The honor guard stands ready to bear Lt. Joseph Theinert’s
casket at Our Lady of the Island cemetery on Shelter
An estimated 2,000 people gathered under and around a large tent on the Shelter Island School grounds today, Friday, June 11, to bid a final farewell to son, brother and friend, Joe Theinert.
The morning was cool and a gentle breeze fluttered the many flags surrounding the gathering. There were nearly as many people in uniform as in Sunday clothes as active military, veterans, fire and police department members came out in force to honor one who served.
Others were there to remember their high school friend with a big grin.
Those two themes ” that Joe was a selfless hero and that he was just a decent, hardworking, hard playing young man ” predominated the remembrances by his coach, Mike Mundy, and brothers Billy and Jimbo.
The funeral mass conducted by Father Peter DeSanctis, with an unexpected assist by Father Chris Cleary, formerly of St. Gabe’s Retreat House on Shelter Island, was followed by a burial with military honors. It featured a 21-gun salute, the playing of taps and a flyover by a police chopper and an Air National Guard helicopter.
In addition to active Army participation, the American Legion Mitchell Post presented the colors and marched in honor of the young soldier who would never be a veteran.