Clifford Francis James Boenisch of Chester, N.Y., dies at age 84


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Clifford Francis James Boenisch of Chester, N.Y., passed away peacefully on Thursday, July 5, 2018, at Nyack Ridge in Valley Cottage, N.Y. He was 84.

Cliff was born in Bronx, N.Y., the only child of Helen and Norman Boenisch. He was lovingly raised, and maybe a little spoiled by his close-knit family, including his grandmother Sophie and his aunts, uncles, and their spouses: Edith (William Russell), Eleanor (William Semsok), Amos, John, Jeanette (John Bonacorda) and Kenneth (Dolores Urban).

Cliff and Pat lived on the same Bronx block and enjoyed many adventures together as they grew up. Little did those children who picked on each other and called each other names know that life's biggest adventure together was yet to come.

After high school Cliff served in the Army from 1954 to 1956 as an Information Operations and Intelligence Specialist. Following his honorary discharge, Cliff worked as a life guard and became a qualified scuba diving instructor and Pat worked at Pan American Airways. They married in 1959.

Cliff sought work with the New York Firefighters and the New York Police Departments. The NYFD responded first and his love and respect for the job was born. He spent his entire career with Engine 45 from 1960 to 1986, creating lifelong friendships.

Many firefighters and police officers moved to Chester as did the Boenisch family in 1968. When he wasn't working, he was helping raise his family, sharing and enjoying the activities and hobbies he loved including teaching his daughters how to swim and fish. He supported his girls in all their endeavors and was the proudest of their achievements.

He was an avid hunter and fisherman travelling to places in the US and Canada for his adventures. And he and Pat loved to travel! They loved selecting new destinations like Alaska, Hawaii or Australia, and planning regular trips to Disney World where they could visit family and friends.

After retiring from the NYFD Cliff continued hunting, fishing and diving. Among other things he began woodcarving, creating beautiful ducks and small scale carousel animals. He loved flea markets and yard sales conversing with the vendor as if they were lifelong friends, reading Michner, Tolkien, Clancy, and L'Amour, gardening, hiking, biking, and camping, but most of all being with family.

He was a member of Orange County Retired Firefighters, Knights of Columbus Council #5890, Washingtonville, N.Y., and a member of St. Columba Catholic Church of Chester.

He is survived by his wife of 58 years, Mary Patricia "Pat" (Fitzpatrick) of Chester; daughters, Lorraine Greenwood of Campbell Hall, N.Y.; Arlene Bayreder and husband, Steven, of Henderson, Nev.; Diane Chunglo and husband, Jeffrey, of Ashland, Mass.; grandchildren, Scott, Stephanie, Nicole, and Matthew Bayreder, and David Chunglo; cousin, William Russell Jr. of Lakeland, Fla.; and godson, Michael Herrity.

Visitation was held July 12 at Smith, Seaman and Quackenbush Funeral Home in Monroe, N.Y. A Funeral Mass was celebrated July 13 at St. Columba Catholic Roman Catholic Church, Chester.

A family statement read: “The passing of our husband and father brings deep sorrow to our family and friends but also a profound gratitude that he is at peace. We also enjoy and appreciate the man he was and the life he lived.”

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Fisher House Foundation, 12300 Twinbrook Parkway, #410, Rockville, MD 20852, 888-294-8560.



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