A portion of SW 104th Street in East Kendall now bears the name of a devoted community activist who often fought to keep its nearby neighborhood intact.
Three generations of family joined more than 30 neighbors and friends at the corner of SW 97th Avenue on Sept. 26 to dedicate the road in memory of David E. Lyons, president of Kendale Homeowners Association, who died in December 2012.
Unveiling the sign were his widow, Ann Lyons; daughter, Nancy, and granddaughter, Brittany, along with Miami-Dade (District 8) Commissioner Lynda Bell who paid tribute to Lyons’ community service as a homeowner association advocate in behalf of Commissioner Xavier Suarez who sponsored the resolution to name the street southwest to Killian Parkway.
The Kendale area built by the Janis development company lies immediately east of Miami-Dade’s Kendall College campus, consisting of about 1,025 homes on both sides of SR 874.
“He was a real fighter when it came to many issues that we had with MDX [Miami-Dade Expressway Authority[ when they were redesigning the Killian Parkway Interchange and both SR 874 [Shula] and SR 878 [Snapper Creek] expressways,” recalled Diane Lawrence, corresponding secretary to the KHA organization.
“He was instrumental in obtaining noise walls and open road tolling instead of a toll booth planned right next to homes in Kendale South,” she added.
“His opinion was strongly voiced to the MDX board on many occasions and he was able to get concessions from them that improved access to our community.” Lyons also was a member of the Citizens Transportation Committee appointed by Miami-Dade commissioners, and served at one time as president of CANT (Citizens Against Non- Concurrency Task Force Inc.), spearheading opposition to proposed highway rerouting that would have impacted Kendall.
A native of Kingston, Jamaica with a degree in chemical engineering from Northeastern University in Boston, MA, he founded a Jamaica Exporters Association and served as its president, and remained active in several Jamaicanbased enterprises, including Anchor Properties, a real estate development company he created and managed, until immigrating to the U.S. in 1977.
Married in 1955 to his first wife, the late Diana Kay Leino, he sought a new life in the U.S. due to the political climate in his native country, coming to the U.S. in 1977, marrying Ann in 1979 and settling in the Kendall area.
Establishing a career as a highly successful commodities broker with the International Trading Group, Lyons was one of the top 10 U. S. brokers while running his private business, Caribex Enterprise, exporting commercial buildings to Jamaica and other Caribbean countries.
A craftsman and inventor in his spare time, Lyons engineered machinery and fabricated miniature boxes, holding more than one patent with the U.S. Patent Office.
Caribex is operated today under the guidance of his daughter, Nancy, and son, David Jr. His second wife, Ann E. Lyons, is vice president of Leadership Gifts associated with Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation. His granddaughter, Brittany, will attend Florida International University with a major in marketing.