TEXAS CITY — Attorney, chemical company founder, entrepreneur and one of the county’s biggest Aggies will be remembered today.

John W. “Bill” Lyons died last week. He was 76.

Lyons was a partner in the Texas City law firm Lyons and Plackemeier, but his interests went beyond the law. The biology major and 1959 graduate of Texas A&M was instrumental in the formation of Sea Lion Chemical in Texas City and Texas Molecular LLC.

He was involved in real estate holdings and banking as well.

Ron Plackemeier, Lyons’ law partner since 1981, said they first met not in a courtroom, but on the tennis court thanks to a mutual connection through Texas A&M.

Plackemeier was a yell leader at the university that Lyons supported heavily.

“I got to know Bill because of the A&M connection, but Bill was a very accomplished tennis player, and I would come to Galveston to play tennis,” Plackemeier said. “If Bill didn’t want you to have a chance to return the ball, well, you never got a chance. He was really good.”

Plackemeier eventually interned at Lyons law firm before they became partners. Their business relationship went beyond the law firm.

The pair helped Kevin Yackly start up Grand Prize Barbecue.

“Mr. Lyons was the best partner I could have ever dreamed of,” Yackly said. “He was such a smart man, but a very humble man. It broke my heart when I heard he had passed.”

Missy Lyons, Bill Lyons’ daughter, said her father was doing what he loved to do best, practice law, on the day he died.

He had just finished up a case in Iola on the morning of April 16, when he returned to his ranch in the community.

“He had some recent heart issues, and I was keeping an eye on him, so I went to court that morning,” Missy Lyons said. “I was watching him in court, and he was at his best that morning.”

Lyons died that afternoon.

A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. today at First United Methodist Church in Dickinson.

Contact Mainland Editor T.J. Aulds at 409-683-5334 or tjaulds@galvnews.com.

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