Gary W. Lyons ’56

Gary W. Lyons ’56Dr. Gary W. Lyons ’56 was the retired chief of Saint Vincent Health Center’s Division of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery. He studied at Penn State Behrend for one year before earning a degree in chemistry at University Park.

While a student at the University of Pittsburgh’s medical school, he participated in an exchange program at the University of London, studying with the famed vascular surgeon Dr. Charles Rob. After graduation, Dr. Lyons spent ten years at the University of Minnesota, where he worked with Dr. C. Walton Lillehei, one of the first physicians to perform open heart surgery in the United States. In 1971, Dr. Lyons was recruited by Saint Vincent to return to Erie and build the hospital’s first open-heart surgery program.

When he resided in Erie, Dr. Lyons was an active member of the Penn State Behrend Council of Fellows. He received both Alumni Fellow and Penn State Distinguished Alumnus designations. In 1988, an endowed gift from Dr. Lyons allowed the college to purchase its first scanning electron microscope. 

Dr. Lyons passed away on February 11, 2023, and was predeceased by his wife, Darlene Rumbaugh Lyons ’57, in 2021. They are survived by four children: Dr. Mark Lyons, Steven Lyons, Susan Lyons Swahn, and Scott Lyons ’92 M.B.A.


(Updated February 2024.)