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Nearly 400 Attend Ossining Man's Memorial

OSSINING, N.Y. – Before the memorial service for Ossining’s Bryan Johnson, the 26-year-old who reportedly drowned two weeks ago near City Island, his mother Sheila Lilley expected many from the community to show their support.

But Lilley said she was comforted Monday night after seeing nearly 400 community members come together at Ossining’s Star of Bethlehem Church.

“I’m not really surprised with the support because I knew my son touched so many people’s hearts,” Lilley said. “I’m not the only one who lost someone.”

Family, co-workers and friends from all over New York, Pennsylvania and other surrounding areas attended Monday night’s memorial service. Johnson was reported missing June 20 after he and several friends apparently went for a late-night swim in the Bronx. Police said previously that Johnson disappeared just before 11 p.m. after jumping from a boat into the Long Island Sound with a group of others to swim. Police said the boat pulled away without Johnson. Lilley identified Johnson’s body after it was recovered last week.

“I still don’t know how to feel about it,” Lilley said Monday. “And I can’t tell no one how to feel because I have no idea how my son touched them. But I know everyone has lost someone today and all of these people coming here show how much he meant to a lot of people.”

Bryan Johnson’s father, Emanuel Johnson, said he was very thankful for the support during the service.

“It shows you what kind of son we had. He was a good boy and it hurts the heart with what happened but it makes us happy to see people coming out to show love for him,” Emanuel Johnson said. “Bryan was well respected and respectful. He was gentle, soft-spoken and we were always so proud of him.”

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