EAST HAMPTON, N.Y. —Andrew Joseph Bonertz, East Hampton, N.Y., died unexpectedly June 15, 2018. He was 28 and a new father.
A prayer service was held June 19 at Spencer Funeral Home, East Hampton, Conn. He will be cremated and his ashes interred with his grandfather in Nebraska, according to his wishes.
A celebration of Andrew’s life will be held at a later date in New York.
Andrew was born Oct. 25, 1989, at Scott AFB in Illinois. He was a kind and caring soul, a protector who did not like bullies and would stand up to others when needed. He always watched out for his family. As a child he followed his father around trying to learn everything and anything he could, from fixing cars, changing oil, and fixing go-carts, Andrew could do it all. By the age of 7, he had already flown a plane.
Andrew was a gentleman who always helped out from opening doors to carrying groceries. He enjoyed Boy Scouts and earned an Arrow of Light award. He had no fear and would attempt anything. In High School he joined the ski club and learned to snow board. He graduated from East Hampton High School in 2008.
He was intelligent and loved history — particularly World War II — and would voraciously consume any Ken Burns documentary, often staying up all night watching war footage. His own history was important to him too, and he decorated the walls of his bedroom with old photos of East Hampton, where he grew up. He lived in Nebraska — where his family was from — for three years during his childhood and he always felt at home there. He spoke fondly of the midwest and was proud of the values he drew from the simple life he loved there.
But he found life to be simple and wonderful in his new home in East Hampton, too, where he built a beautiful home life for his new family, which included his two dogs, Joey and Frank, with whom he loved playing.
Andrew expressed himself through art, mostly designing his own tattoos, which he would sometimes have professionally done and sometimes tattoo on himself. Each one held a special meaning to him. He had recently gotten a rather large wolf tattoo on his hand, which he said represented overcoming adversity.
There was a soundtrack to Andrew’s life, and it was always playing. No matter what he was doing, there was a carefully curated song to go along with it. His tastes ranged from Waylon Jennings to Macklemore.
Being a father to his son, Miller, was the most important thing in Andrew’s life. He nicknamed him “Bubba” and taught him how to blow raspberries and dance, bouncing up and down to all his favorite tunes. Miller brought so much joy to Andrew’s life in such a short amount of time.
He is survived by his partner, Leigh Goodstein, and his son, Miller Joseph Bonertz, born June 28, 2017, East Hampton, N.Y.; his parents, Joseph and Susan Bonertz, East Hampton, Conn.; his sister, Ashely Bonertz (fiancé, Aaron Davis), East Hampton Conn.; younger brother, Brandyn Bonertz (Amanda Butler), and their son, Bodhi, born April 2, 2018, Avon, Conn.; grandmothers, Mary Ann Bonertz, Menominee, and Marilyn Kinzel, East Haddam, Conn.; uncles, Timothy Bonertz (Pam Kline), Yankton, S.D.; Paul Kinzel and his son, Sam, Cherry Hill, N.J.; aunts, Wendy (Junior) St. Pierre, Yankton, S.D.; Catherine Jansen, Hartington; and Valerie Ashton, Duxbury, Mass.; his cousins, Cody, Allison, Grace, Aspen and Austin Jansen, Hartington; Nicholas and Alecia St. Pierre, Yankton, S.D.; and John Luis and Benjamin Ashton, Spain.
Andrew was preceded in death by his grandparents, Allen T. Bonertz, Menominne, and James Henry Kinzel, Cherry Hill, N.J.
The family asks in lieu of flowers donations be made to a fund in the name of Miller Bonertz at Liberty Bank, 2 W High Street, East Hampton, CT 06424.