We are sorry to have learned about the death of Miss Elizabeth (Betsy) Lyons who died peacefully and with dignity in Ward 2 of St Andrews Community Hospital. Miss Lyons was a former pupil at St Leonards and a much loved member of staff, teaching English at St Leonards for thirty six years and leading the English Department for the last twenty of these.
Some of the expressions used to describe Miss Lyons in her retirement year include “boundless energy”, “high standards”, “extremely high expectations”. As Dr Macauley (Headmistress 1956 - 1970) stated in a tribute – ““Hurricane Betsy” she may have been called, but she was a dedicated teacher and intensely loyal to St Leonards.”
A tribute from a pupil at the time of her retirement included the following statement: “Her devotion to English, to the correct use of words and grammatical style, and her abhorrence of careless prose and sloppy punctuation, have left their mark on countless pupils who learnt to appreciate their own language in her classroom.”
Denise Johnston, English teacher at St Leonards and a former colleague of Miss Lyons remembers her with great fondness and says “she was passionate about her subject and part of the generation who cared for precision in language, she inspired pupils and colleagues alike with the seemingly unreachable standards to which she adhered. Her kindness was exemplified in the time she spent encouraging her students to strive for fluency in their written work which would become a lifelong skill.”
The funeral has been arranged to take place on Thursday 1st December 2016, at Kirkcaldy Crematorium, at 11.45am, followed by refreshments in the Dunnikier House Hotel afterwards. All are warmly welcome to attend. Family flowers only but donations may be given for Whinneybank Cat Sanctuary.