CHICAGO — During her summers spent running Bosley Park, Kimberly Lazo remembers one constant presence: Tyjuan Lewis helping in some capacity.
Lewis would often spend time at the Bridgeport park during his lunch or during breaks in his day as a mailman. Lazo can remember Lewis helping elderly grandparents lift kids into swings, or giving teens rubberbands to cuff their sagging pants so they wouldn't get covered in snow.
"He was extremely friendly," Lazo said. "He got some bad kids to turn good. Poor families, rich families, they all loved him."
Lewis, 43, was fatally shot Sunday outside his Roseland home. Police discovered Lewis around 9:40 p.m. in the 10100 block of South Calumet Avenue with a gunshot wound to his abdomen.
He was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.
In the wake of his death, co-workers, family members and neighbors on his mail route are stepping up to remember Lewis's life.
Lewis worked for more than 20 years at the Pilsen branch of the United States Postal Service, according to spokesman Mark Reynolds.
"Tyjuan was indeed well liked, by his co-workers as well as his customers," Reynolds said. "He will be deeply missed, and the Postal Service extends prayers and condolences to his family and friends."
Family held a vigil near his South Side home earlier this week.
Family member Kimberly Strong wrote in a blog post eulogizing her relative that Lewis had dropped off one of his kids before he was shot.
"He was scheduled for work the next morning, which was his daily routine and he loved every minute of it," Strong wrote in her blog.
Strong said Lewis was the father of numerous children, and he knew of the jokes and judgment that came his way for fathering so many. But she said he shrugged it off, knowing that he loved and cared for each one of them.
"His kids are now being raised without a father, and not because he was a 'deadbeat dad,' but because some simple-minded coward wanted to pull the trigger and take away one of the greatest men alive," Strong wrote.
She could not be reached for comment, nor could other family members.
A viewing will be held Tuesday from 4-9 p.m. at Gatlings Funeral Home, 10133 S. Halsted. The wake is from 11:30 a.m.-noon Wednesday at the funeral home, followed by a funeral service from noon-1 p.m. Repast is at 3850 S. Wabash Ave. at 3 p.m.
Neighbors who knew "Ty the mailman" are also organizing a memorial, Lazo said.
On Oct. 3, neighbors will gather at Bosley Park, 3044 S. Bonfield St., to remember him. Attendees are asked to bring a letter attached to a helium balloon, their way of thanking Lewis for all he did, Lazo said.
"It's very said," she said. "The entire neighborhood loved him."
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