Doris Lyons: fair, equal educator, 85


Doris Providenza Garfi Lyons, 85, a longtime resident of Riverdale, passed away peacefully on June 30, 2021, due to congestive heart failure.

Born in 1935 in Manhattan to Josephine and Alfred Garfi, she had a life full of adventures. She and husband Edward T. Lyons entertained U.S. Army troops throughout Europe, performing in theatre, which she always remembered as one of the many highlights of her life.

A firm believer in fair and equal education for all, she earned her master’s degree from Manhattan College as a remedial reading specialist, and spent decades of her life teaching remedial reading throughout the New York City public school system — including impoverished neighborhoods in the Bronx.

Later in life, she and her late husband — the Hon. Irving Rosen — dedicated time to helping the needy through Habitat for Humanity and Meals on Wheels, among other established charities. She also actively volunteered much of her retirement years to working with the Association of Riverdale Cooperatives & Condominiums.

She loved literature and playing classical piano. She was proud of her Sicilian heritage, and enjoyed ice cream, geraniums, and living in the Florida sunshine in her later years.

She is survived by her son Tom Lyons and daughter-in-law Joan Zacharias of Tampa, Florida, as well as daughter Tarra Lyons and son-in-law David Miles of northern California. She also was a thoughtful and devoted grandmother to twins Pearson and Fauna Miles, who will sorely miss her.

She lived her life with vivaciousness and passion, and touched those around her deeply with her infectious zest for life. Her generous spirit will live on.

Donations in Doris Lyons’ memory may be made to The Bronx is Reading, a non-profit that promotes literacy and fosters a love of reading in the community, at

Doris Providenza Garfi Lyons,