Nature 33

Gerald Alfred Saretsky

April 5, 1947 ~ June 12, 2020 (age 73)


Gerald Alfred Saretsky, 73 of Burr Saskatchewan passed away peacefully June 12th, 2020 with his wife Marie by his side (in Humboldt).

Jerry was born April 5th, 1947 to Alfred and Clara (Merkosky) Saretsky.  He was the oldest of six children.  Trudy, Brian, Grant, Sandy and Warren. 

Growing up on a farm set his path in life. Milking cows at 7 am, after rounding them up from the pasture was a daily experience as a young child and set his future as a farmer.

He learned the building trade by crafting granaries from recycled boards. He helped his dad build the red hip-roof barn. The lumber came from the old house, waste not, want not.  Stone picking, stump removal, hauling water, harvest, seeding, fencing, were part of daily farm life, the work was never done. He also helped at his uncle Charlie's farm too. 

His first educational experience was at a one-room schoolhouse called WillowRidge in Burr. Getting an education in rural Saskatchewan took determination, he was driven to school in a caboose, and if it flooded, he had to get there across a slough on a raft. After this, he attended the St. Peter's College for grades nine and ten, and finished high school at the Humboldt Collegiate Institute. From there, he went to the University of Saskatchewan, receiving a Bachelor of Education degree. 

His first teaching job was in Rosetown, but the lure of the north and sense of adventure soon found him teaching at St. Pat's high school in Yellowknife, NWT. He taught school by day and played sports at night. He played goalie for the Yellowknife Chalkdusters, he pitched for the teacher's ball team, curling, gym night, cross-country skiing, badminton, and volleyball kept him busy. For a man with typical Saretsky height, he sure had an impressive vertical jump!

Jerry coached many school teams and took a girl's volleyball team to the Arctic Winter Games, in Whitehorse where they won gold. 

He also shone on the acting stage, taking on the role of a Cossack Dane in Fiddler on the Roof and playing Bill Sykes in Oliver Twist.

Jerry met Marie Pogue in Yellowknife, and they married in 1974. The local band serenaded the happy couple outside with church with a rendition of "There'll Be a Hot Time in the Old Town Tonight". After five years in Yellowknife, Jerry returned to the U of S for his B.A. and then it was back to the North. After the trip back to Yellowknife, their first child Lanny David was born.

Being a man of the land, Jerry felt the pull to return to the prairies - grain was selling at a high price. They built a new house and the farmyard was visited by people from far and wide. Jerry and Marie were celebrated hosts who enjoyed hosting events like family reunions, neighbourhood get-togethers and travelling organic farm workers from all over the world called WOOFERS. Marie and Jerry were always interested in different cultures and were great Canadian ambassadors. They also travelled the world enjoying the sights, food and beer in many places including South Korea, Hong Kong, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Mexico, Panama, Turkey, Holland, Myanmar, Cambodia and Thailand. 

He was always interested in politics and served on the RM of Wolverine as a counsellor. Being community-minded, he served on the Teacher's Credit Union Board in Yellowknife, the St. Mary's Villa Board in Humboldt, coached his son's hockey teams, and was the celebrant at the RM of Wolverine Centennial. 

Jerry was predeceased by his father, Alfred, and his brother, Brian. He is survived by his wife Marie, his mother Clara, son Lanny (Jungmi Lee) Lara (Jamie Kingston) Mike (Katrina) and Kate (Miles Meili). Jerry is remembered dearly by his grandchildren Violet, Simon, Luc, Leon, Gemma, Juniper, and Piper.

A Private Interment has taken place.

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Humboldt & District Food Bank
901 -5th Avenue (Box 2021 Humboldt), Humboldt SK S0K 2A0
Tel: 1-306-231-9970

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