Don has a quiet, humble sensibility about him. We met with him in a place that has shaped his path over the past several decades: the Northgate Apartments boardroom. Don Lyons is a resident of Northgate and a member of the board, which makes decisions about changes to the facilities, deals with conflict resolution, and ensures that this community remains, as Don describes it, “a comfortable, most convenient place to live.”
“The fact that I’m on the board gives you, not so much control, but insight into what’s going on with Northgate, and you have personal input right off the bat. That means something.”
In speaking with Don, he’ll surely tell you of the myriad jobs he’s held throughout his life, from being a full time student at Northeastern while working overnights at a laundromat to owning some cottages in Lake Placid where the East Germans stayed during the 1980 Olympics. He might tell you about his children, or his deep unwavering faith, or how much he enjoys his work as a crossing guard at the school down the block.
For some, Don’s situation may not seem ideal. He’s worked hard his entire life just to make ends meet and provide a good life for his children. He once sold his car to help pay for his son’s college tuition. Not that he needed a car, as even at a young 80 years old, he still bikes everywhere he needs to go.
“I’m only 80, I’m just a young kid yet,” he jokes.
If prompted, he may even tell you of his accident in the 1980s where he lost a lung. It seemingly hasn’t slowed him down though, as when he was 65 he completed a bike trip to and from Minnesota.
“I think every experience you have has a good side, teaches you so many things,” he reflects. “Nothing can happen to you, other than death, and even that’s not such a bad thing, that you can’t overcome.”