The Montclair State University community is mourning the loss of shuttle bus driver, Lunisol Guzman, who died on May 7 from COVID-19.
Lunisol Guzman was 50 years old and resided in Newark, New Jersey. She began working part-time at the university in 2009 and took on a full-time position in September 2019. Guzman had not been on campus since March 18, 2020.
Bill Fitzpatrick, an employee who worked in the same department as Lunisol Guzman, said that Lunisol Guzman was a dedicated professional.
“She very much cared about the students she served and treated each of them as she would have wanted someone to treat her children,” Fitzpatrick said.
Lunisol Guzman’s husband also died from COVID-19 two weeks earlier. They leave behind three adult children and two recently adopted children, aged two and four. Lunisol Guzman’s adult children will be raising the two adopted children together and hope to carry on her legacy.
Katherine Guzman, Lunisol Guzman’s daughter, expressed great gratitude toward her mother, appreciating everything that she taught her.
“[My] mom was selfless and giving,” Katherine Guzman said. “She always put someone else before herself. She was affectionate and taught us strength and resilience amongst all things. She was our everything. My siblings and I will continue to raise our two and 4-year-old siblings. I can only hope we do half as good of a job as [my] mom.”
Katherine Guzman also set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money. Many of the donors are students who wanted to thank Lunisol Guzman for her service.
Khadijah-Maryam Muhammad, a junior French major, encountered Lunisol Guzman daily.
“She was someone we could rely on to help get us to where we needed to be,” Muhammad said. “May God bless her and her husband’s soul. Her children are in my prayers.”
Jayde Worthen, a sophomore English major, commented that she wished all shuttle bus drivers were as kind as Lunisol Guzman.
“When I took the shuttle, often the drivers didn’t greet us or say hello, but [Lunisol Guzman] always greeted every student on the bus with a smile,” Worthen said. “I will always be grateful for that because it means a lot to stressed out college students.”
Jillian Wilson, a senior accounting major, said Lunisol Guzman always stopped for her and her roommate when they walked back from volleyball practice, even if they were not at an actual shuttle stop.
“Half the time we were covered in ice because of injuries and she would make sure we got back to Hawk Crossings, where the two of us lived,” Wilson said.
When they got on the shuttle bus, Wilson and her roommate would sit in front and talk to Lunisol Guzman.
“Every time we would get onto her shuttle, we’d try to get to the front of the bus just to talk to her because she was such a kind, beautiful woman,” Wilson said. “The both of us are very saddened by her passing and sending out thoughts and prayers to her children.”