It is with profound sadness that we announce the passing of Jerome “Jerry” Golka, peacefully and with his family by his side, on Wednesday January 6th, 2021.
Jerry was the beloved husband of 48 years to Margaret June (nee Bradley) and cherished dad of Trevor and Marsha. Baby brother of Marcella (the late Lorne Chippior) and John “Jack” (Ursula) Golka and predeceased by his parents John and Frances (nee Kuiack), brothers Edward and Wilfred “Pete” (the late Doreen) and sister Bernice “Berna” (the late Kenneth) Lorbetskie. Jerry was the fun -loving and proud uncle of many nieces and nephews and great nieces and great nephews, and a loyal friend to many.
Jerry, known affectionately by many in the valley as “Jerka”, was born and raised in Barry's Bay and held various jobs in the area while growing up. Eventually he moved to Kitchener for a short time before settling in Toronto where he worked at St. Michael's Hospital. While not knowing many people in Toronto Jerry would often go skating at City Hall but on one fateful night he decided to go to The Terrace where he ended up meeting the love of his life. As soon as he saw June he asked her to skate with him and they were inseparable from that night onward. Jerry and June later moved to Barry's Bay to raise their son Trevor and eventually welcome their daughter Marsha into their loving family. Jerry continued to live in Barry's Bay until February of 2017 when he moved to Groves Park Lodge in Renfrew to receive care for Parkinson's Disease and Lewy Body Dementia. June also relocated to Renfew and Jerry spent the rest of his days with his beloved by his side.
For 29 years Jerry worked as a Health Care Aide (PSW) at the Valley Manor and his choice in career was reflective of his personality. He was a people person through and through and could talk with anyone and everyone- he would go out of his way to make people feel welcome and to ensure that you always had a drink and something to eat. He was a generous man and gave without asking, and never expected something in return.
He always had a story to tell and especially loved sharing about his children and their accomplishments. Jerry had a gift for storytelling and would captivate many with his tall tales, narrating them so naturally he would often win trophies at Timberfest.
An avid fisherman, Jerry had many adventures with family and friends on local lakes, and even one solo ice-fishing trip where he unexpectedly spent the night on Bark Lake prompting a massive search party. He was a passionate gardener and when he wasn't volunteering with soccer or soft ball he loved to spend his summers outside tending to his many garden and flower beds and birdfeeders. In the winter he could be found helping out with the local hockey leagues or staying warm at home in his favourite chair reading the local newspapers while one of his beloved cats napped beside him. Most notably, Jerry was a devoted husband, a proud and loving father, and a dedicated brother. He taught us all the importance of family.
Jerry's family would like to extend their heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Lavigne and to the dedicated staff at Groves Park Lodge. He was cared for by many kindhearted and attentive staff during his time there, and his family were shown incredible compassion and empathy during Jerry's final days.
Due to Covid-19 a celebration of life will take place in Barry's Bay at a later date.
To send flowers to Jerome's family, please visit our floral store.
Groves Park Lodge
470 Raglan Street North, Renfrew ON K7V 1P5
4211 Yonge Street, Toronto ON M2P 2A9
Alzheimer Society of Ontario
20 Eglinton Avenue West, 16th Floor, Toronto ON M4R 1K8