Harford County Grieves Loss of Council President's Son
County residents and Harford County Council members mourn loss of Benjamin Boniface.
Harford County Council members are mourning the loss Council President William Boniface's son, Ben, who died in car accident Monday.
"I knew Ben personally, he usually would drive me and Billy, his father, and Senator [Barry] Glassman in the Darlington Parade," said Councilman Chad Shrodes. "He’s been our driver for the past several years, and that's this Saturday."
Boniface, 20, was killed Monday when the truck he was driving hit a series of fence posts along a private road on Bonita Farm in the 3700 block of Harmony Church Road, according to a statement from the Harford County Sheriff's Office.
Ben Boniface always had a ready smile, Shrodes said. He said he visited the Boniface home Monday night and the family was "holding it together."
"It’s just like when anyone loses a loved one, you’re kind of like 'is this real?' Even for me this feels like this is a bad dream," Shrodes said.
He said the tragedy seems more surreal to him because of the approaching parade.
"He was just a good kid, he had a big smile all the time, just a real gentleman," Shrodes said.
The councilman's description echoes Ben Boniface's obituary on the McComas Funeral Home web site, which characterizes him as, "a pure happy simple soul."
Shrodes, a father himself, said losing a child is something he can't fathom, and everyone who knew the young Boniface is at a loss.
"We’re going to miss him and I just can’t imagine what it’s like for [the family]. It’s going to be hard for them for a very, very, very long time," Shrodes said.
Deputies believe Ben Boniface lost control of the 1994 Ford pick-up while heading into a curve in the roadway on the family's Darlington farm.
The accident was discovered at 4:15 a.m. by a night watchman, who then alerted the youth's father, Billy Boniface. The men pulled the younger Boniface from the vehicle and attempted CPR, but were unsuccessful.
At the time of his death, he was working as an arborist and putting in hours on the family farm, according to his online obituary.
He was also a fan of Bluegrass music, was a guitar and mandolin player, and a golfer, the obituary states.
Tuesday's Council meeting is expected to take place as scheduled, with Council Vice President Dick Slutzky filling in for Billy Boniface.
“Certainly our thoughts and prayers from the Council are with the family at this time. it’s a tragic event and we wish them the best in getting through this difficult time," Slutzky told Patch Tuesday.
Shrodes said the meeting will likely be difficult to get through.
"It was hard to focus on anything yesterday and I think that’s how we’re all feeling," Shrodes said.
Visitation is from 2-5 p.m. and 6-9 p.m. Thursday at McComas Funeral Home in Abingdon. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Friday at 10:30 a.m. at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Aberdeen.
Benjamin is survived by his parents, William Kennard and Barbara Elaine Pinamonti Boniface, a brother, William Richard Boniface, a sister, Bethany Helen Boniface, grandparents J. William and Joan Warfield Boniface, all of Darlington and Richard and Rosemary Pinamonti of Havre de Grace.
In lieu of flowers, the family is suggesting contributions to a fund in Ben's memory, "providing tribute to life in the Deer Creek Valley he so loved," his obituary states.
Contributions can be sent to: Memorial Fund for Ben Boniface, c/o Harford Bank, 8 W. Bel Air Avenue, Aberdeen, MD 21001.