Ken Lyon named FSCC Alumnus of the Year

May 18, 2015

Fort Scott, KS- Fort Scott Community College is pleased to name Ken Lyon as the 2015 Alumnus of the Year.  The FSCC Alumni and Friends Board selected Lyon for this honor.


Interim President Dick Hedges said, “FSCC recognizes both Ken’s valorous service to our nation and his work for Fort Scott.”


“Ken embodies the civic spirit that we work to instill in our graduates.”


Lyon and the 2015 Outstanding Young Alumnus winner will be recognized at a 10:30 a.m. ceremony between morning graduation services on Friday, May 15 in the Ellis Family Fine Arts Center.  Lyon will also speak to graduates at the 9 a.m. ceremony.


Bailey Lyons, FSCC’s Director of Development, adds, “We are honored to have Ken as our Outstanding Alum this year.  As his bio shows, Ken is incredibly deserving.   What a wonderful example of what someone can go on to do after a strong start at FSCC!”


Lyon began school at FSCC in 1952 before transferring to the Kansas State Teacher’s College in Pittsburg.  He entered pilot training with the United States Air Force in August of 1955.   After graduation from pilot training in December of 1956, the newly minted Lieutenant Lyon returned to Fort Scott and married Janet Whiteside, the daughter of Lloyd and Margery Whiteside. 


Ken and Janet Lyon had three sons – Kris, Kent and Kevin – and six grandchildren.


Lyon has more than 5300 flying hours – mostly in jet fighter aircraft.  His military decorations include the Distinguished Flying Cross, thirteen Air Medals, two Legion of Merits, two Meritorious Service Medals, and other awards.


Air Force assignments took Lyon to Alabama, Texas and back to Fort Scott where his family lived during his thirteen-month assignment to Korea.  Upon his return to the States, Lyon moved to Washington D. C.  While there Lyon took a leave of absence to attend the University of Nebraska at Omaha where he completed requirements for his undergraduate degree.


After leaving Washington, Lyon was assigned to McConnell AFB at Wichita where he attended F-105 fighter training.  His following assignment was to Southeast Asia where he served for thirteen months flying combat missions in Laos and North Vietnam.


Lyon was then assigned to Nellis AFB in Nevada where he served as the Wing Executive Officer, then as commander of a fighter training squadron.  Later, he moved the squadron’s aircraft and aircrew members to George AFB in California.


When promoted to Colonel, Lyon received assignment to Germany as the Director of Operations for the tactical radar system in the central region.  He returned to the States in 1980 with assignment to Tactical Air Command Headquarters at Langley AFB in Virginia where he retired from the Air Force in late 1984 having served nearly thirty years.



Lyon retired from the Air Force in 1984 and returned to Fort Scott.  He became the business manager for the Tribune, a position he held until 2004.


Lyon’s hobbies include traveling, genealogy, historical research and flying radio control model airplanes.  In addition to membership in local veteran’s organizations, Lyon is active in the Rotary Club; serves on the City Airport Advisory Board; serves on the Ft. Scott Cemetery Association Board; and serves on the Old Fort Genealogical Society Council.  Lyon is also past president of both the Historic Preservation Association and the Fort Scott High School Alumni Association.