Groton Utilities Members Remember Their Union Brother Matt Lyon

The members of AFSCME Local 1303-007, representing Groton Utilities, are extraordinarily skilled and responsive when it comes to responding to power-destroying storms or answering their customers’ calls help with for electric, water and sewage problems.

Fixing the hole in their hearts caused by the loss of their union brother Matthew Lyon has brought a completely different challenge. Lyon, 48, a line foreman and 17-year veteran of the utility company, died suddenly on Oct. 31, 2020, leaving behind his wife Kimberly and their daughters Devin, Avery and Maerin.

“This has been a shot to the gut. No lie,” said Lead Lineman Chris Coale, who worked alongside Lyon for most of his 17 years at the company. “We lost a friend, a co-worker and a guy we all relied on.”

“I grew up with Matt. He was my leader when I started [at Groton Utilities],” added Lineman Matthew Cook. “He was a great guy to work with. He was always calm and respectful. And he knew his job. This is devasting to me.”

Apprentice Lineman Justin Millette has been at Groton Utilities for less than three years, and he, too, feels a deep loss. “I didn’t know anybody when I started here. Matt was like a father to me. He took me under his wing,” he said. “It’s been tough around here. Matt was a workhorse. He was always excited to work during the storms.”

Journeyman Lineman and Bargaining Unit President Jeremy Doucette recalled Lyon as a hard-working employee and dedicated family man who loved recreational activities including boating.

“Matt would bend over backwards for you,” he said. “He was really crew oriented, always ready to help and out and jump right in, whether you were digging a hole or framing a pole.”

Local 1303-007 members are doing what they can to help Kim Lyon and her daughters, from delivering fire wood and doing home repairs and yard work to spearheading contributions to a memorial fund to help the Lyon family deal with unanticipated financial challenges.

“It’s going to be tough for Kim and the girls. We’re going to step in and help in any way we can,” Cook stressed.

“We’re all going to be there for them,” Millette added. “That’s what our union is about.”

Doucette said that supporting the Lyon family will is an important way to honor their union brother’s memory.

“We might not always show it, but we really are a family,” he reflected. “Losing Matt has made us closer as a group. At the end of the day, this is something bigger than our jobs.”

In lieu of flowers there has been a GoFundMe page set up in the Lyon girls’ names for their future education:

Local 1303-007 members gathered to pay tribute to Matt Lyon. From left: Jeff Lyon, Matt Cook, Chris Coale, Vinny Suchomel, Justin Millette, Jeremy Doucette, Jake Phillips, Tim Pray, Tate Bailey, Wayne Chapman, Brian Quinn, Jason Postemski, Steve Schaub, Rob Dixon, Ben Vincent, Duane Rush, Dave Zito, Martin Cloudas