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OBITUARY: Rae Ann Lyon, 91, Former Chief Nursing Administrator Alexandria Hospital and Beloved Local Caterer

Lady with white hair and glasses smiling
Rae Ann Lyon, 1932-2024.

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Rae Ann Lyon, age 91, passed away on January 15, 2024 in Hudson, Wisconsin where she has lived since 2013.

She was born on September 17, 1932 in Duluth, MN to Raymond and Ann McKone and grew up in Superior, Wisconsin.

After getting her nursing degree at Mercy Hospital in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, she met her husband, Jack Lyon and moved to his hometown of Monticello, Iowa to raise a family. In 1965, Rae Ann and Jack moved with their three children to Alexandria Virginia, and the following year their fourth child was born.  Only 5 years later, Jack died, leaving Rae Ann a widow.

She had a long career at Alexandria Hospital, climbing from staff nurse to the chief nursing administrator.   Later, she used her nursing administration skills to manage SRT Medstaff, overseeing the entire Washington DC metropolitan area.  She was well-loved wherever she worked and was thought of as a kind, fair and effective manager. Many of her employees have stayed in touch with her for decades.

At the age of 58, her professional life took a major turn, when she enrolled in culinary school and started a catering business. The parish priests at St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Springfield, Virginia ate better than they had in years, during the 10 years she cooked for them!

She loved Old Town Alexandria and particularly the Old Town Farmer’s Market where shopped and socialized every Saturday morning for more than 20 years. Her house was full of pottery, baskets and art from the vendors there, many of whom she called friends. Fig trees she bought as saplings there, grow all over  Alexandria.  She was a devout Catholic and attended St. Mary’s Church when she first moved to the area, later Blessed Sacrament, and eventually St. Lawrence, when she moved to Springfield.  She loved her townhouse in Springfield, which she decorated beautifully.

She moved to Hudson, Wisconsin in 2013, to be closer to family.  There she got involved in many activities at her retirement community, Wintergreen. She will be remembered, there, for leaving a homemade cinnamon loaf outside the door of every resident on their  birthday.  She liked to attend meetings with the chef and advise on meal options. Her love of reading led her to work as the Wintergreen librarian for several years.  She was proud to serve as a sacristan at her local church, St. Patrick’s. She will be remembered as an extraordinary minister.

She was a strong woman who made her professional way in an administrative world, at a time when woman were rare. She single-handedly raised 4 children, who all went on to have impressive professional careers of their own. During her final months, she was surrounded by loving family members who visited her daily and flew in from all parts of the country.

She is survived by her children, Dr. Sara (Charles Limbach), Neil (Rebecca Hart) , Keith (Victoria Quinn), Nancy; grandchildren: Noah, Rowan & Willow Limbach, John Joseph II & Nicole Lyon; Carmen, Luis & Maria Lyon.

She was preceded in death by her husband John “Jack”, brother William McKone and sister, Phyllis Erbe (McKone).

Mary Wadland

Mary Wadland is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of The Zebra Press, founded by her in 2010. Originally from Delray Beach, Florida, Mary is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Hollins College in Roanoke, VA and has lived and worked in the Alexandria publishing community since 1987.

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