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UPDATE: Greenfield Lake drowning victim identified


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Wilmington Police say a man drowned in Greenfield Lake just before 1 p.m. Saturday. Monday investigators say the victim is 55-year-old Clark Lyons of Wilmington.

Police said Sunday Lyons told witnesses he was going to take a bath in the lake. He then jumped in the lake near the paddle boats. He began to swim for a while before becoming distressed. Witnesses pulled him from the lake and tried to administer CPR but were unsuccessful.

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Drowning Victim was related to me

Clark Lyons was my brother-in-law. For those who care, here is the rest of the story. He was a gifted sign painter, and a good musician. Unfortunately, way back in 1974 at 19 he started heavily drinking and abusing substances to conquer his insecurites. It didn't take long to become an alcoholic. He was married and had a child but those habits ran the show and he was soon divorced and his wife chose to have no contact ever with him. He felt like a failure and the habits became worse until he chose to roam the country living pillar to post and yes becoming a street person of sorts. He was very well kept though which is why trying to take a bath doesn't suprise me. He was a likable guy really charming and funny. He was in and out of prison for this thing or that. With all that he went through we as his family are thankful his death was not the result of a violent crime, or in jail, or in a hospital. We have all helped him throughout the years but he was too entrenched in the lifestyle to stop. He would visit by just calling from the bus stop and would stay a few days then on he would go.
He came from a broken home. His father was an alcoholic and his mother had a mental condition. They had seven children and most of their lives they lived in foster homes. All of the siblings have been affected though none as tragically as he was. The rest have done far better.
Clark did have faith though. His life has been so sad but now I believe he is at peace and is for the first time in many years happy.

Touching Story..

That is a very touching story and I am glad you shared it with us. Some people take the wrong paths in life and it's a lot easier said than done to change lifestyles, especially coming from such a broken home. Regardless, these people deserve compassion too, maybe more so than those who have stable lives. I am not trying in no way to make excuses for alcoholics or drug abusers, I am simply stating that the way in which you were raised effects your lifestyle.

i saw him earlier that day at my job

he was a homeless drunk..he had came to my job for the directions to the lake and he didnt say anythng about taking a bath.. if we would have kown that he wanted to jump in we wouldnt have gave him the directions..then when i got off work at one and took chidren to the lake he had jumped in and drowned.

He was going to take a bath?

I do pass my condolences to the family. But there are posted signs saying no swimming allowed in the lake, and who in their right mind would want to swim in there anyway!! Shouldn't have been such an idiot, and a senseless death would have been avoided.


Guess everyone in your family is happy , healthy and wise. Lucky you. Be very thankful, not everyone has that blessing. Condolences to his family and the families of the many others who wander our streets, whether b/c of drugs, bad curcumstances, bad choices or mental illness.
I work at a local drug retail store, and many of these people circulate through our doors. I pride myself on being a good judge of people and can spot a con a mile away (because my family is not as lucky as GUEST) but I still look for a way to treat them as I treat grandma from around the corner. Sometimes even help a little. First sights is not always insight.

Idiot Comment

WOW! Some people have no compassion. He was homeless and if you had any brains at all you might would consider that maybe he couldn't read maybe he wasn't in his "right" mind because most people would know better than to swim in Greenfield Lake which means he probably was in a bad state of mind or maybe just desperate to cool off. No matter what the reason it's very sad for the family and whats even more sad is that you could call this man an idiot without knowing him or any thing about his life. That is what is wrong with this country, people have lost all respect and compassion for one another. I'll be praying for you and the family of the unfortunate man who lost his life on Saturday.

I agree. Have a little

I agree. Have a little compassion. Who knows if this man had a family or not. Most times, homeless people do not have friends or family they can turn to other than those in the same position as them. Not everyone has a place to call home and it is unfortunate that people lack the consideration of others as to say such harsh words. "Do Unto Others as you Would have them Do Unto You." Praying for you!

Without knowing anything about his life?

You may not like it, but the truth can't be compromised. I don't care what he did or who he was, this man's entire life has been summarized by his actions: He was the homeless guy who drowned in Greenfield Lake while trying to take a bath.

Dat's all, folks!