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Obituary

James A. Lyddon, 78, of Rockford, died suddenly on July 12, 2017, at his home on Tug Lake in Irma, Wisconsin. He was born on March 7, 1939, in St. Louis, Missouri, to his parents, Donald Withers Lyddon, Sr., M.D. and Ruth Karr. The family returned to Rockford in 1940 where Jim started grade school at P.R. Walker School while his father served in the Army in Europe during WW II. Jim was a self-described Army brat. He attended multiple grade and middle schools in the U.S. and Hawaii while his father continued to serve in the U.S. Army. The family again returned to Rockford in 1952, where Jim graduated from Rockford West High School in 1957. At West, he received all conference honors in football and was named all-state offensive tackle by the Chicago Tribune. He also lettered in basketball.

Jim attended one year at Vanderbilt University and then transferred to Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, earning a B.S. in business in 1961. For 2 years in 1962-63, he studied at the University of Mexico, in Mexico City, studying Spanish, history, economy and the culture of Mexico where he became fluent in Spanish. Jim returned to the U.S. and enrolled in the American Graduate School of International Management, Thunderbird Campus (now part of Arizona State University) and obtained a B.A. in Foreign Trade in 1965. He went on to receive an MBA from NIU in 1973 and acquired his CPA.

Jim joined the Arizona Army National Guard in 1964 and served for several years.
Jim was employed by Strasenburgh Laboratories, an American pharmaceutical company from 1965 - 1970. He worked mostly in Ecuador, Columbia, Costa Rica, and Venezuela where he was Regional Manager and eventually General Manager for Central America. He lived in Guayaquil and Cuenca, Ecuador; Medellin and Bogota, Colombia; and Caracas, Venezuela.

After returning to the US in 1970, Jim continued his education and worked 2 years as a corporate accountant for the Parker Pen Company in Janesville, Wisconsin. He then completed his MBA and CPA, and became a partner with Schweisberger & Lyddon, CPAs for 12 years.

In 1992 Jim joined Rockford Anesthesiologists Associated, and thoroughly enjoyed working for them as their comptroller and CFO for the next 20 years.

Jim married the love of his life, Karen Mahieu Lawson on August 4, 1990. They enjoyed 27 wonderful years together, loved to travel, cheer at Badger football games and enjoy their home on Tug Lake in Irma, WI for 14 years.

Anyone that knew Jim knew that he loved sports! He loved his West High Warriors, the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team, and the University of Wisconsin Badgers! Locally, Jim coached, managed, and/or sponsored Boys Club Little League baseball teams for 14 years. Most notably were the Patriots, who won 2 regional championships, 2 state championships and finished the 1984 season 21-0!
Jim was proud of the hard work and talent of the Patriots who earned their way to the finals in the Willie Mays World Series that was held in Rockford that year!

Jim loved the color red! The many red hats and sweaters that he wore were of his favorite sports teams! And, of course the red, white and blue in the American flag!

Jim is survived by his wife, Karen; stepson Gene (Heather Kulpa) Lawson, beloved grandson, Nolan Lawson; brother Dr. Donald (Virginia) Lyddon, Jr.; nephew Steve (Amy) Lyddon of Springfield, IL and their children, Caitlin and Carter; and niece Diane Lyddon of Reedsport, OR.

Please join the family for a Celebration of Jim's Life at Rockford Country Club on Sunday, August 27 at 4:00 p.m. Enjoy the memories and share a story!
Because Jim believed in education and enjoyed his role as grandfather of Nolan, 9, who loves to learn, donations can be made in Jim's name to: Spectrum Progressive School, 2909 N. Main St, Rockford, IL 61103. All donations will be used for books, technology and student enrichment. Contributions are tax deductible as a 501(c)(3) organization. Arrangements by Olson Funeral & Cremation Services, Ltd.


Condolences & Shared Memories (15)

  1. Kresti Lyddon

    I wish we could be there, Karen! We so enjoyed lunch with you guys two years ago in Rockford! We will be thinking of you!

  2. Nolan Lawson (Jim's grandson)

    Grandma I'm sorry that grandpa died he was a nice husband and grandpa God bless you.From me heather and gene

  3. Nolan Lawson (Jim's grandson)

    Grandma I'm sorry about grandpa's loss. I will miss him so will mom and dad.He lived a good life.

  4. Jim Bennett

    Bless you Karen. We regret not being able to attend Jim's Memorial Service, but we have family visiting us at the lake. Have lots of good memories of fun times with Jim as kids.

  5. Howard Weiss

    Jim was one if the nicest, most honest and hard working individuals that I have met in my life. He will be missed. My condolences.

  6. Susan Price-LaSalla

    My heartfelt condolences & my prayers go out to you, Karen, and the family. I wish I had known Jim, but I only met him once. God bless.

  7. Jody

    Just a small sample of his unending class and caring: Leaving the bank one day, I was going out, Jim was coming in. It was raining cats and dogs. I had no umbrella but Jim did. He told me to stop, he wanted to walk me to my car. He kept me under his umbrella until I reached I reached my car and was dry. That may have meant nothing to Jim but it meant everything to me. Will miss you very much Jim !

  8. Nick Pumilia

    Please accept my prayers for peace and strength dear friend.

  9. Martha Doherty Henderson

    There are no words that could comfort you. I do know that you're such a strong woman that you will carry on and eventually... you will keep the pain but move on. I love you.

  10. John Furland

    Jim had such a full and wonderful life, you were such a great couple. My deepest condolences, may Peace be with you and all of your family.

  11. Ruth & Hans Bruegger

    Though we only knew Jim a short time we both liked his soft spoken nature. It was obvious that Jim cared about you Karen. He really liked being a grandfather and I remember him with his grandson in the pool. Also, it was great to see another person full of fun trivia facts. He will be missed and our thoughts are with your family.

  12. Liz Pagani

    So sorry for your loss, Karen! Wish we were closer so I could be there. Please know my prayers are with you. He seemed to be a great man and he was a blessing. Love and prayers, Like z

  13. Barbara Streit

    He was a very nice man, an will be missed. Prayers to you Karen an the family that God will help you all through this hard time an make all your memories brighten your lives to know he was such a great man, husband, father, an grandpa. sending you lots of love.

  14. Ken pilcher

    What an interesting life. So much education and travel. Best to you in the coming years Karen...

  15. Penny Floyd

    Karen , I am so sorry for your loss. What a nice article. Looks like he had a wonderful full life. He will be missed by many.


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