Students, staff mourn the loss of Cafe Italiano supervisor

Daisy Diaquino was a student worker in Schroeder dining hall when a sharp dip in the temperature left her on campus without a winter jacket. Her boss did more than just notice.

“He was like, ‘Oh, I can look around my house to see if I have anything,’” Diaquino, an alumna of the College of Communication, said. The gesture was one she could not forget.

“He was very supportive in everything that we did and he was always very welcoming,” she said. “He always looked out for us.”

Bryan Wysocki was known by many on campus for his generous heart. He was honored this weekend by family, friends, students and coworkers after his sudden passing Feb. 20. Wysocki was 48 years old.

“He made you laugh everyday, (took) a sad moment to a happy moment,” Kasarah Curry, Wysocki’s coworker, said. “If he had a dollar, he’d give it to you.”

Wysocki worked his way up to the supervisor position from a temporary dishwasher position during his nine years working for Sodexo. He also held seasonal jobs at Miller Park.

Prior to being at Marquette, Wysocki, who had a degree in botany, worked at the Milwaukee County Zoo. He also served as a United States Marine and was the recipient of a Purple Heart. On campus, he was known for his dedication to his students.

“Bryan was extremely dedicated and worked tirelessly, always striving to make things better for his employees and the students,” Steve Lezotte, Schroeder’s chef manager, said in his eulogy. “I can honestly say that Bryan was one of the few people I have met that did not have a selfish bone in his body. He was always concerned about others before himself.”

A celebration luncheon was held to allow Marquette community members to share their memories of Wysocki March 5 in the AMU Ballrooms. Students and alumni who worked with him were in attendance at the event.

“I usually worked on Sunday nights with Bryan, and I just remember he always had a positive spirit,” Edward Urbina, an alumnus of the College of Business Administration, said at the event. “It doesn’t matter how hectic the night was going- he always found a way to smile and just work his way through it.”

Urbina recalled Wysocki telling him about his passion for poetry. One night he cooked the staff chicken for everyone to enjoy. Others remembered how Wysocki looked out for them.

“I would always forget my (diabetes) test kit,” Anthony Vanderheyden, a senior in the College of Business Administration, said. “One time, I came back before closing (to look for it), and he spent 20 minutes looking for it with me … I lost it like seven more times after that and he would always find it and leave it on his desk for me. I always appreciated that.”

Wysocki’s impact at Marquette extended across campus, from his donations of turkeys to Campus Kitchens at Thanksgiving, to his break time conversations with students outside Schroeder. He is survived by his partner, Queda Jenkins, her three children and her grandchildren, in addition to what many of the Schroeder staff call his Sodexo family.

“Bryan had a heart of gold,” April Wallace, a friend and coworker, said. “He was loved. Bryan will be deeply missed by our staff, especially at Schroeder Hall.”