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A Tribute to Mr. Brett Lyness

Brett+Lyness+will+always+be+in+our+hearts+and+our+memories.+We+will+continue+to+help+his+wife%2C+Angela+Lyness%2C+for+as+long+as+possible.
Brett Lyness will always be in our hearts and our memories. We will continue to help his wife, Angela Lyness, for as long as possible.

Brett Lyness will always be in our hearts and our memories. We will continue to help his wife, Angela Lyness, for as long as possible.

Lillian Hui

Lillian Hui

Brett Lyness will always be in our hearts and our memories. We will continue to help his wife, Angela Lyness, for as long as possible.

Lillian Hui, Co-Editor 2

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On the morning of Friday, September 18, 2015, the New Milford school district lost a very important member. Mr. Brett Lyness of Haskell, New Jersey passed away in the morning, before New Milford High School would open its doors to the students. Leaving behind a wife and two children, Mr. Lyness will be dearly missed by the New Milford community.  

As a groundskeeper that worked in the New Milford community for seventeen years, there is  no doubt that the staff within the district were truly saddened by his passing. Along with Mr. Lyness, his beloved wife Angela aka “Angie” (Oshea) Lyness has been working in the New Milford school district as well, preparing students’ lunches on a daily basis.

Mr. Lyness did not only leave behind a wonderful wife but also two young children, Brandon Lyness (14) and Kayla Lyness (11), whom are currently enrolled in school in Haskell, New Jersey.

Mr. Michael Polizzi, New Milford School District Superintendent stated that Lyness’s best quality was also what the community remembers him for. “Brett was 41 years old…For those who knew Brett, they would agree that he was a man with a big heart, a smile, and a cooperative spirit, willing to do anything for anyone who asked.”

Mr. Polizzi added that Lyness and his co-groundsmen elevated the condition of each of the district’s four campuses, making a lasting impact on the New Milford school district. “His work established a strong foundation for the future development of all school properties, including our athletic playing fields.”

According to Mr. Polizzi, the football home opener was dedicated to Mr. Lyness with remarks about his passing at the beginning of the game. “This was followed by a moment of silence…His presence will surely be missed.”

Lyness was known throughout the school district to help anyone that ever asked him to do so. Mr. Louis Manuppelli, NMHS Principal, said almost anything that was done in the building was done with Lyness’s help. “Mr. Lyness was one of the hardest working people we have here at NMHS. Being a groundskeeper, and it wasn’t just the grounds, anything we needed to get done, Brett was always there. He always made sure he did a good job on it, too.”

Mr. Manuppelli stated Lyness’s impact was that he left an impression on everyone that he worked with. “Everyone knows if they needed something to get done, they could go to Brett. It was about him making sure you were okay, that the students were safe, the building was running properly, and that it always looked good.”

He also added that as a friend, “He was always someone you could talk to, someone you could have a good laugh with which is a good thing to remember him by.”

Lyness was known to have a big smile that was accompanied with his deep, raspy voice and laugh, along with his great sense of humor. Therefore, even Lyness was able to make the NMHS principal chuckle.

“He always like to give me a hard time and bust my chops. Whenever he would come in, you would always see a big smile and a welcome and a handshake and he always made you feel special.”

He added, “One of the coolest things about him is that anytime he came in or came around you, you’d see a big smile. Sometimes he would say to me, ‘Lou how are you doing?’”

Mr. Manuppelli said that if Lyness was still here, he would want to say to him, “Thank you. Thank you for being there for whoever needed support and probably ask him to tell me a joke. Also, to let him know as the New Milford High School community, we will stick together to support his wife and his children as best we can. To let him know that things will be okay.”

Of course, Mr. Manuppelli is known to be a man of his words and the support for Lyness’sfamily began during Spirit Week.

The fundraiser, known as Penny Wars, was conducted by a junior at NMHS who joined forces with the Student Council to raise as much money as possible. During Spirit Week, all four classes competed against each other to see who would have the most positive points at the end of the week. Coins such as pennies and quarters were positive points that would help add to each grade level’s jars that were placed in the cafeteria during the three lunch periods. Dollar bills on the other hand, were negative points that would subtract the point value.

On Tuesday of the following week, it was revealed that all four grade levels were able to raise $132 for the Lyness family and all proceeds were given to Mrs. Lyness on Thursday.
We hope that as a community, we are able to give back more to the family and we will be going through this tough time together. May Mr. Brett Lyness rest in peace.

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The student news site of New Milford High School, New Milford, New Jersey
A Tribute to Mr. Brett Lyness