Fair winds and following seas to an “old salt” mustang Sailor and beloved Father and Brother.
With his loving brother, Dan, by his side, Virgil Lee Gyrion, 74, peacefully passed away early in the morning of November 9, 2020.
Lee was born and raised in Wisconsin and enlisted into the U.S. Navy at age 17, where he quickly rose through the enlisted ranks, made the rank of Chief, received a commission, and ultimately retired in 1993 as a CWO4. Whether he was “Pushing Boots” as a Recruit Division Commander in Great Lakes, Illinois, or supervising the arming of an aircraft prior to its launch into combat onboard an aircraft carrier, Lee’s sustained superior performance and selfless dedication to his country culminated with multiple circumnavigations of the globe and more than 30 years of honorable active duty service. Lee reflected fondly on his naval career and his infectious pride was evident when he often recalled that his time of active duty service was precisely “30 years, 4 months, and 2 days!” Lee’s selfless dedication to serve continued for several more decades during his post naval career as a civilian contractor for the Navy.
Lee met his wife Christina while stationed in Greece and the couple birthed one daughter, Sylvia, during their 40 years of marriage. Lee’s passing was preceded by Christina’s death in January of 2017.
Lee was a generous and kindhearted soul who enjoyed giving thoughtful gifts and sharing food and drinks with his family. Whether it was his lifelong pursuit of the perfect cup of espresso, or a craving for an exotic ingredient, Lee's passion for adventures in gastronomy and online research brought many culinary delights to his doorstep for him and his family to enjoy. Additionally, he enjoyed trying new restaurants, cooking various cuisines at his home, and enjoyed trying the culinary pursuits of his daughter and son-in-law. When he was not visiting with loved ones, Lee enjoyed watching television and playing video games. He had a strong knowledge of PCs which led him to build his own computers in order to support his very specific gaming needs. He was a man of his ways, was routine oriented, and always arrived ahead of schedule. Lee’s days started earlier than most, as he often enjoyed his first coffee of the day and read the Florida Times Union well before sunrise. His calm-mannered, kind, yet crassy-curmudgeon presence will be dearly missed.
Lee was preceded in death by his parents; his wife; Christina, and his siblings; Duke, Lorne, and Kathy.
Lee is survived by his daughter, Sylvia; son-in-law, Mike; Mike’s daughter, Emma; and siblings, Patricia (Jeff), Michael, Daniel (Sue), and Patrick (Bernice). He is also survived by many in-laws on his late wife’s side, multiple nieces and nephews on both sides, and his loving canine companion, Brody.
A graveside service with honors will be held on Thursday, November 19, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. at Jacksonville National Cemetery, 4083 Lannie Road, Jacksonville, FL 32218.
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society or the American Cancer Society.
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