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Popular teen who became the face of autism awareness will be remembered

'He was my world'
20190328lightupbluelyons - Edited
Jack Lyons, at 14, with his dad Mark Lyons. File photo.

North Bay lost a young hockey player who put a face to autism around the North Bay area.  

Jack Lyons, 17, passed away suddenly on Sunday morning and a cause has yet to be determined. 

"He was my world," said Mark Lyons, Jack's father on Sunday. 

Jack, who had autism, worked with his dad and their family through "light it up blue" fundraisers to raise thousands of dollars which went towards equipment and a unique playground, which is expected to open this spring or summer at One Kids Place in North Bay. 

Mark believes Jack truly made a difference and became the face of autism awareness around the city of North Bay. 

“It makes my day when we are out in the community and people are out there saying, ‘that’s Jack,’ and they know who he is. People go out of the way to help us so much you know,” Mark said about Jack's impact back in 2019. 

Jack also made his presence felt every time he went to the hockey rink; either as a fan to watch the North Bay Battalion, North Bay AAA Trappers, the Powassan Voodoos, or as a player with the North Bay North Stars Special Hockey team.  

"It's with the deepest of sadness that we announce the passing of one of our own," said Denis Ouellette, president of the North Bay North Stars Special Hockey.  

"Jack Lyons and his father Mark have been a huge part of the North Bay North Stars. It was always a pleasure cheering your goals. Your smile always made those around smile too. There will always be a huge hole in the team that will forever go unfilled.

"I will never look at a hockey jersey with #8 the same way ever again."

See related: Father passionate about Light it up Blue

At the hockey rink, Jack Lyons hit celebrity status, with a big smile, willingly stopping for selfie photo requests multiple times at hockey games.  

“So many people 'high-fived' him at the games," recalls Mark Lyons. 

Jack's love for the game and that big smile will truly be missed. 

Chippewa secondary school where Jack attended, reacted to the sad news of his passing .

"Jack never left anyone worse off for meeting him," the school exclaimed in via social media. 

"His words were few; he spoke volumes with his eyes and his smile. He needed help with many daily tasks, and helped many with a simple handshake or fist bump. His love of sports and play came second only to his love for his sister Hannah and his parents. Jack Richmond Lyons made everyone and everything around him better."

Jack, who is also survived by his mom Lesley and his sister Hannah also made a difference for being recognized for who he was and not because he may have been different.  

His father hopes through people like Jack, the world can be rid of hurtful things such as the "R Word" for good. 


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Chris Dawson

About the Author: Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson has been with since 2004. He has provided up-to-the-minute sports coverage and has become a key member of the BayToday news team.
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