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Jerry Ponikvar

Jerry George Ponikvar

Friday, April 19th, 1940 - Friday, February 14th, 2020
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Obituary

Jerry Ponikvar
April 19, 1940- February 14, 2020

It is with profound sadness that we announce the loss of Jerry Ponikvar . Jerry died suddenly on the morning of February 14th, 2020 after a valiant battle with ALS.

Jerry was born in Timmins, Ontario to Lucija and Jernej Ponikvar. After graduating from O'Gorman High School, Jerry graduated from North Bay Teacher's College and began a prolific career that spanned 50 years in Catholic Education. This included roles as a teacher and Principal at the Sault Ste. Marie Catholic School Board (1958-1967), Professor at the Hamilton Teacher's College (1967-1978), Superintendent of Education at the Toronto Catholic District School Board (1978-1990), and Director of Education of the Hamilton Wentworth Catholic District School Board (1990-1995). Upon retirement, Jerry continued to be active in education, working as a faculty member at the Brock University Faculty of Education as well as with the EQAO, where he served as vice chairman. Jerry also found time to promote his Slovenian heritage, serving the Hamilton St. Joseph's Society as well as the Slovenian Congress.

Jerry will be greatly missed by his loving and dedicated wife of 56 years, Lillian, and his four children Ed (Sandra), Tony (Gabriella), Jerry "Mitch" (Julie), and Marnie Jennings (Brian) and 13 grandchildren (Nicholas, Philip, Willem, Cokie, Angela, Erik, Christopher, Matthew, Charlie, Jack, Laura, Sara, and Luke). Jerry is also survived by his sister, Mary DeSanti, and brother Fred (Marisela) as well as many nieces and nephews. He is predeceased by his brother John (Maria) and brother-in-law Tony DeSanti.

Jerry's life was rooted in his faith and family. As a devout Catholic, he made every effort to start each day with morning mass. Jerry was a superfan to his 13 grandchildren, making incredible efforts to cheer and support them. Before his health began to deteriorate, his voice resonated in all sporting venues and as his health failed, he continued, with the help of his wife to attend as many of their sporting events as possible.

We would like to recognize the incredible support of ALS Canada. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the ALS Society of Canada.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, February 18th, 2020 | 3:00pm - 5:00pm
    When
    Tuesday, February 18th, 2020 3:00pm - 5:00pm
    Location
    Smith's Funeral Home - Guelph Line
    Address
    1167 Guelph Line
    BURLINGTON, ON L7P 2S7
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Second Visitation

    Tuesday, February 18th, 2020 | 7:00pm - 9:00pm
    When
    Tuesday, February 18th, 2020 7:00pm - 9:00pm
    Location
    Smith's Funeral Home - Guelph Line
    Address
    1167 Guelph Line
    BURLINGTON, ON L7P 2S7
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Wednesday, February 19th, 2020 | 11:00am
    When
    Wednesday, February 19th, 2020 11:00am
    Location
    St. Raphael's Roman Catholic Church
    Address
    4072 New Street
    BURLINGTON, ON L7L 1S9
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Reception

    Location
    St. Raphael's Roman Catholic Church
    Address
    4072 New Street
    BURLINGTON, ON L7L 1S9
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Notes
    Following Funeral Mass

Donations

Donations are being accepted for: ALS Canada.

Condolences

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Private Condolence
SZ

Steve Zerebny

Posted at 12:24pm
Dear Lillian and family,
I was saddened to hear, recently, of Jerry's passing. We have lost a gentleman and a gentle man and it was an honour and privilege to teach along side him at the Teachers' College.
I admired his professionalism, his dedication to his students, his support for fellow staff but most of all his determination to master the intricacies of golf which eluded us both.
Please accept my sincere condolences.
I wish you peace that brings comfort, courage to face the trying days ahead and loving memories to hold in your hearts.
Steve Zerebny
DP

Darlene Ciuffetelli Parker

Posted at 10:28pm
It was a pleasure working alongside Jerry when I was hired at Brock University in 2005. We worked as cohort leaders and along with Tom Patti, Jerry coined us the three P’s. I miss those beginning years of my tenureship as an assistant professor. Thank you Jerry for your rigour and passion for education and for the stories you always shared. RIP
DD

Dana and Ivan Domsic

Posted at 09:49am
We send our sincerest condolences on the passing of Jerry. We met him through the tamburica music group, Lado. He was always a gentleman and very welcoming to us. His faith and his intellect always shone through the words he spoke and the way he treated us. It was always a pleasure being engaged in a friendly, down-to-earth conversation with Jerry and his kindness was much appreciated. May he rest in peace with God in heaven. May beautiful memories keep your hearts strong and thankful. Dana and Ivan Domsic
CM

Colleen McKim

Posted at 10:07pm
I am so sorry for your loss. I will remember Jerry as a fun loving and kind neighbour. He notarized my first passport to a lifetime of amazing travel experiences.
SH

Scott Hayes

Posted at 06:08pm
Tony and the Ponikvar family,
Sincere condolences to you on hearing of your father’s passing. May the many wonderful memories of him comfort you through the difficult days ahead. I can still hear him yelling in the Central arena stands when we won Minor Hockey Day!!
Take care
Scott and Jordan Hayes
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