By Conor Nicholson “When a great man dies, for years the light he leaves behind him, lies on the paths of men.” –Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
How do you write a tribute about a guy who had his best years ahead of him? Nothing I write can truly give him his due or come remotely close to relaying the tragedy that has befallen upon his family. How can you accurately portray the size, scope and breadth of his heart? The fact that he literally had hundreds of friends, all of whom loved him?
In the 8 years I knew Sean Lyons, I never heard a bad word uttered about him. That isn’t the case for the vast majority of us; myself included. The man loved life and his friends and family meant everything.
Sean Lyons was a recruiter and a damn good one at that. Like many of the better recruiters out there, he got his start at Aerotek in 1997 after getting his Bachelors in Communications from West Virginia University. We didn’t meet until early 2007 when we were both recruiting consultants at ESC/Beeline under Charlie Eye. In fact, the last time we hung out, Charlie and I were hanging out at Sean’s place in Reston. We cracked jokes and were amazed at how far we all had come. Sean never took himself too seriously and was genuinely proud of his friend’s accomplishments. That night, he told me how happy he was for me and my wife Jessica and I had to remind him that he played a major role when he ran some payroll deals through us. He was a friend in the best sense of the word as he truly enjoyed helping people and never expected anything in return.
Sean had so many friends that he was given the unofficial title of “The Mayor of Reston”. If you were having drinks with him at Jacksons, person after person would come up and say hello. We all scratched our heads thinking “How does this guy know so many people?”. It was undoubtedly his big heart. DC isn’t the friendliest of cities and quite often, you deal with folks with an inflated sense of self-worth. Sean was the exact opposite as he was down to earth and always had a smile on his face.
I’ll never forget the night we went to the Nationals game. We had a blast. It was a beautiful night and I was cranking dance music on the drive home. I look over and there’s Sean, dancing his face off and pumping his fist out of the sunroof. The guy was over 40 years old and had the zeal of a guy 25 years younger. You can’t make this stuff up.
When Sean first met his wife Christine, he was head over heels. I met one of his college friends at a bar after the funeral and he said Sean had never been happier. After tying the knot, Sean told people that if he had a son, he would name him Sean Jr. Sure enough, their first child was a boy and Sean Freddie is as adorable as they come. I’m sure their second child will be just as beautiful.
Everyone that knew Sean misses him dearly and we have pledged to be there for his wife Christine, their son Sean Freddie and their unborn child. Attending his funeral was one of the hardest things we’ve ever been through. If you looked around, all you saw was young, vibrant people that cared about him. For those of us with young children, his passing is even more unimaginable. The only thing we can do is keep his spirit alive and surround his family with love. There isn’t a doubt in our minds that Sean would have done for the same for us.
Sean, we love you, we miss you and we will always be there for your family.
If you’d like to contribute to the Sean Lyons Memorial Fund, please visit the site here