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895 Route 82
P.O. Box A
Hopewell Junction, NY 12533
Phone: 845-221-2000
Fax: 845-227-1862
Peter Bodnar

Peter W. Bodnar Jr.

October 12, 1946 - April 11, 2021
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Peter W. Bodnar, Jr., 74, a 35 year resident of LaGrange, NY, passed at home on April 11, 2021, surrounded by his family.

Born on October 12, 1946 in Yonkers, NY, Peter is the oldest child of the late Peter W., Sr, and Evelyn F. (McCready) Bodnar of Garden City South, LI. He was raised at their family home on Long Island. He attended both Fordham Preparatory School and Fordham University in Bronx, NY. He participated in R.O.T.C and was a member of the Arnold Air Society. While at Fordham, he met and married his first wife, Frances Mathews, who predeceased him in 1991.

Peter went on to proudly serve our country in the United States Air Force as a member of the Civil Engineer Management Evaluation Team. Traveling the country to every Air Force Base, the efficiency team saved the Air Force over $100 million. He obtained the rank of Captain while serving in Louisiana and Michigan.

After being honorably discharged from the Air Force, he and Fran moved to Middletown, NY where they began their family. He served on the Fair View Oaks Ambulance Corps, and worked as an auditor for Peat Marwick Mitchell, after getting his MBA from Pace University.

Peter’s life was built on a foundation of love, faith in God, and a deep respect for others. These pillars he taught his children by example in the way he lived his life.

Peter and Fran moved the family to Chappaqua, NY, where he worked at Reader’s Digest as the Associate Director of Administrative Services in charge of International Protective Services. He is in the Who’s Who of America for Security Administration and a member of the American Legion. He was involved as a cubmaster for Cub Scout Pack 2 in Chappaqua, where he was also president of the local Lions Club, and a 4th Degree member of the Knights of Columbus Council #1852. Ever the involved Father, Peter coached many of his children’s sports teams, including baseball and basketball.

In 1986, they built the family home in LaGrange, NY. During this time, Peter’s youngest son, Gregory, participated in Boy Scouts. Peter was very active as a leader in the Boy Scouts of America serving as Scout Commissioner of Troop 82.

A few years later, Peter would suffer a week of losses that would have killed a less faithful person. His strength of character and faith during this time inspires his family to this day.

His position at Reader’s Digest was downsized, and he was laid off. Two days later on August 9,1991, Fran and his youngest son, Greg (11y.o. at the time of his death) were killed in a traffic collision. His oldest son, Peter W. III, and oldest daughter, Elena Michelle, were also injured in the collision. He, and their younger daughter, Krista-Lynn, waited for them to come home, only to be greeted by NYS Troopers with horrible news. Two days after that, his vehicle was stolen while he was visiting Elena at the hospital in NYC. Within a week, he lost his wife, son, job, and both the family’s vehicles.

Yet, his faith endured.

It was the one thing he didn’t lose that week. Like his name implies, he was the rock the family depended on, and he depended on his faith in God.

Peter would become the safety coordinator at St. Francis Hospital where he worked for 17 years. He married his second wife, Joann Mize, and traveled the world with her. They enjoyed many years together, until she lost her own battle with cancer in 2005.

Again, Peter’s faith endured.

Peter was an extraordinary minister of the Eucharist at St. Kateri Church in LaGrangeville, NY, where he was also a member of the choir, and a member of the Knights of Columbus Council #13378.

He was an avid reader of thrillers and political biographies, and appreciated the elegance in simplicity as a very talented amateur photographer. Peter leaves a legacy rich with integrity and a love of nature.

On June 22, 2011 at St. Kateri, Peter married Deborah “Debbie” Lane who survives at home. They spent their time, traveling, growing their garden, singing in the choir and taking care of their grandkids, who lovingly called them Papa and Gaga.

During the last weeks of his life, Debbie was the rock he depended on to take care of him, and his family is grateful he found such an amazing person to love, and share these past years together.

Most people struggle to find one amazing love of their life, Peter was blessed with three.

His faith endured.

Peter was the glue that held all these people together and made them a family. He was a true patriot and loved his country. He was a devout Catholic. That, he said, was the glue that kept him together.

He treasured his home and was a loving father to his 4 children, 3 step-children, grandfather to his 18 grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren who all lovingly called him Papa.

In addition to his loving wife, Debbie, Peter is survived by his loving children and their spouses, Elena Michelle and Scott Seaman of Wappingers Falls, Peter W. III and Karen Bodnar of Lagrange, NY, Krista-Lynn and Michael Brennan of LaGrange, NY, and Noelle and Theo Beale of Mt Vernon, NY, Lisa and Skip Mackay of Mahopac, NY, and Donnie and Lauren Peters of Yorktown Heights, NY; his siblings, Edward Bodnar of FL, John and Sue Bodnar of South Setauket, Patrick Bodnar, Sr. of Garden City South, and Lynne Rose of Garden City South; and many loving grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins. He is predeceased by his first wife, Fran Bodnar and their son Greg in 1991; his second wife, Joann M. Bodnar in 2005.

Calling hours will be held on Friday from 5-8pm at the McHoul Funeral Home, Inc., 895 Route 82, Hopewell Junction with military honors at 8pm. The Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Saturday at 11:30 am at St. Kateri where he was a parishioner.

Memorial donations may be made to Hudson Valley Hospice.

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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Friday, April 16, 2021 | 5:00pm - 8:00pm
    Friday, April 16, 2021 5:00pm - 8:00pm
    McHoul Funeral Home, Inc.
    895 Route 82
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Saturday, April 17, 2021 | 11:30am
    Saturday, April 17, 2021 11:30am
    Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Church
    1925 Route 82
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

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Private Condolence

Patti McCready

Posted at 10:48pm
Sincere Condolences to all the Family. Peter and my husband, Doug McCready, were First Cousins and we were blessed many years ago to visit Fran and Peter while they lived in Chappaqua, Ny on a visit to Doug's family in Yonkers, NY. Doug always spoke fondly of Peter as they shared many experiences growing up together. We met Elena, Kristen and Peter, Jr, but Gregory was not born yet when we visited. I would say that being with Peter & Fran and his family was the highlight of our visit that year. We also got to meet Joann when they came out West before she became sick. The Kids were teenagers at that point. We also have memories of being at Aunt Ev's when the whole family gathered there and my youngest Son, Matthew, was able to visit the Bodnar home on Long Island before the Pandemic hit, while being in NYC on business. Our Hearts are with you all and understand the loss as we lost our beloved head of the family 5 years ago. I was blessed to have a quick word with Peter before he started the chemo. Memories are tucked away in our Hearts. May they always be a source of Comfort to you all.
Love Always,
Patti McCready & Family

Peggy Kadel Alba

Posted at 12:57pm
The Bodnars were our family's next door neighbors for approx 28 years. We all grew up my early years I was probably in their house as much as my own! Such great memories, I recall playing in our backyard pools together, our fun trips to Coney Island , decorating Christmas trees together, building snowmen and playing the board game "Risk" ! Peter was one great guy; handed some heavy harships that would have broken many of us or at least our faith--but he apparently was one "faithful fighter"--some of the losses he suffered I was not even aware of until I read his obituary. I have such fond memories of Peter and all the Bodnars - they were family and still are although time has distanced us in location but they are still close in all of our hearts. May God Bless you all and ease your grief.

Debbie Bodnar Posted at 02:21pm

What a lovely tribute to Peter and all the Bodnar’s, Peggy. Much love...

Joyce Ketcher

Posted at 11:22am
Peter and I grew up together in Garden City South. Our families lived side by side beginning when we were very young children through our teenage years. I remember the wonderful talks we had in the summertime on the steps of my house and on his front porch. I remember he was the best at walking with stilts and pogo jumping!!! I thought of him fondly through the years. Please accept my heartfelt condolences.

Debbie Bodnar Posted at 02:23pm

Joyce - This is the first I heard of Peter on stilts and pogo jumping! How nice of you to share your memories with the rest of the family. ❤️

Vinny Mooney

Posted at 02:48pm
Pete was one of the most kind and decent men I’ve ever met. I first met him when he and Fran were scout leaders for my son Chris. I also live in LaGrange and taught all three of his children, all with fond memories. I last bumped into Pete at St. Francis and, though years had passed since our last meeting, it was a seamless meeting of friends.
I’m so happy he found happiness after that horrendous week that would have broken lesser men.
Celia and I won’t be able to attend the services, but want Elena, Pete, and Krista to know you have our most sincere condolences. You had a truly wonderful Dad. Vinny Mooney

Krista Posted at 10:17pm

Thank you!

Robert Dickes

Posted at 08:38pm
Twenty plus years ago I was fortunate enough to meet Peter “Dad” as I was traveling with PJ on a photography trip to Maine. We spent a couple of weeks in NY and spent many hours getting to know Peter. He quickly becoming so much more than a friends father, he became another father to me. From that summer on I referred to him as Dad. I will miss you Dad, but I know you are with God now.

Krista Posted at 10:17pm

He loved you

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