NJ Photographer Michael Sypniewski obit

From Sunday's Asbury Park Press:

Michael Sypniewski, an award-winning staff photographer at the Asbury Park Press, died Wednesday after a long illness. He was 47.

Sypniewski, of Brick, worked at the Home News and Star-Ledger prior to joining the Press’ photo staff more than 10 years ago.

After a stint as a photo technician, he was promoted to photographer and quickly became a stalwart of the staff.

“Mike was one of those rare photojournalists who was able to master all disciplines of the job,” recalled Press Multimedia Editor James Connolly.

“He excelled in magazine covers of all-star professional athletes, writers and musicians, and could walk into a second-grade class and photograph them with the same energy, enthusiasm and quality.

“When colleagues worked with Mike, they not only knew they were getting the highest-caliber photography to illustrate their stories, but also that the experience of working with Mike would be as pleasurable as it gets,” Connolly said. “His calm demeanor and easygoing attitude were a hallmark of his work.”

Behind that laid-back persona, however, was a high-spirited “wild man” who relished the adrenaline rush and physical challenges of his profession, his friends and family say.

Among the many photographs they were perusing Saturday at the Sypniewskis’ kitchen table was a black-and-white image of a firefighter on an aerial ladder with Synpiewski just a few rungs behind him, snapping photos while steadying himself like a surfer, high above the ground.

“He liked it. He said it was always different, every day,” recalled his oldest son, Christopher Michael Sypniewski, 18, a student at Ocean County College, Toms River.

Over the years, Sypniewski’s work was recognized numerous times by the New Jersey Press Photographers Association and the National Press Photographers Association.

Two years ago, however, his career came to an abrupt halt when he suffered a debilitating stroke.

Synpiewski is survived by his wife, Maribel Sypniewski, and three children: Christopher Michael, Emily Marie, 15, and David Michael, 12. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made directly to the family.

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Michael David Sypniewski, 47, of Brick township, NJ died on Wednesday, November 23, 2011 at Ocean County Medical Center. He was a loving husband, father, son, brother and photographer. He was predeceased by his mother Alma Sypniewski. He is survived by his wife Maribel Sypniewski and 3 children - Christopher Michael Sypniewski, Emily Marie Sypniewski and David Michael Sypniewski; his father Roman Sypniewski, sister Sandra Sypniewski and brother Rick Sypniewski. Visitation will be on Monday, November 28, 2011 from 10am-12pm at Silverton Memorial Funeral Home, 2482 Church Road, Toms River, NJ. Church service will be celebrated at 12:30pm at Ocean County Baptist Church, 1380 Old Freehold Road, Toms River. Immediately following, burial will be at the Laurelton Baptist Cemetery at 1824-1836 Route 88 East, Brick, NJ. In leiu of flowers, donations can be made directly to the family during the viewing.