The family of a North Patchogue woman who died earlier this week after a fire ignited inside her home gathered Friday to say farewell.
Kimberley Bonsignore, 54, a mother of three adult children, was laid to rest in upstate Putnam Valley, said her ex-husband, Edward Bonsignore, 52, of Mount Sinai.
“She was happy, energetic and outgoing, until the disease,” he said, referring to alcoholism. “It took over and it consumed her.”
Kimberley Bonsignore’s yearslong struggle with alcoholism ended her marriage in 2001, Edward Bonsignore said, and led a judge to award him custody of the children.
Being estranged from her sons, Jason, now 28, and Bradley, 22, and daughter, Kristy, 27, sent Kimberley Bonsignore deeper into her addiction and robbed her of all connections to them, said Edward Bonsignore, a lawyer and a retired NYPD lieutenant.
The last time Jason Bonsignore saw his mother was about seven years ago when he attempted to reconnect and get her help, but he said his mother continued to surround herself with people who enabled her to continue with her addiction.
“I never thought my mother didn’t love us. I just think she was having a problem loving herself,” Jason Bonsignore said. “She was, at her core, a good human."
On Monday, police and firefighters were summoned to Kimberley Bonsignore’s two-story, four-bedroom house on Sinn Street by one of her tenants who came home just before 1:30 a.m. and saw flames shooting inside after he opened the front door, according to police and fire officials.
The Suffolk County Medical Examiner’s office, according to Edward Bonsignore, told him that Kimberley Bonsignore’s body was found inside the first-floor bathroom.
Earlier this week Edward Bonsignore and Jason Bonsignore visited the house, where the family once called home.
“Everything in the bathroom melted,” Edward Bonsignore said.
Authorities also found the body of another resident, Brenda Richardson, 56, in the kitchen, also on the first floor. A tenant who lived in basement escaped unharmed, police said.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation and police on Friday reiterated that they believe it was “electrical in nature.”
Kimberley Bonsignore was buried Friday at Rose Hills Memorial Park in Putnam Valley.
She also was survived by her mother, Mary O'Boyle, of Denton, Texas, and her brother, Robert O'Boyle Jr., of Fort Worth, Texas. They declined to comment.
A message from a woman who called herself a friend and neighbor posted on Bonsignore’s online memory wall read: “I will always remember your kindhearted and good-natured spirit, your bright and bubbly personality and especially the fun times together. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Forever in my heart and finally at peace.”