William E. "Bill" Jonat Obituary

William E.
William E. "Bill" Jonat

February 18, 1954 - July 7, 2020
Born in Queens, New York
Resided in Bridgewater, New Jersey



William E. Jonat (“Bill”)

66, died July 7, 2020.

Bill is best known for his service to the community of Bridgewater. His two biggest service passions were the Troop 88 Boy Scouts and the Interfaith Hospitality Network of Somerset County. Bill helped raise multiple generations of boys, showing up every week for Boy Scout meetings for almost two decades after his son aged out of the program. He has passed along his love of the outdoors and conservation through countless hiking, biking, and canoeing trips.

The IHN program has been similarly blessed with Bill’s hard work and service. IHN helps families to get temporary housing and other support needed to get back on their feet after crisis situations. IHN relies on volunteers and local churches for sleeping space, and Bill has coordinated these efforts for over 25 years.

Bill was an active member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, involving himself with everything from being an usher, to grounds-keeping, youth group, hiking trips, and most importantly, IHN.

Bill was born and raised in Bayside, New York, before moving to Bridgewater in 1987. He graduated in 1976 from the University of Albany where he earned an undergraduate degree in Mathematics and later a Master’s in Education. Bill taught math in Saugerties, New York for 5 years, before jumping into the nascent field of computer programming. He was a diligent, successful, and well-respected colleague in programming and IT support at Merrill Lynch for over 30 years, retiring in 2015.

Bill enjoyed multi-day biking trips, cross-country skiing, and kayaking with his wife, Joyce. Joyce and Bill’s children will cherish the many trips to national parks that they had together and only wish they could have had many more. He relished his new role as “Pop-pops” to 3 grandchildren, making funny faces, taking them to the library, and passing along his love of birds and nature.

Bill was often quiet and unassuming, although to his closest friends and family, he was also known for laughing and joking around. Whether you were a long-time friend or a new neighbor, you could always count on him to pitch in where needed.

He is predeceased by his parents John and Dorothy Jonat and a sister, Nancy Fischer.

In addition to his wife of 38 years, Bill is survived by his son Phil Jonat and wife Renee, daughter Dr. Alana Jonat and husband Phil Wilkes, sister Dottie Byer, and three grandchildren, Booker, Brynn, and Ascher.

Due to COVID-19 requirements, a small, family-only memorial service will be held on July 15th at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Somerville. Arrangements by Bruce C VanArsdale Funeral Home, Somerville.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a contribution to Interfaith Hospitality Network of Somerset County, https://www.ihnsc.org/, 98 W. End Ave, Somerville, NJ 08876. To send condolences to the family, please visit www.brucecvanarsdalefuneralhome.com.

11am Livestream of Private Memorial Service: www.facebook.com/GoodShepherdLutheranChurchSomervilleNJ

1pm Zoom Gathering for Prayer and Story-Sharing:

Call-in Number: 1-929-205-6099
Meeting ID: 835 8443 8300
Password: 742773




Good Shepherd Lutheran Church
300 Union Ave
Somerville, NJ US 08876
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
11:00 AM


111 North Gaston Avenue      Somerville, New Jersey 08876      908-725-3111       
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