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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
    Following Funeral Mass

Donations

Donations are being accepted for: ALS Canada.

Condolences

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Private Condolence
LC

Laird Cowell

Posted at 10:25am
Lillian,We send our condolences from Sault Ste. Marie where Jerry began his teaching career. I have fond memories of Jerry's support for me as a beginning teacher in the Soo. We shared rides up to Timmins to be with families during school breaks and really enjoyed his company.Our thoughts are with you and your family.

Susan Olijnyk

Posted at 09:34am
Dear Mary and family,
Please accept my heartfelt condolences on the passing of your brother, Jerry. May God give you comfort and peace at this difficult time.
With sympathy, Sue Olijnyk
RF

Rolly Fobert

Posted at 08:06am
Dear Lillian & family,
Please accept my deepest sympathy with the passing of Jerry. He was a great support and friend while we were together at Metro Separate. The world has lost a wonderful person.
Lots of love and God bless,
Rolly Fobert
PS Unable to attend the service as I am due to begin radiation therapy for lung cancer.
CJ

Catherine, Mike Jennings

Posted at 07:40pm
Lillian and all the family, Mike and I are missing being with you during this part of your and Jerry’s journey. Our hearts go out to you for the loss of such a fine man. Jerry went peacefully, after such an exemplary struggle with his illness and your loving devotion to him. Marnie, Brian, Matt, Sara and Luke; he will always be looking out for you as he did when he was here. His example will help you every day. We have so many wonderful memories of being a part of his family. Love and Prayers Mike and Cathy
JG

John Girolami

Posted at 01:56pm
Our condolences to Lillian and her family. Jerry was a wonderful man. His dedication and service to his community and family will always inspire us.
Deacon John and Virginia Girolami
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