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1937 Carole Lyons 2024

Carole Lyons

July 6, 1937 — May 26, 2024

Carole Ann (Hilse) Lyons passed away on Sunday, May 26 in Surprise, Arizona, in the presence of her loving family. Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on July 6, 1937, to Ann and Earl Hilse, Carole graduated from Holy Assumption Elementary School and from Holy Angels/Divine Savior High School. She was always very proud of her good Catholic education and spoke affectionately of the nuns who taught her.

Carole had a very early passion for music. In grade school, she quickly reached the skill level of her teachers and was granted the opportunity to continue her music study through high school with School Sisters of St. Francis.

In 1956, Carole and her friends signed up for a dance class that changed the course of her life. It was there that she met Patrick. She and Pat went on their first date on November 18, 1956, were engaged three months later, and wed on June 22, 1957, at Saint Mary Help of Christians in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin. Their household grew quickly with the arrival of a son and five daughters in the next seven years.

On February 22, 1971, tragedy struck the Lyons family when fire destroyed their Westport (WI) home, taking the lives of their five young daughters, sparing only Carole and Pat and son, Timothy. It was a heart-wrenching loss, but their Catholic faith, belief in God, and love for each other allowed them to endure.

They rebuilt their home, and in 1972 Catholic Social Services found a beautiful daughter for them. Life began again, and the family became immersed in community affairs. Carole served as the Westport representative on the Waunakee District School Board, including as president of the board, for several years until their move to the Village of Waunakee in 1978.

As a beloved and sought-after piano teacher for twenty-four years, Carole taught music to a high standard. What she always recalled and valued about her time teaching was how her students looked to her for wise counsel, encouragement, and mentorship on personal matters. She was also a supporter of the Optimist Club and an avid member of a Bridge Club.

In the years before their retirement to Arizona, Carole and Pat enjoyed extensive travels around the U.S. and abroad. Most of their travels were in conjunction with their antique stein collection hobby (Germany), in pursuit of Carole's further study of piano pedagogy (Austria), on pilgrimages (Italy and Israel), and always to enjoy the sights and the company of each other and their family.

Above her vibrant roles in the community and world travels, the Traditional Catholic Faith was central to Carole's life. For many years, Carole held a spot on Sundays and weekdays in the pews of Saint Mary of the Lake Church in Westport and Saint John's Catholic church in Waunakee. She eventually found her way to the Traditional Latin Mass under the guidance of Father Kunz at Saint Michael's Parish in Dane, and also at Saint Therese's in Waunakee. After her move to Arizona, she faithfully attended Our Lady of the Sun with Father LeBlanc and Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church - Society of Saint Pius X in Phoenix. Her Faith guided her actions; she was pious and famously generous.

Among her great loves in life are her faith and her husband, Patrick, of nearly sixty-seven years. It must be added that her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and godchildren were always on her mind. Her favorite phone calls came from them or brought news about them. She loved bringing or sending them presents and listening to them talk. She was a doting mother and grandmother.

Carole was always grateful to God for her life, even the tough parts, and she had only one regret—that she and Pat did not continue the dancing that brought them together.

Carole is preceded in death by her five beloved daughters: Terry, Mary, Lisa, Ann, and Kelly, and her brother, David. She is survived by her husband, Patrick, son Timothy (Lisa), daughter Jennifer (Brooks), and many loving grandchildren.

Please join us for Visitation at Winn-Cress Funeral Home ,Waunakee on Friday, June 21, from 4:00 – 7:00 pm. Requiem (Funeral) Mass on Saturday, June 22, at Saint Therese's Chapel, 6039 Baltes Rd, Waunakee, at 10:00 am. Interment to follow at Saint Mary of the Lake Cemetery. All are welcome.

Please share your memories at

                                                            Winn-Cress Funeral Home

                                                                       5785 Hwy Q

                                                                    Waunakee, WI

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Carole Lyons, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Upcoming Services


Friday, June 21, 2024

4:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

Cress Funeral & Cremation Service - Waunakee

5785 Hwy. Q, Waunakee, WI 53597

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Saturday, June 22, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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