WESTFIELD – The couple who drowned in Hampton Ponds Monday were recalled today as a devoted couple of 40 years who were so close that no one was surprised to learn that Patricia Cyr jumped into the pond to help her husband, Daniel, as he struggled in the water with their dog.
“They couldn’t survive without each other,’’ Miranda Landry said today.
Landry is the youngest of the couple’s three adult children. In an interview at her parent’s pondside home, Landry said her mother went into the water despite the fact she could not swim.
According to State and Westfield police, the couple were riding their home made pontoon boat Monday in Hampton Ponds, a body of water they were very familiar with, when the couple’s dog went into the water around 6:30 p.m.
Daniel Cyr, 64, followed the dog into the water, but then got into some difficulty, a problem that led Patricia Cyr, 61, to jump in herself. Police said Daniel Cyr died at the scene while his wife died at a nearby hospital later Monday.
According to Landry and long-time neighbor, Carol Krause, the couple was given the dog, a West Highland white terrier, by Daniel Cyr’s sister six weeks ago to replace a beloved dog who had died a year ago. Landry said the dog, named Sadie, will now be returned to her paternal aunt.
Landry said she wasn’t angry at the dog and doesn’t believe the animal is to blame for what happened, but said that having the dog around her would prove too painful.
“I don’t have any interest in seeing the dog,’’ Landry said. “We need to move on.”
The circumstances of the double drowning remain under investigation by State Police assigned to Hampden District Attorney Mark G. Mastroianni.
According to Krause, the couple was often on the pond and that Daniel Cyr was known by everyone along the shore because of his frequent trips on the water. Patricia Cyr, however, could not swim, Krause said.
Landry and Krause said Daniel Cyr was an animal lover who would have tried to rescue his pet. But they also suspect something went horribly wrong with him medically. The owner of his own auto mechanic shop and a skilled carpenter, Daniel Cyr suffered massive head injuries a decade ago in a car crash.
And moments before the final, fatal incident, Daniel Cyr was seen by a passerby standing in waist deep water, the dog in his hands, showing no sign that he was in any danger. Daniel Cyr, they suspect, may have suffered an aneurysm.
“For her to jump in the lake, he had to be in distress,’’ Krause said.
According to Krause, the love affair between Daniel and Patricia Cyr began when Daniel stopped by the home of a Marine he got to know while both were serving in Vietnam. Patricia Cyr was the Marine’s sister and the couple soon started dating, followed by some four decades of marriage.
Patricia Cyr worked at a bank while her husband ran his business. They raised three children and then became doting grandparents of seven grandchildren. But, Krause said, the couple always were devoted to each other.
“It was always Dan and Pat, Pat and Dan,’’ Krause said. “It’s been one of the those classic love stories.’’
Krause added: “It was the ultimate sacrifice. They died together, which is a saving grace.”