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.