Jimmy Stys Walked the Walk and Talked to Everyone

February 10, 2017


by Len Lathrop

Hudson Police, with police from many different departments, said goodbye to MPO James Stys (Ret.) on Tuesday.  Family and friends joined in the services Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning.  Stys, 51, died Feb. 2, following a courageous fight with cancer.

What someone did in their life is important, but sometimes it is how they did it that really tells you about them.  There was story after story told this past week about Jim and how he sacrificed himself for others.  What his friends and co-workers are saying about him tells his story best.

Hudson Police Chief Jason Lavoie issued the following statement:  “It is with deepest sympathies, that I inform you, MPO James Stys (Ret.) has passed away.  Jim served the community in the patrol and detective divisions, also served in the NH Drug Task Force, motorcycle officer and as a DARE officer.  Please keep the Stys family, especially his daughter, and his best friend MPO Bill Emmons (Ret.), in your thoughts and prayers.

One of the things I will remember most about Jim is his wanting to travel the country seeking different experiences.  Whether it was a war reenactment or vacationing riding horseback in the old west.  Jim seized those moments and enjoyed them.  May you Rest In Peace, our brother in blue.”

One of his best friends, William Emmons, said:  “He was a great friend, generous to a fault and a very devoted father to his little girl Marissa.  If you were his friend there is nothing he would not do for you.  He was devoted to his profession and loved being a cop.  His knowledge of history was second to none and when asked about any major war campaigns he could give you a detailed account with added information few history books would mention.  He and his passion for all aspects of life will be greatly missed.”

Police Chaplain Rev. David Howe, while waiting outside St. John Church for the possession to arrive, mentioned how “Jim” could talk to people.  “He understood how to speak with people.”  A great officer who cared about people, both those he worked with and those he worked for.

Retired Hudson Officer Dan Dolan worked with Jim at UMass-Lowell until Jim went into the hospital, just two weeks ago.  Dolan started at Hudson Police, when asked about Jim mentioned he was larger than life with a great smile, but Dolan stated he was “glad that he was on my side” when he spoke about Stys’ physical size and strength.  Dolan and Stys worked second shift for many years.  “Jim and I, stated Dolan, had dinner together so many nights that Dan’s wife mentioned many times that she had dinner with him less than she did”.  Dan related where it was so busy that they did not break for supper and then as the shift was coming to a close, Jim called him to meet him at Stop and Shop.  Once there the two went in the store, still no explanation, and then Jim buys cheesecake, strawberries and whipped cream.  Back to their cruiser they went with Dolan given instructions to have Officer Alan Marcotte meet them at Nottingham School; yes, they proceeded to have strawberry shortcake on the hood of the cruiser.

Dan mentioned how much respect the chief at UMass-Lowell had for Stys.  The night after he passed Dolan was handed the keys to a cruiser and told to go sit outside the Stys’ family home and just take care of anything they needed.  Dolan mentioned how moved he was by the gesture.

When meeting with Hudson Captain DiNapoli about the arrangements for the memorial service he mentioned that he remembered the first time Jim went to the hospital for treatment.  He was the Elementary School Resource Officer at the time and would not leave until school was out for the day and all the kids had gone home.  His statement was that was the way Jim was about everything.

Dolan offered one thing more which seems what this story should close with.  Stys’ cousin was one of the pallbearers yesterday, and as they marched from the church to the cemetery in the snow, the gentleman whose name was not known stated that “Jim is looking down at us laughing.”