First Navy Seal to Become Admiral Dies at 93
"Every SEAL reflects on his warrior spirit and his lasting, impactful handprint on our legacy," Szymanski said in a statement emailed to The Associated Press. "He will be greatly missed."
"He reminded me of James Bond," she said. "I never saw him lose his cool. I never saw him be nothing but kind and treat people with manners. He was a real class act."
An award-winning swimmer, he continued to body surf in competitions into his 70s, Sarber said. He stayed active in the SEAL community until his death and mentored young SEAL candidates until recently.
Retired Rear Adm. Garry Bonelli, who became a SEAL in 1968, said he never knew SEALs had such high-ranking officers among them until being told as a young SEAL that he was going to be briefed by an admiral.
"I thought there are no Navy SEAL admirals, and then I saw him in his white uniform with big gold bars and thought 'Wow, that's a Navy SEAL admiral!' " Bonelli said. "Dick Lyon personifies what it is to be a Navy frogman and Navy SEAL. He had the smarts, the athletic ability and the heart to do special maritime operations."
Bonelli recalled that Lyon told trainees the most important tool to success is the ability to listen to your troops and make decisions.