George T. Lyon Jr., 85, chairman of promotional products company

George T. Lyon Jr., chairman of a Timonium company that manufactures promotional products such as pens, magnets and shirts, died Friday of pancreatic cancer at his Towson home. He was 85.

Mr. Lyon was born and raised in Havre de Grace and graduated from Havre de Grace High School in 1936. He earned a bachelor's degree in English from St. John's College in 1940 and a master's degree in business administration from Harvard University in 1942.


He was a lieutenant in the Navy from 1942 to 1945, stationed first in Attu, Alaska, and then on the aircraft carrier USS Kwajalein in the Pacific.

While in the Navy, he married Grace Harrison, who survives him.


The couple moved back to the Baltimore area after the war, and Mr. Lyon was a salesman at several companies before joining Calvert Manufacturing Co. at its founding in 1954.

He rose from salesman to partner and bought out his other partners to become chairman of Calvert Associates Inc. in 1978.

"He believed in a very personal type of service," said his son James Lyon of Towson

Mr. Lyon was a longtime member of Towson Presbyterian Church, where he was an elder and trustee, sang in the choir and helped found the church's preschool and kindergarten.

He was an art and music lover who entertained Navy buddies by sketching Hollywood starlets and charmed friends at church by hand-decorating petit fours for wedding receptions. He enjoyed listening to recordings of Broadway musicals, operas and symphonies, and held annual Christmas caroling parties.

Mr. Lyon celebrated his 85th birthday with family and friends the day before he died.

A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. Saturday at Towson Presbyterian Church, 400 W. Chesapeake Ave.

In addition to his wife and his son, he is survived by three other sons, George T. Lyon III of Towson, Cary Lyon of Phoenix and Robert W. Lyon of Philadelphia; a daughter, Cathy Lyon Isphording of Timonium; and eight grandchildren.