Will Maerov, a rising senior in the College at Georgetown University, died June 2 in a plane crash off the coast of Long Island, which also took the lives of his grandparents, Bernard and Bonnie Krupinski, and the pilot Jon Dollard.
Maerov was from East Hampton, N.Y., majoring in government with minors in art history and French. He was 22.
Todd Olson, vice president for student affairs at Georgetown, and Rev. Mark Bosco, vice president for mission and ministry at Georgetown, confirmed the death of Maerov and his grandparents in an email to the Georgetown community June 5.
“We are deeply saddened by this news and know that it is difficult for the many members of the Georgetown community who knew Will,” Olson and Bosco wrote. Bernard Krupinski, Maerov’s grandfather, was known as a “builder to the stars,” having once worked on houses for Billy Joel and Martha Stewart.
He was flying in a small private plane with his wife Bonnie Krupinski and Maerov out to the Hamptons when the plane crashed into the ocean amid thunderstorm conditions about a mile off shore from Indian Wells Beach in Amagansett, N.Y.
Bernard and Bonnie Krupinski were 70, and Dollard was 47. Local police divers recovered three of the victims’ bodies. Authorities suspended the search Wednesday afternoon without finding Maerov, according to local media reports.
The National Transportation Safety Board has opened an investigation into the cause of the crash. Terry Williams, a spokesperson for the NTSB, told The New York Times this week that a preliminary report would be released within the next week or two, but the final report on the cause of the crash may not be available until much later.
“We’re in the very, very early stages of this investigation,” Williams said.
Georgetown hosted a liturgy in Gaston Hall on the morning of June 3 to pray for Maerov and his grandparents, as well as for family and friends in mourning. Time during the mass on Sunday night in Dahlgren Chapel was also dedicated to the Maerov and the Krupinski families, according to Olson and Bosco.
Olson and Bosco encouraged members of the community to offer support to those affected by the loss of Maerov and the Krupinskis.
“Please join us in keeping Will’s family and friends in your thoughts and prayers during this sad and difficult time,” they wrote in the campuswide email. “We are in touch with Will’s family and are offering any support we can provide at this difficult time. We encourage students, faculty and staff to reach out to one another and be supportive of our community.”
The wake for Maerov occurred the afternoon of June 7; funeral services for the Krupinskis took place the following day in East Hampton.
Peers of Maerov at Georgetown remember him for his ability to connect with others.
“His overwhelming empathy lent to his open mind, lack of judgment towards others and amazing talent at listening. He invested time in truly getting to know people, not just meeting individuals at a surface level,” Alice Collins (COL ’19) said.
Aiden McAleer (Col ’19) echoed this sentiment when recalling his time at Georgetown with Maerov.
“Willie was an old soul, deeply concerned about the feelings and well-being of everyone he came in contact with,” McAleer said.
Maerov’s grandparents are remembered for their generosity and philanthropy for the East Hampton community.
Paul Rickenbach Jr., the mayor of East Hampton, wrote in an email to The Hoya that the Krupinskis never forgot where they came from and always gave back to their hometowns.
“Benny and Bonnie were givers: of time, money and compassion. I have heard countless stories over the last few days about their quiet generosity,” Rickenbach wrote. “Both were bright individuals and their contributions will be sorely missed. The legacy they leave behind is one that any individual should hope to have one day.”
Rep. Lee Zeldin of New York’s 1st District, which contains East Hampton, wrote in a statement that the Krupinkis absence will be felt greatly by the town of East Hampton.
“They will be dearly missed by their family, friends, employees and neighbors who adored them, their vision, love of flying, entrepreneurship and devotion to the East End of Long Island,” Zeldin wrote.