LAKE GEORGE - Friends and family members of the late John Lustyik, a retired state trooper, recalled his character and attributes this week, days after his passing on Dec. 14 at the age of 74.
Lustyik, a trooper for 32 years, was recently a freelance photographer for the Adirondack Journal.
About 16 troopers attended his wake, held Dec. 19 at Singleton-Healy Funeral Home in Queensbury -where two of the officers flanked his casket while dozens of friends and community members expressed their grief and recounted fond memories to Lustyik family members.
A contingent of uniformed state troopers also served as pall bearers at his funeral, held Dec. 20 at Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Church in Lake George. When Lustyik's flag-draped casket emerged from the church, Lustyik was given a ceremonial salute by the state police as well as officers of the Warren County Sheriff's Department.
These law enforcement officers also participated in Lustyik's burial services, held with full military honors at the Gerald Solomon Saratoga National Cemetery.
At a reception held after the burial at Mario's Restaurant in Lake George, State Police Troop G Commander Major Bill Sprague, who worked with Lustyik for several years about two decades ago, talked about Lustyik's outstanding competence, knowledge and demeanor. Lustyik, a zone sergeant serving in the Wilton and Chestertown substations, helped train Sprague during a time he was undergoing a series of promotions.
"John Lustyik trained generations of state troopers," Sprague said. "He was beloved in Troop G's Zone 2, and held in high regard by everyone in the state police."
Zone 2 covers Warren, Washington and Saratoga counties.
Lustyik was always thoughtful for the troopers and their family members, Sprague said.
"John cared deeply about the welfare of the people working for him, whether it was providing weapons, equipment or relief for them," he said.