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In Memory

Dan Lyons, a longtime philosophy professor, died Jan. 27

January 28, 2010

Dan Lyons, a longtime CSU professor and colorful anti-war activist, died Wednesday. He was 79.

Taught logic and ethics for 34 years

Lyons taught logic and ethics at Colorado State University for 34 years. He retired in 2000.

Following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Lyons, who wore a white fisherman's hat, often stationed himself on the Lory Student Center Plaza to protest the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

His presence and opposition to the war inspired a debate about free speech on campus. Many Fort Collins residents came to know him for his anti-war stance, often expressed in numerous letters and Soapboxes in the Coloradoan.

Lyons distributed self-published leaflets opposing the wars while sitting on the Plaza.

He told the CSU Collegian in 2004 that, at first, he was ignored. But after three years, he would distribute 200 to 300 of his leaflets a week to passers-by.

Following on Internet for his anti-war stance

He gained a following on the Internet by blogging extensively on his anti-war stance - a position he held since the 1970s, when he was faculty adviser for Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Lyons himself was a Korean war veteran, having served in the U.S. Army from 1951 to 1953.

Lyons often wrote opinions criticizing his first cousin, Gov. Bill Owens, a Republican. In turn, Owens would often speak with humor and fondness to the Coloradoan editorial board about his cousin's letters to the editor and Soapboxes.

"One thing you can say, he sure got his licks in," local restaurant owner Clyde Canino said in a statement from the Lyons family.

Lyons is survived by his wife of 46 years, Mary; and three children, Jean Lotus, Thomas Lyons and Sarah Lyons.

Memorial service Feb. 6

A memorial service is planned for 11 a.m. Feb. 6 at the CSU Lory Student Center West Ballroom. Donations can be made to the Food Bank for Larimer County and the Mission at Catholic Charities of Northern Colorado.

Originally published in the Coloradoan, Jan. 28, 2010.