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Landmark building to be updated

For The Madera Tribune

The sign on the building owned by the late Roy Ben Lyon came down with the aid of a crane Sunday. The building is being renovated by his daughter, Klina, and her husband, Phil Oberti.


Early Sunday morning a crane removed a sign in the 500 block of North E Street that designated a building as the property of the late Roy Ben Lyon, and his wife, Ruth. He died in 2002 at the age of 84, Ruth died in November of 2015.

The property is being renovated by their daughter and her husband, Klina and Phil Oberti. “My dad enjoyed helping Madera grow,” said Klina.

He like to lend his forklift to people who needed it, she said.

Lyon served on the Madera City Council for 17 years and was mayor in 1973, 1974, 1978-1980 and again in 1984. His building housed a hardware store that provided building material and appliances for his contracting business. The building also served as the showroom for the Dick Anderson Ford dealership.

The present building tenants are Madera Small Engine, Schoettler Tire, Casey/Discount Auto, Auto Service Lab and Madera Quality Detail, said Phil Oberti.

During his years on the city council, Lyon was on the LAFCO board, the Madera Beautification Committee and the Redevelopment Agency. He was instrumental in organizing the Madera Housing Authority, helping to build low-income housing. He will long be remembered for his love of his fast cars, boats and motorcycles.

Born in Grub Gulch in Madera County, Lyon, served in World War II in the U.S. Army, and returned to Madera in 1945. He earned a contractor’s license and founded Roy Ben Lyon Construction. The Lyons were members of the Madera Historical Society, Rotary International Club, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1981 and Elks Lodge 1918.

Working with the late Ralph Stoezel and fellow contractor Dave Berry, he purchased and remodeled the Madera Elks Lodge, one of Roy Ben Lyon’s many projects to improve Madera. He also served on the Madera County Grand Jury under Judge Jack Hammerberg.

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