, father, and grandfather; his family was the most important thing in his life. Charles John Lyons, Jr. was always looked up to as a pillar of strength, the patriarch of his family, and a true visionary in business. His counsel and advice were respected worldwide. He will be dearly missed by all who knew and loved him. Charlie was preceded in death by his parents, Charles John Lyons, Sr. (1972) and Balasan Kardashian Lyons (1979). He is survived by his wife of 66 years, Mary Lou Lyons; his sisters Helene Lyons Bedrosian (Richard Bedrosian), Thelma Lyons Kay (Raymond Kay), and sister-in-law Lendy Dear; his daughter Celeste Lyons Macer (Dr. George A. Macer, Jr.), and sons Charles (Chuckie) John Lyons, III (Cynthia Peterson Lyons) and George Ove Lyons; his grandchildren Charles John Lyons, IV (Nicole Lean Lyons), Arianne Lyons O'Brien (Colin O'Brien), Christiana Macer Garcia (Daniel Garcia), Marina Macer, Emily Macer, and two great-granddaughters Olivia Lyons and Sloane O'Brien. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Charlie's memory to: USC Gould School of Law, 1149 So. Hill Street, Suite 340, Los Angeles, CA 90015-2220 or Ararat Home of Los Angeles, 15099 Mission Hills Road, Mission Hills, CA 91345.

LYONS, Jr., Charles J. (Charles John Lyons Jr.)
Born: 3/5/1929, Buena Park, California, U.S.A.
Died: 4/19/2017, Lakewood, California, U.S.A.

Charles J. Lyons Jr.’s western – executive producer:
The Flesh and the Spur - 1956

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