Bonnie Bistrian Krupinski, 70
Bonnie Bistrian Krupinski, a successful and influential East Hampton businesswoman, began her career as a secretary to her father, Peter Bistrian, in his mining and construction business, but her “obvious skill and tenacity” soon led her to assume direction of the Bistrian family’s varied enterprises, her brother Bruce Bistrian wrote.
Mrs. Krupinski died in a plane crash off Indian Wells Beach in Amagansett on June 2 along with her husband, Ben Krupinski, her grandson, William Maerov, and their pilot, Jon Dollard. They had been returning from visiting her granddaughter, Charlotte Maerov, at her school in Newport, R.I.
The Krupinskis were involved in a wide array of businesses and philanthropic endeavors, both together and individually. With her brother Barry Bistrian, Mrs. Krupinski co-managed the Bistrian Gravel and Bistrian Cement Corporation in East Hampton and the farming and real estate conglomerate established by their father. She developed the General Home Store, a mercantile operation in East Hampton Village, and was “an essential assistant to her husband” in managing a commercial enterprise that included three restaurants — the 1770 House, Cittanuova, and East Hampton Point — as well as shopping centers, two marinas, and numerous residential units, among other ventures.
“Known for her keen vision and wise counsel to family, friends, business associates, and public and governmental committees, she gave freely of her time and also of her financial support where needed and appropriate,” Bruce Bistrian wrote. Among the many organizations she supported were the East Hampton Ladies Village Improvement Society, the Amagansett Village Improvement Society, Guild Hall, the Amagansett Presbyterian Church, and the Amagansett Life-Saving and Coast Guard Station. She had also served on East Hampton Town’s airport management and advisory committee.
According to Bruce Bistrian, she was “the driving force in the successful development of the East Hampton Golf Club,” fulfilling a longtime dream of her father’s. The club, on Abraham’s Path, has a course designed by Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore, and now boasts “full membership,” her brother wrote.
Mrs. Krupinski shepherded her family’s gift of 16 acres of Napeague wetlands to New York State and helped to broker the sale of 11 acres of a reclaimed mining operation to East Hampton Town for conservation purposes, “while retaining 1.5 acres for exchange of properties with the Suffolk County Water Authority to provide ample water to supplement the inadequate water supply in eastern Amagansett,” according to her brother.
Bonnie Mae Bistrian was born on Aug. 26, 1947, at Southampton Hospital to Peter Bistrian and the former Mary Ryan, the fourth of six children. Her mother, who was of Scottish-English ancestry, named her Bonnie for her pleasant appearance, and Mae for a childhood friend. She attended the Amagansett School and the Sacred Heart Catholic School in Sag Harbor. She and Bernard Krupinski were high school sweethearts and married on Oct. 22, 1965. “They really loved each other,” said her sister Barbara Borg.
Mrs. Krupinski began college, but soon returned home to have her own child, Laura, and to help raise her younger sisters. She was a “trusted assistant and confidante to her mother,” Bruce Bistrian wrote.
After many years in Amagansett, the Krupinskis renovated a house on North Main Street in East Hampton Village, making it a showpiece for the work of Ben Krupinski Builders. They had a summer house overlooking Three Mile Harbor.
Mrs. Krupinski was a “superb party-giver,” her brother wrote, renowned for her annual birthday bashes at the East Hampton Golf Club, Bastille Day celebrations overlooking the fireworks on Three Mile Harbor, dinner parties at the house in East Hampton Village, and gatherings at the couple’s restaurants and winter house in North Palm Beach, Fla.
Mrs. Krupinski “had a wide circle of friends from many different stations of life and was noted and celebrated for maintaining friends from childhood” all the way through high school and beyond.
Her siblings Patrick Bistrian Jr. of Amagansett, Dr. Bruce Bistrian of Amagansett and Ipswich, Mass., Barry Bistrian of East Hampton, Barbara Borg of Amagansett and Jupiter, Fla., and Betsy Avallone of East Hampton all survive, as do her daughter, Laura Krupinski, her granddaughter, Charlotte, and many nieces and nephews.
A service for Mrs. Krupinski, her husband, and her grandson was held on Friday at the East Hampton Presbyterian Church.