Paul W. Bongard, Jr. (“The Chief”), 91, passed away December 15th, 2020 at St. Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick while his loving daughter and grandson held his hand and the remainder of his loving family sat vigil virtually.
Paul was born March 27, 1929 in Elizabeth, NJ to Rose (Herrgott) and Paul Bongard Sr. Paul was a graduate from Linden High School in 1946 where he played football and baseball. He was an extremely proud veteran and served as a Lieutenant in the US Army Corps of Engineers serving in the Korean War from 1951-1953. Paul was a “tough-as-nails” iron worker out of local 373 in Perth Amboy, NJ before retiring in 1991. He was the last surviving founding/charter member of Colonia VFW Memorial Post 6061, serving as Past Commander several times, Quartermaster, and Board of Hall Manager. Paul was a member of the Rahway American Legion Post 5. He was also a member of the Deutscher Club of Clark, NJ where he celebrated his heritage and loved going to their picnics and enjoying German beer and food.
Paul coached little league baseball and football as his sons grew up and was an avid fan of Rutgers football for over forty years. He NEVER gave up on his beloved Scarlet Knights always saying “this is their year”. He loved a martini with pearl onions and a cigar, celebrating any occasion with Andre Champagne, watching Fox News and Judge Judy, a nice meal out with his family and friends, listening to jazz and big band music, and “just resting his eyes”. Paul was the most senior member of the Colonia Dunkin’ Donuts crew and loved spending time with his buddies and talking with the community every morning.
Paul is predeceased by his wife, Mary, and survived by his five children: Jeffery (Diane), Robert (Peter), Douglas (Dorothy), Denise (Vinny), Patricia (Paul), his eleven grandchildren: Christine, Dana (Joe), Douglas Jr. (Milly), Lacey (Tommy), Michael, Heather, Rosie (JT), Caitlin, Gabby, Kimberlee, Jon, his four great-grandchildren: Josh, Sophia, Justin, Frankie, with one on the way, and his loving former caregiver/“sweetheart”, Lela.
The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations in Paul’s memory be made to the Menlo Park Veteran’s Memorial Home in Edison, NJ (call 732-452-4100 for more information).
Visitation is Friday, December 18th from 3-7pm at Gosselin Funeral, 660 New Dover Road in Edison, NJ 08820. A funeral mass celebration of Paul’s life will be held at 10:15 AM on Saturday, December 19th at Saint John Vianney Church, 420 Inman Avenue, Colonia, NJ 07067. A private interment will be held at a later date.
Paul will be dearly missed by the many people that he touched during his long and awesome life
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