The word repeated often about Squamish's Michael Lyons, who died suddenly last week, seems to be "smile."
He smiled a lot and made others who knew him smile.
"He was a man with so much love in his heart that he just wanted to share and pass down to me, " Lyons’ daughter Michelle told The Chief. "I’m heartbroken that he’s gone."
Lyons, 62, also leaves behind his wife, Deborah Finck.
The couple were married in 2009.
Friend and neighbour Johanna Proudfoot spoke to The Chief about what a loving husband Lyons was and how he and Finck were “soulmates.”
“He loved Debbie so much — with all of his heart. They lived life to the fullest, together: climbed mountains, ran multiple marathons, biked, travelled the world, loved their family — all together as one,” Proudfoot said.
“It wasn’t uncommon to see Mike and Deb running together, or Mike happily giving Deb a lift to work. We have been so lucky to have had them as neighbours for the past decade. They are more than that — they became great friends. I can’t imagine not ever again hearing Mike sing and strum his guitar sitting on the front steps.“
Lyons was originally from Ottawa, Ontario, and graduated from Algonquin College.
Lyons worked as a construction safety officer, according to his LinkedIn profile.
Coun. John French remembered Lyons as a friend.
"To me, Michael Lyons was a former co-worker, a political campaigner, a musician, an athlete, and a friend. Mike’s smile lit up every room he entered. I miss him already," said French, who worked with Lyons at Woodfibre LNG when the two were employed with the project. Lyons also managed French's successful run for Squamish council.
Lyons worked for Woodfibre from 2015 to 2017 as a site safety representative.
"Mike was truly one of the kindest people and most devoted to community service I have ever met," said Woodfibre LNG's Jennifer Siddon. "Our deepest condolences to Deb, his family, and friends. How we will miss his kindness and generosity, and his beautiful singing voice. The angels must be loving Mike’s rendition of Danny Boy — their gain is Squamish’s deep loss."
Squamish River Watershed Society's Francesca Knight remembered Lyons as, "one of the kindest people in Squamish. He was lovely, intelligent, cared for everyone."
John Buchanan recalled his unusual first encounter with Lyons.
"Hard to forget the day I met Mike. I was just out of high school 1981, was a passenger in a pick-up truck," Buchanan recalled.
Buchanan and a friend were driving on Government Road when the driver fell asleep. They hit a big tree head-on. Buchanan caved in the dash of the truck and hit the window.
"The ambulance showed up and out steps Mike. He took care of us and shipped us up to the Squamish Hospital. We became good friends after that day and whenever I bumped into him in the coming years, he always had a beautiful smile on his face and made me laugh. A big loss."
**Please note, this story has been updated to include a quote from Johanna Proudfoot and a photo of the couple from her. It has also been updated after receiving information about his final employment.