Michelle Marie Lyon

Jul 15, 1963 – Jul 31, 2019

Michelle Marie Lyon obituary image 1



Michelle Marie Lyon

Michelle was born July 15, 1963 in Clarinda, Iowa to parents Karen and Carroll Olsen. She joined brothers Mike and Doug at home; her sister Rena arrived years later to complete their family. Michelle grew up on a farm near Minden, Iowa and graduated from Tri-Center High School. She was active in the Minden Peppy Cloverettes 4-H club and the Minden United Church of Christ. She took piano lessons for 10 years and could be counted on for Sunday worship or for school musical accompaniment.  Michelle graduated from the University of Iowa School of Pharmacy in 1986. Upon graduation, she joined the Peace Corps and served in the Gambia, West Africa for 2 years. She taught secondary level English and enjoyed her host family immensely in spite of nearly falling into the latrine her first night there, due to worn out floorboards. After the Peace Corps, Michelle moved back to Minden and worked at Lehan Pharmacy. She heard that Seattle was quite liveable so she got a job at Payless Drug and moved west . While working at Payless, Michelle met Bradley Lyon and they enjoyed outdoor adventures together, most notably camping and hiking. They married on July 31, 1993, and moved to Bothell, Washington the same year. Following Payless, Michelle went to work at Virginia Mason where she continued to work until her death. In her 20-plus year career at Virginia Mason, she touched countless lives and built a second family amongst patients and fellow employees. She was proud of her work, and her commitment never wavered. To honor Michelle’s memory, the Virginia Mason pharmacy department has renamed their Preceptor of the Year award to the Michelle Lyon Preceptor Award. By renaming the award, the pharmacy department will be able to “honor Michelle every year and remind all of us to embody her wisdom as we train the next generation of pharmacists”. Michelle will be remembered as a “one-of-a-kind preceptor, teacher, and mentor” who was dedicated to the professional growth of each pharmacist she mentored while reminding them she “continued to learn from each and every one of the learners she mentored”. Michelle’s professional impact cannot be understated.

 In November of 2000, Michelle and Brad welcomed daughter Reed into their lives, who brought much joy and happiness to the family. Michelle was a devoted mother who took great pleasure in watching her daughter grow and thrive. Michelle had a passion for hiking and nature, and she spent many weekends deep in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest. Her most recent ascent in May to the top of Mt. St. Helens was to be her last before the diagnosis that led to her passing. 

Michelle’s family thanks you for being a part of her celebration of life today. She will be deeply missed by husband Brad, daughter Reed, parents Karen and Carroll Olsen, brother Mike Olsen (children Matt, Jessica) and Mike’s partner Debbie Sharp, brother Doug Olsen, sister Rena (Doug) Holman (children Paige, Sam, Preston), brother-in-law Mark Lyon (children Leslie and Joe), and Mark’s partner Theresa Hurley, and many aunts and cousins. Michelle was preceded into death by her grandparents, and her mother and father-in-law, Marianne and Mike Lyon.


Ann Gibson
West Plains, MO
Aug 10, 2019


You will always be with me, looking upward toward the summit.

Thank you for years of friendship, strength, optimism, unjudgmental counsel, and grace.

Thank you for traveling to Vancouver to see Del and me, for his little buffalo, the socks, Buster and Goat, and all the mountain pictures.

Thank you for taking us up Mount St. Helens with you, your little geo-dot moving up the mountain and then down again. I still don't know why there's an S and no apostrophe in Helens.

Whenever I eat lemon cake I will raise a fork to you with love and so much respect.

Farewell, my friend. You lived. :)

Shirley Touzel
Lilydale, Victoria, Australia, VC
Aug 5, 2019

It was an honour to have been considered one of Michelles friends. Her amazing sense of humour, wonderful wit and above all her care and compassion made her the blessing she was. Sending all my love and strength to her family. May memories bring you some comfort over the coming days, weeks and months. Rest in Peace Darling Shel x

Cecily Carter
Irvine, CA
Aug 4, 2019

Michelle’s wit and wisdom brought much to my life this past year. I will miss her very much and am sorry to have never met her in person. My heart goes out to her family.

Devon Allen
Concord, CA
Aug 4, 2019

I will miss Michelle. She was taken away far too soon. Her strength, kindness, and intelligence touched the lives of so many. Love and strength to Reed and Brad.

Liz Getchell O’Brien
East Falmouth, MA
Aug 4, 2019

Shel touched so many with her optimism and her love of nature. She is a shining light we will never forget.

Bonnie Merritt
McCune, KS
Aug 4, 2019

Michell’s life story is a testament to a life well lived. I am honored to call her a friend and will miss her greatly. God be with the family at this sad time and bring comfort.

Diane McIver
Hammondsport, NEW YORK
Aug 4, 2019

Michelle was a very important member of our special tribe of individuals with shared experience, goals and dreams. She was admired, valued and will be deeply missed. Be comforted by her love for her friends and most of all, her family.

Kelly kay
Feltwell Engalnd, Ia
Aug 4, 2019

Carroll and Karen. Verna and I are deeply saddened. Losing a child is not the right order of life. We will be thinking of you

Kelly Martin
Shelby, Iowa
Aug 4, 2019

Jay and Peggy Goldapp
Neola , IA
Aug 4, 2019

So sorry for your loss! Prayers for all family and friends.

Ron and Jan Elliott
Minden, IA
Aug 4, 2019

We are so sorry to hear of her death and will be praying for all the family.. Our hearts hurt for you Carroll and Karen!

Sharon Siebels
Minden, IA
Aug 4, 2019

So sad to hear this news. Sending sympathy to all the Olsen family. Michelle will be remembered as the beautiful person she was. May all her memories of a life well lived bring comfort in the days ahead. Bob and Sharon Siebels

Patti Bradfield
Redmond, Washington
Aug 3, 2019

There really are no words to say how much I will miss you. Your smile, your devotion and your courage will live with me forever. Rest in Peace sweet Michelle.

Larry and Dianne Ehlers
Minden, IA
Aug 3, 2019

Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the family!

Renae Bintz Bullis
Des Moines, IA
Aug 3, 2019

My heart felt sympathies go out to the entire family. Michelle had a distinct laugh with a smiling face to go with it. Our families spent many events together. Be at peace, Michelle.

Van Olsen
Minden, IA
Aug 3, 2019

Dear Cousin, moving on too soon.

Maureen R. Olsen
Neola, IA
Aug 3, 2019

I'm sure Michelle is brightening heaven with her smile and spirit as she has always done for those around her here. Rest in peace in your new home!

This obituary is provided by Bonney-Watson, providing caring and compassionate funeral, cremation and cemetery services since 1868. We have a professional staff, four funeral homes, two cremation facilities and one of the largest cemeteries south of Seattle, as well as a comprehensive grief support program.