On September 22, 2020, Gregory Harline Lyman (64 yrs) was unexpectedly taken from us when he suffered a pulmonary embolism—a blood clot to his lungs—a week following major surgery.
The second son of Gary and Jo-An Lyman, Greg was born on May 4, 1956 in Salt Lake City, Utah. His Mom realized early the futility of trying to get him to row his boat to the cadence of any conventional drum and found he would pull the oars with more vigor if it were to his own beat, even if no one else heard it. He was a “Renaissance Man” with unbounded curiosity who relentlessly pursued knowledge without much interest in the credentials that sometimes only certify its acquisition. His uncommon intellect and original mind were combined with a native athletic talent and ability. During his senior year at San Juan High School, he set the state record in cross country, took state in the 2-mile track event and was the starting and all-region forward on the varsity basketball team. That same year, he also co-starred in the school’s production of Neil Simon’s “Barefoot in the Park,” taking state for the performance. His interest in theater was an early indication of his oratory gifts, and his love for sports came to focus mainly on tennis after his wife later introduced him to the sport. He would suffer numerous humiliating defeats to this woman before finally surpassing her and eventually competing, in his fifties, at the National Championships with his Men’s Doubles team.
His formal missionary service began in Amsterdam and continued, informally, throughout his life. Never one for small talk, he took every opportunity to deeply engage others on meaningful subjects. He would courageously and articulately make his case, but never felt any ill will towards those who remained unpersuaded. While he strived to always know God’s will and to do it, he was infinitely patient and merciful with others, giving them the benefit of the doubt. He would try to discern the profit that could be found in his trials and would wistfully accept them as part of the divine program in which he was taking part. The wisdom and humility acquired through Greg’s various trials made him all the more accessible and approachable to those to whom he freely ministered. He did this as a bishop and in the numerous other ward and stake callings he held, but also in the private ministry he undertook to help any wayfarer who crossed his path.
He married Patsy Jo DeRoos, a fellow missionary, on October 26, 1978 in the Salt Lake Temple and raised their three children in Millcreek. Some of their favorite memories included trips with their young family to Blanding, Utah and Lake Powell and hearing him “weave tales” of his early travels to distant planets with his childhood friend, “Flub Dub” in his intergalactic tub, revealing another creative gift. Years later these stories were recycled for his beloved grandchildren who were held equally spellbound.
Greg worked in business and finance, but after several years of retirement, he chose to undertake a new adventure as a driver for UPS. It was longer hours and more physically demanding work than any of his previous desk jobs, but his friendships with coworkers and the scores of daily interactions with customers allowed him to deal in the business he loved most: mankind. It also provided him hours of solitude to muse on the freedom he considered the basis of good religion and good government. He was a natural teacher of the gospel, and wielded positive influence wherever he went…and he never went anywhere without a surfeit of reading materials, notebooks and podcasts.
He is survived by his dear wife Patsy, their three children: Sarah Patricia Anderson, Jacob Gregory Lyman, Elizabeth JoAnn Jones, 11 grandchildren, his five brothers and their wives, and many nieces and nephews, who considered him a beloved uncle.
A viewing will be held at the Ridgedale Ward, 3400 South 1100 East, Salt Lake City, Utah on Friday, September 25, 6:30-8:30 pm. Funeral Services will be at the Ridgedale Ward on Saturday, September 26, at Noon, preceded by a viewing from 10:30-11:30 am. Interment TBD at the Salt Lake City Cemetery. Services can also be live-streamed on Facebook by searching “In Memory of Gregory Harline Lyman”.