J. Francis X. Lyness, 77, engineer, salesman

J. Francis X. Lyness, who traveled the world representing manufacturers of high-tech fibers and was a founding parishioner of the Roman Catholic Church of the Nativity in Timonium, died of an apparent heart attack Tuesday on his morning walk near his retirement home in Wilmington, Del. He was 77.

Mr. Lyness was born in Philadelphia and grew up in Towson, graduating from Loyola High School in 1944. He served in the Navy during World War II, then earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Villanova University in a suburb of Philadelphia.


He worked as an engineer, salesman and consultant for National Plastics Products of Odenton until the mid-1970s, when he joined Ametek, a Delaware-based manufacturer.

An avid golfer, Mr. Lyness played on courses in Asia and Europe, and was especially thrilled to play at St. Andrews Links, the birthplace of the game in Fife, Scotland, said his son, James F.X. Lyness Jr. of New York City.


Mr. Lyness had been a lector, usher and parish council member of the Church of the Nativity.

He retired and moved to Wilmington in 1997. He was helping plan the 60th anniversary reunion of his Loyola class, to be held in the spring, his son said.

His marriage to the former Adele Kathryn Cole ended in divorce.

Services were held Friday.

In addition to his son, survivors include his wife of six years, the former Joan Connelly Lucernoni; two daughters, K. D'Arcy Lyness Richard of Wayne, Pa., and Linda L. Miller of Baltimore; two stepsons, Michael Lucernoni of Landenberg, Pa., and Donald Lucernoni of Wilmington; two stepdaughters, Joan Shaw of Landenberg and Janet Lucernoni of Pike Creek, Del; his stepmother, Helen M.E. Lyness of Baltimore; a granddaughter; and four step-grandchildren.