Batavia – Bernard J. “Bernie” Bonczyk passed away Wednesday, (March 16, 2016) at Hospice Buffalo, Inc. surrounded by his loving family.
Bernie was born in Buffalo on July 24, 1946 to the late Edward and Elizabeth ”Betty” Bonczyk
In 1966 Bernie was drafted into the Army where he served in several positions, most notably as a tank commander in the Panama Canal Zone, and as a courier for top secret documents.
After returning home, Bernie married the love of his life Patricia (nee Nelson) on August 28, 1971. Together they moved to Colorado in 1975 so Bernie could pursue his training at the Colorado School of Trades to become a Certified Gunsmith. In 1977 they returned to WNY where Bernie took a job as the head gunsmith at Sterling Arms in Gasport. After the company closed, Bernie took a job as a precision machinist at Graham Manufacturing, where he stayed until his retirement in 2009.
Bernie was very active in many local Boy Scout troops and packs, serving as an Assistant Scoutmaster, Unit Commissioner and Unit Committee Member. He was very generous of giving his time to the Scouts; volunteering many hours working with the Dewalt Crew fixing up the camps and working in the kitchen on camp weekends. Bernie was also involved with the Alabama Hunt Club, a local muzzle loading gun club, where he was a life member. There he assisted in designing and setting up their sporting clays course.
Bernie is survived by his wife of 44 years, Patricia, his son Wesley (Linda) of Lancaster, his 3 beloved grandchildren Owen, Ian and Eryn, a dear sister Delphine (late Gary) Derenda of Buffalo, and a special cousin Gary (Cathy) Tokasz of Elma.
Visitation will be held Saturday from 4-8pm at the Kenneth Howe Funeral Home, 64 Maple St. East Aurora, and on Sunday from 4-8pm at the H.E. Turner & Co. Funeral Home, 403 E. Main St. Batavia.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Monday 10am at St. Maximilian Kolbe RC Church, 8656 Church St. East Pembroke. Burial will be in Hillside Cemetery.
Flowers are gratefully declined. Memorials may be made to Hospice Buffalo, Inc. or to the Boy Scouts of America; Iroquois Trail Council.
Online condolences may be made at www.howefuneralhome.com.
Local arrangements were entrusted to the H.E. Turner & Co. Funeral Home, 403 East Main Street, Batavia.