Ironic that Domino’s features the word “no” in the last syllable.

“No” in the antithesis of what Ripon Domino’s is all about.

That’s because owner Sean Wyer didn’t know how to say the word.

We lost Sean last week when he died unexpectedly Wednesday evening while driving home after tending to his family’s horses.

But in his too-short 52 years on earth, Sean taught the rest of us who were paying attention something about how to do business, how to be a loving husband and father, how to serve a community and how to care for those less fortunate.

Sean didn’t say no.

If you are one of the many who ever asked Domino’s for a donation for your auction, contest, scouts, preschoolers, church or any other organization, you know that he was willing, anxious even, to extend himself.

... I looked up to him for so many reasons: the passion with which he managed Ripon’s outdoor and Campus theaters; the haunted woods he and wife, Sheila, organized for years, quietly giving proceeds to needy families, animal shelters and others; his service with the chamber and as Ripon Business Association president; the car-less Arizona woman the Wyers shuttled to her job in Oshkosh; the bike they bought for a destitute man who lived downtown but worked on Ripon’s west side; the local girl from a broken family whose college tuition the Wyers paid; the mentally challenged man whose bowling fees Sean discretely paid every week.

You get the idea. If integrity is defined by doing the right thing when no one’s looking, Sean had it in spades.

At Domino’s, he made so many donations of his time, product and enthusiasm — never did he ask for anything in return.

Ask Jan Kerch about that.

Year after year, Discovery Preschool’s lead teacher would shepherd her 4- and 5-year-olds down to Domino’s, where Mr. Sean would show them the facility and then help them make their own pizzas.

Never mind that they didn’t buy pizzas and frankly, for all 67 tours he gave the preschoolers, they made a mess of his kitchen counters.

Sean loved helping others.

He lived to love.

The last time I saw him, on Friday, Jan. 8, he was standing at the counter with phone receivers up against both ears (see accompanying photo) as he waited on one of many customers standing in the Domino’s lobby.

He had every reason to be stressed, but I watched as he smiled at the customer as if she was the only one in the world buying a pizza.

Grace under pressure.

The morning after he died, one of his Ripon High School teachers reminded me that Sean at one time had attended a seminary.

But a passion for Sheila leading to marriage turned the would-be Father into a father of two lovely children, Chris and Rachel, who share their parents’ generous spirit.

So Sean never became a cleric.

But his time with us was no less holy.

He ministered through his proclivity to say “yes” when a more bottom-line business owner would have said “maybe” — or “no.”

But that word wasn’t in Sean’s vocabulary.

Friends may submit memories of Sean to: www.respectance.com/Sean_L_Wyer

Read the full column in the Jan. 21, 2010 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.

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