Howard C. Lysne, aka “The Great Lizard”, passed away on April 17, 2023 at the age of 87. He resided in Redmond, OR and Evergreen, CO. The Great Lizard had many nick names throughout his life including Gramps, Machine Gun Lizard, Skipper, Old Blue Eyes.
Howard was born in Crookston, MN on February 22, 1936, during the Great Depression, to Conrad and Blanche Lysne. He has three children (Desiree, Leanne and David), five grandchildren, five great-grandchildren, one great-great-grandchild, two brothers, five sisters. He married Flo Bang of Crookston, MN in 1955, mother of his three children, who passed away in 2017.
Howard graduated from Cathedral High School in Crookston, MN and then went on to the University of North Dakota. After graduation, he became a Naval Aviator and served on both active and reserve duty for 30 years including the Vietnam War.
As Commander of VP-60 (Sub Chasers) NAS Glenview, IL, he led his squadron to earn two consecutive “Battle E” awards, the first achieved by any Navy unit at that time. One of his peers said, “no matter how you cut it, Howard was a unique leader who did things his own way and always seemed to come out smelling like a rose”. After his success at the helm of VP-60, he was promoted to Captain and went on to command two additional units at NAS Glenview.
In civilian life he was a pilot for United Airlines from 1968 to 1996 based out of Chicago and Denver. At United Howard rose to the rank of Captain. He was a flight instructor and flew everything from the 707 to the 747. Flying was his biggest passion. He said he got his start by jumping off the roof of his garage using an umbrella. His second passion was hockey, which he played from age 5 to age 80 and lost a few teeth in the process.
Howard had many other passions like hunting, gun collecting, golf, cigars, reading, fast cars and women. He had many side hustles during his life like real estate, advertising, nutritional drinks, was a part owner in a boat marina, electronics company and was a substitute high school math teacher.
Howard had a personality the size of Dallas and was master of the “tall tale”. Fish tales, hunting tales, flying adventures, Safari hunting in Africa, he could spin the best yarn you ever heard. Everybody who knew him will miss his kindness, humor, grit and entertaining personality.
Howard is survived by his wife Carolyn, his three children, his sisters Joanne and Suzanne, his brother Myron, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, many loving nieces and nephews, and ever devoted family and friends.
A viewing for Howard will be held on Thursday, May 4, 2023 at in memoriam from 5-7 p.m.
On Friday, May 5, Howard will be laid to rest at Fort Logan National Cemetery, where he will receive his Navy Honors. Please arrive to Fort Logan, Staging Area B, no later than 11:15 a.m. for the 11:30 a.m. Committal service.