Barbara (Barb) Marie Lyons (nee Laman) passed away in her home in Ocala, FL on September 13, 2022. Barb grew up in Elmwood Park, IL, and graduated from Elmwood Park High School before attending Western Illinois University (WIU). While attending WIU, she met and eventually married John Stephen (Steve) Phillips. They had two children, Heather and Gerry. Barb and Steve resided in Pittsfield, IL, Rushville, IL, Woodstock, IL, Cary, IL, Macomb, IL, and Champaign, IL.
Barb earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from WIU and was a passionate educator and advocate for children with special needs and loved working in schools. Desiring to help prepare special education teachers, Barb earned her doctoral degree from the University of Illinois and worked at several universities teaching and mentoring future teachers.
After earning her Ph.D, Barb was determined to forever leave behind cold IL winters and relocated to FL, working at Florida Atlantic University. She eventually moved to CA to work at Sonoma State University and California State Fullerton. While living in Newport Beach, CA, Barb met and eventually married TJ Lyons. They married in Kauai, HI, a place very special to Barb and TJ. Barb and TJ relocated to Troy, AL, where Barb worked at Troy University until she retired. Barb and TJ then moved to Ocala, FL. Barb and TJ loved traveling, especially taking cruises around the world, attending music festivals and flea markets, and caring for many beloved dogs and cats.
Barb is survived by her husband TJ Lyons, children Heather Phillips (Moorhead, MN) and Gerry Phillips (Sherman, IL), siblings John (Diane) Laman, George Laman, Jim (Debbie) Laman, Mary Mazzulla, William (Bruce) Laman, Kathleen (Mark) Laman, and Michael (Harry) Laman, grandchildren John, Evan, Thomas, and Amelia, and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
Barb was preceded in death by parents, John (Jack) and Patricia Laman, grandparents John and Helen Laman and George and Marie Houlihan, and niece Lauren Laman.
No services will be held at this time. A celebration of life for family and friends will be held at a later time.