gmhTODAY 14 gmhToday May June 2017 - Page 70

Bill Lyon Rides Again Written By Robin Shepherd I magine being raised in the Los Gatos-West San Jose area of the 1940s and early 1950s, when a house could be bought for $25,000 and country lanes were bordered by acres of orchards. Young Bill attended the Children’s Country School in Los Gatos, where horseback riding was part of everyday activities. In the summers and on weekends he rode in the school’s Pied Piper Riding Club. As Bill tells it, he was “a heck of a lot more comfortable in the saddle than at a school desk.” His free time was spent training his sorrel-red mare in the school’s riding arena or in the Los Gatos hil ls. Bill and Betsy won than 50 blue ribbons at local horse shows from San Francisco to Monterey. In the above photo, Bill Lyon grins a mile wide and his green eyes light up at the mere mention of “Betsy.” At the tender age of 13, he lost his heart to a female of the four-legged variety. She 70 was a quarter horse, a gift from his dad, and he named her Betsy Buttons. “When I graduated from high school and prepared to head off to college, my dad sold Betsy.” Those early years kindled a passion that would lure Bill back to riding at age 30. Family and Career Bill met his wife, Carolyn, in 1959 at Camden High School. She didn’t fall head over heels when they fi rst met, but Bill was persistent and won her affections in time. They married while he was a junior at San José State University where he studied Business and Industrial Management. Carolyn worked for a loan company, and then for many years at Foothill College. During college, Bill worked as a part- time teller at Bank of the West. After graduating, he became an operations offi cer at the bank’s West San Jose branch. GILROY • MORGAN HILL • SAN MARTIN MAY/JUNE 2017 “I really wanted to become an accountant, so I set up a small book- keeping business on the side while working for the bank. Carolyn and I bought our first house in Cambrian Park where we raised our sons, Ross and Scott.” [Chris, see family photo: pictured left to right, Scott, Bill, Carolyn and Ross.] From there, Bill spent four years in a cost accounting department at FMC, followed by two years as a controller for a Santa Clara-based printed circuit board maker. Then Bill made what he called “a wrong turn” in his career. “I got the idea to do accounting in the livestock industry and put an ad in the Western Livestock Journal. That led to a job in the Imperial Valley.” The Lyons rented out their San Jose home and moved to Southern California. That work brought him into contact with a national CPA firm and Bill got to thinking, “I can do what those young gmhtoday.com