Edward “Ted” Boniface Sr., past CEO of Pine Bush Equipment, died on July 8, 2006, at the age of 85.
The son of Alfred and Edythe Boniface, he was born on Nov. 5, 1920 in Roosa Gap, NY.
Mr. Boniface grew up on a family farm during the Great Depression; there, he learned enough about long days filled with hard work that would last him a lifetime.
His first job outside of the farm was as toolmaker for Bridgeport Brass Company in Bridgeport, CT, but World War II beckoned him and he proudly spent the next 18 months in service to his country in the U.S. Navy.
In 1946, Mr. Boniface was honorably discharged from the Navy and purchased an ice route and an old dump truck. He performed a variety of services, ranging from garbage disposal to hauling sand and gravel — always loaded by hand.
Mr. Boniface’s skills as a toolmaker served him well when he invented the “Doodle Bug” tractor, a combination truck and farm tractor loader that was equipped with a front end loader to mechanize loading.
The “Doodle Bug” also was profitable, allowing Boniface to purchase a used bulldozer and more trucks, and, with this skeleton fleet, Boniface expanded his excavating business.
It was at this time that Pine Bush Farm Implement Company, which sold JI Case agricultural equipment and repaired machinery, went up for sale. Mr. Boniface and his wife Dorothy, purchased the business.
Although the business started out as an agricultural equipment dealer, the farming industry at the time was declining, so Pine Bush shifted its focus to the construction equipment industry, and with that decision, the company grew.
The Pine Bush Equipment Co. Inc., has been run by the family for four generations during its more than 50 years in business.
Mr. Boniface worked hard in his business but he also was a devoted family man.
“He was dedicated to his family and enjoyed many happy times celebrating special occasions. Ted was a hard worker who taught his children great family and business values beyond measure.
“His most cherished times were spent with his family and friends. In the moments before he left, his 31st great-granddaughter was born, reminding us that even in our moment of sorrow, life renews and brings us joy,” reads a family statement.
In addition to his business and family, Mr. Boniface was involved in his community. He was a member of the Pine Bush Fire Department; the American Legion Post 1308, Pine Bush; and the Elk’s Club, BPOE 1097, Middletown.
Mr. Boniface is survived by his wife Dorothy Estrelle Goldsmith-Boniface and his children: Edward “Ted” J. and wife Barbara, Kenneth R. and wife Veronica, Thomas A. and his wife Jean, Donna L. and husband Jack Dopp, Steven H. and wife Debbie, Holly A. and husband Michael Bodnar; his brothers and sisters, Robert and Rosemary Boniface, Helen Eklund, Mary Bruno, Rhoda Murphy, Lily and Ben Babcock, Barbara Burton, and his twin brother Richard Boniface and wife Shirley; his 20 grandchildren; 30 great-grandchildren; nieces, nephews and good friends.
Mr. Boniface was predeceased by his brothers, Thomas and John Boniface; his sister Ruth Gardiner; and great-grandson Andrew Joseph Boniface.
Funeral services were held on Friday, July 14, at the William M. Gagan Funeral Home Inc., 1525 Burlingham Rd., Pine Bush.
Contributions may be made in Mr. Boniface’s name to: the Pine Bush Fire Department, PO Box 1, Route 52, Pine Bush, NY 12566; the Pine Bush Ambulance Corps, PO Box 407, Pine Bush, NY 12566; the United Methodist Church, PO Box 238, Pine Bush, NY 12566; or the American Legion Post 1308, Pine Bush, NY 12566. CEG