One of the most versatile all-around athletes in the storied history of Lowell High School, Dennis Krysiak enjoyed a virtually uninterrupted run of success from his pre-LHS days as an outstanding age group swimmer to his post-collegiate exploits as one of New England’s outstanding amateur tennis players.
Prior to his entry to Lowell High School Dennis was a freestyle and breaststroke specialist on the Lowell YMCA’s New England Championship team in 1963.
Upon enrollment to Lowell high, Dennis embarked on an athletic career that saw him become a rare four-sport varsity performer.
As a member of legendary Hall of Fame Coach Ray Riddick’s football program, Dennis was a three-year, two-way starter. After being selected as team MVP during his junior season (1966), Dennis was the fullback and a Team Tri-Captain of the 1967 Red and Gray State Championship juggernaut that outscored its opponents 299–12 while earning its reputation as one of Massachusetts’ greatest all -time high school grid squads. Dennis becomes the fifth member of that elite unit to gain induction into the Hall of Fame.
Dennis performed as a sprinter on the Lowell High indoor and outdoor track teams during the first two years at Kirk Street.
During his junior and senior years (1966–67, 1967–68) Dennis performed admirably as a goalie for the Raiders fledgling hockey team. He Co-Captained the 1967–68 squad.
During those same two years, Dennis was an integral part of the tennis team’s success, compiling a two-year undefeated string as the team’s number 1 player. He was Team Captain during his senior year 1968).
After graduation, Dennis attended Berwick Academy in Maine where he starred as the football team’s leading scorer and ground gainer. He earned All-New England Prep honors as the undefeated Berwick team ranked number 1 in New England.
Dennis then enrolled at Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio, where he continued his athletic exploits. He won three varsity football letters as a punishing fullback and integral part of the Yellow Jackets offense. He also won three varsity tennis letters and was a two-time finalist in the Ohio Conference Tennis Tournament. Dennis was awarded lifetime membership in the Baldwin-Wallace Letterman’s Association in 1973.
Outside the realm of varsity high school and college competition, Dennis compiled an outstanding record as an amateur tennis player. He was Greater-Lowell 18 & Under Singles, Doubles, and Mixed Doubles Champion in 1968. Throughout the intervening years, Dennis has been a regular contender and many times champion in a variety of tournaments in the Greater-Lowell area. He was ranked number 3 amateur in New England by Tennis USA magazine in 1976.
Dennis returned to Lowell High School in the mid–1970’s as an assistant football and track coach at LHS. He made his greatest coaching impact, however, as Girls Varsity Tennis Coach at LHS. During his tenure in that position (1975–1978), his teams compiled an enviable 55–9 win loss record. His 1976 squad finished the season undefeated.
Dennis Edward Krysiak
Teacher, Coach, Mentor, Sportsman, Nature Lover, Family Man
TYNGSBOROUGH — Dennis Edward Krysiak, of Tyngsborough, entered in to rest peacefully on Tuesday morning, June 7, 2011, at Merrimack Valley Hospice in Haverhill, after a long and courageous battle with cancer, surrounded by his devoted, loving family, aged 61 years. He was the beloved husband of Sharon M. (Styman) Krysiak, Assistant Principal of the Bailey Elementary School, Lowell.
Born on April 5, 1950, he was a son of Alice (Beaudry) Krysiak of Lowell, and the late Edward Krysiak. Dennis was raised in Lowell and graduated from Lowell High School with the Class of 1968. Throughout his high school years, he was an all-around athlete. He was the Tri-Captain of the 1967 undefeated Football Team. He also played on the Hockey and Tennis teams. Dennis was inducted into the Lowell High School Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998.
Mr. Krysiak began his athletic involvement as a swimmer during his youth, competing and winning many meets, usually across the Merrimack River.
He became involved in tennis through his father Ed, who once told him that tennis is the one game he will be able to play his whole life, which Dennis did. He won several tennis tournaments with the Lowell Recreation Department, and went on to compete in many venues, his most recent being the Senior Olympics in Louisville, Kentucky in 2007, and San Francisco in 2009.
He continued his education at Baldwin Wallace College in Ohio, where he received a football scholarship. He was always a three-sport competitor – playing football, hockey and tennis – throughout his college years.
Upon graduating from college, Dennis pursued a career as a Physical Education teacher, working for several elementary schools in Lowell. He also coached the girl’s tennis team at Lowell High School. During this time, he also continued his education, receiving a Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies from Fitchburg State College.
After ten rewarding years of teaching and coaching, Mr. Krysiak opened his own business, D & G Bridge Painting Company. He painted and repaired bridges throughout Massachusetts, Maine and New York. His courageous spirit and no fear of heights led him to many interesting experiences during this endeavor.
After successfully owning and operating his business for over ten years, Dennis decided to return to teaching as a Health Teacher at Lowell High School.
Dennis was greatly admired and respected by his students, who always made sure he knew how deeply he influenced their lives for the better. To know Dennis was to know a kind, confident, warm, loving and intelligent human being. He lived life to its fullest and was always grateful.
Dennis was also involved in a number of hobbies, including racquetball, bow hunting for deer and turkey, scuba diving, spear fishing, and gardening. He also enjoyed theatre, concerts, dancing, and taking many trips throughout the US, Mexico and the Dominican Republic with his wife Sharon.
One of his biggest joys was finding a dream home on the Merrimack River and refurbishing it with Sharon. It was here where the family had many wonderful gatherings and celebrations on the deck, rides in the pontoon boat, and toasty evenings by the wood stove.
Besides his mother and loving wife, he leaves a son, Joseph Bernstein of Westford, and two daughters, Alicia St. Jean of Hudson, NH and Shayla Bernstein of Tyngsborough. He also leaves two granddaughters, Victoria and Katherine St. Jean of Hudson, NH, and five sisters, Dianna Xifaros and her husband George of Nashua, NH, Debbie Krysiak, Donna Spano and her husband Paul, and Denise Umphrey, all of Lowell, and Darlene Loosigian of Westford. He also leaves his mother-in-law Pearl Styman and sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Susan and Stephen Tymon and Debbie Strauss and Bruce Zebrowski. Also a beloved Aunt Carole McInerney and Uncle Ed Tighe, many beloved nieces and nephews, and three dear friends, Mike Nelson of Vero Beach FL, Dave Conway of Lowell, and Robert Fitzgerald of Methuen. He was also the brother-in-law of the late Mark Umphrey.
KRYSIAK — In Haverhill, June 7, 2011. Dennis Edward Krysiak of Tyngsborough, aged 61 years. Beloved husband of Sharon M. (Styman) Krysiak. Dennis’ funeral service at Temple Emanuel, Lowell will be private. “A Celebration of His Life” will be held on Sunday at the LoKai Restaurant in Dracut at 4:00 PM for family, friends, colleagues and students. Memorial visitation at the Krysiak home in Tyngsborough on Monday, June 13 and Tuesday, June 14 from 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM. In lieu of flowers, donations in his name to the Merrimack Valley Hospice, 1420 Providence Highway, Suite 277, Norwood, MA 02062, or Mass General Hospital Cancer Center, 55 Fruit St., Yawkey Center, Suite 7E, Boston, MA 02114. MORSE-BAYLISS FUNERAL HOM
Family and friends pay tribute to Krysiak’s sporting life
By Marie Donovan, Sun Correspondentlowellsun.com
LOWELL — Dennis Krysiak wore a lot of different hats in his life — husband, father, teacher, bridge painter, even pontoon boat enthusiast. But the late, lifelong Lowellian formed some of his most important bonds through athletics.
“I just had a knee replacement and the main reason for that knee replacement was Dennis moving me from one end of the court to another,” said crutches-aided School Committee member Dave Conway, who recalled the time he and his good friend/doubles partner won the bronze medal at the state Senior Tennis Championships in Springfield.
“He made great friendships through sports. We had a lot of laughs, a lot of fun in Springfield. We got a huge medal and he said to me, ‘third place isn’t bad, but next year there’s got to be improvement’,” Conway said.
Unfortunately, next year never came; Krysiak, the beloved longtime Lowell High School teacher and tennis coach, succumbed to cancer a little over a year ago.
On Saturday, a crowd of dozens of his many admirers, including family, friends, former classmates, co-workers and students, gathered for the dedication of the Shedd Park tennis courts as the Dennis E. Krysiak Tennis Complex.
“Dennis just would have loved this; he was truly a Lowell boy. He played many sports, but tennis is the one that took him all through the United States and it all started here at Shedd Park. It’s so nice he has a permanent marker here; this is a huge honor,” said Krysiak’s widow, Sharon, who attended the event with his mother, Alice, sisters Debbie Krysiak and Donna Spano, daughter Alicia St. Jean and nephew Paul Spano.
“He was a truly important person in my life. He was the first person to introduce me to tennis and now I love tennis. If I lose a game, he wouldn’t be mad at me, he’d just say ‘did you try your best?’ recalled Lowell High School senior Mayonet Ou, who had Krysiak as both a teacher and a coach.
“He gave advice about life, not just about school. He beat his cancer once; he was really inspirational,” Ou added.
Among those who turned out for the Saturday event were several who helped make the tennis complex dedication happen, including Conway, City Councilor Rita Mercier, City Manager Bernie Lynch’s Assistant Henri Marchand and Parks Commissioner Tom Bellegarde.
Also in attendance were Lynch, who served as master of ceremonies, Mayor Patrick Murphy, State Sen. Eileen Donoghue, State Rep. David Nangle, City Councilor Marty Lorrey, Superintendent Jean Franco, United Teachers of Lowell President Paul Georges, GLTHS School Committee member George O’Hare, Daley School Principal Liam Skinner, Lowell School District administrators union president Sue Smith and LHS grads Dennis Canney and Brian Martin, who played with the honoree on the legendary undefeated 1967 LHS football team, now chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Niki Tsongas.
“Dennis was a very, very special person. He touched the lives of thousands of students,” Donoghue said.
Graduation/Class Year: 1968
LHS Sports Played: Football, Hockey, Tennis, Track and/or Cross Country
LHS Sports Coached: Tennis, Football, Track and/or Cross Country
LHS Teacher or Admin:
LHS Sport Captain: Yes
College: Baldwin-Wallace College
Other Halls of Fame: