With a bright moon-shaped face and dark brown eyes, Jeyson Reyes was on the cusp of beginning his adult life. A third-generation Fire Islander who attended Sayville High School, he recently enrolled at BOCES Computer Science Program where his keen interest in electronics and video games could thrive. He had an upcoming trip to Disney World planned with his older brother Robert. Jeyson also enjoyed his summer job at Scoops ice cream shop in downtown Ocean Beach, which gave him a sense of financial independence, and offered a place where his personable nature could shine through.
This writer first met Jeyson in 2015, when he and his mother took a chance on adopting a juvenile feral cat with few social skills. It was 10-year-old Jeyson who brought the orange long-haired female out of her shell, and the two bonded as the best of friends.
“His greatest trait was his genuine compassion for others,” wrote his aunt Rennise “Missy” Adrion. “Both people and animals – He had no problem striking up a conversation with anyone. At school he received at least six ‘good citizenship’ awards. He would forego recess to hang back with students who were unable to participate – one student had a broken leg and another in a wheelchair. He once gave a homeless man $20. He told Jeyson he had fallen off the wagon. Jeyson replied ‘I hope you get back on!’ Later he asked his mother what did falling off the wagon mean. The world lost an incredibly wonderful boy, which will be felt by the many lives he touched.”
On Sept. 22, Jeyson’s passed away due to complications arising from combined Meningitis and Encephalitis.
“My baby boy Jeyson passed away today. My life is forever changed, I have no words,” was the brief sorrowful statement written by his grieving mother Jonneigh “Bunny” Adrion the day he died.
As a single mother Jonneigh started working part-time in the Ocean Beach Post Office shortly after Jeyson was born. Her efficient and amiable way eventually secured her a position as a clerk in Ocean Beach Village Justice Court as well. With a strong work ethic she rose up the ranks at Ocean Beach Village Hall, ultimately being appointed Deputy Clerk.
The respect and friendships Jonneigh earned with the Ocean Beach Police Department over the years was evident as officers stayed by her side during the memorial service at Raynor & D’Andrea Funeral Home in West Sayville on Sept. 26. The crowded ceremony also included many Fire Island residents, as well as Jeyson’s friends and classmates, who were still trying to process his death.
In addition to his mother, brother and cherished aunts, and loving cousins, Jeyson is survived by his grandparents, Bill and Marlene Manger. In lieu of flowers, Jeyson’s family has requested that donations in his memory be made to Fire Island Animal Welfare Society, P.O. Box 276 Ocean Beach, NY 11770. A GoFundMe page also has been created by Ocean Beach Police Officer Alec O’Leary to help Jonneigh with expenses during this difficult time.
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