Community Reflects on Jefferson High Teacher's Life
Husband recalls bond the couple developed after meeting online.
John Krygier woke up on the morning of his deceased wife RoseAnn’s memorial service and realized that he wanted his words to be heard.
“I wasn’t sure if it was appropriate for the husband to make a speech, but I decided this morning that it just seemed right,” Krygier said in a speech read by a family friend.
Jefferson Township High School science teacher RoseAnn Krygier died last Saturday after a battle with cancer. Nearly 200 friends and family packed the Tuttle Funeral Home for her memorial service on Thursday.
John Krygier’s words recalled how he and his future wife met via the Internet.
“We developed a bond for a long time with letters and phone calls before we ever met in person,” he said.
That bond led the couple to choose the song “I Knew I Loved You Before I Met You” as their wedding song.
“You got me, RoseAnn,” John’s speech said. “You made me want to be a better man.”
Several others said RoseAnn Krygier made them better people for having known her, including her friends and fellow teachers Phyllis Smith, Karen Mason, Jodie Ciaraffo and assistant principal Vickki Nadler.
Smith recalled attending Bruce Springsteen concerts with Krygier, and quoted several of the singer’s lyrics, including “when they built you brother, they broke the mold,” from Terry’s Song.
“They broke the mold after they made RoseAnn,” Smith said. “There’s no one quite like her.”
Mason recalled how much Krygier loved ladybugs.
“I found out that ladybugs have a short life cycle, and are seen as a symbol of renewal and regeneration,” Mason said. “That makes me think of RoseAnn. She brought messages of hope and joy to everyone she met. We will never forget all the lessons she taught us.”
Some of Krygier’s past students spoke as well, most notably 2011 graduate Matt Barone.
He recalled walking into Krygier’s class on the first day of school carrying a Sports Illustrated magazine with the annual NFL preview.
“She asked me who my favorite team was, and when I told her it was the Giants, she told me I was going to get all As in her class,” Barone said.
He also repeated a story that Smith had told earlier.
“I had a jacket stolen in my senior year,” Barone recalled. “One day I came in and she had bought me a new one, the exact same one that was stolen. She told me that she hated it when bad things happen to good people.”
There came a point when Krygier’s friends and family knew that she wouldn’t get better.
“I’m comforted that you are at peace now,” John Krygier’s speech said. “Someday we’ll be together again, and we’ll watch the Giants win another Super Bowl.”