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55 Charing Cross Street
Brantford, ON N3R 2H4
Phone: 519-753-8655
Fax: 519-753-1195
Gerald Hanselman

Gerald Hanselman

Wednesday, March 9th, 1932 - Thursday, April 29th, 2021
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Obituary

Peacefully at St. Joseph’s Lifecare Centre on Thurs, April 29, 2021 at the age of 89, Jerry was the beloved husband of 65 years to Mary (Pottie) who resides at Amber Lea Retirement Home in Brantford.

Jerry was the loving father to Nancy (Peter DePodesta) of Brantford and Trish (Michael Browne) of Mississauga. He was grandfather to Shaun and Sabrina Savoy of Beeton, ON and great-grandfather to their children Gwendalyn and Emrys; Justin and Michelle DePodesta of Sydney, NS and great-grandfather to their children Katelyn and Anthony; Andrew DePodesta of Hamilton, ON and great-grandfather to his son Niko. Jerry is also survived by several nieces and nephews with special mention for Glenn (MaryAnne) and Darlene Hanselman.

Jerry was predeceased by his brothers Donald (Jim) and his wife Marilyn and Ronald Hanselman; his beloved parents Louise (Strickland) and John. Special mention to his Aunt Myn (Bodfish) who we all loved beyond words.

Jerry served in the Royal Canadian Navy on the HMCS Haida in 1952 and 1953 on her first tour during the Korean War as a cook in the main galley and officer’s galley. HMCS Haida is a Tribal-class destroyer and is the only surviving Tribal-class destroyer out of 27 vessels constructed for the Royal Canadian Navy. The Haida sank more enemy tonnage than any other Canadian warship and as such is commonly referred to as the “Fightingest Ship in the Royal Canadian Navy”. As a result, the HMCS Haida is the Royal Canadian Navy’s most famous ship, has been designated a National Historic Site of Canada and now proudly rests in Hamilton, ON as a museum ship. Jerry was extremely proud of his life and service in the navy.

When Jerry joined the navy, he trained at the Canadian Forces Base Cornwallis in Deep Brook, Nova Scotia. During this time, he met a girl named Mary and the rest is history.

Mary was born in L’Ardoise, Cape Breton Island, NS and was working in Halifax as a switchboard operator at The Lord Nelson Hotel when she met a boy named Jerry through a fellow navy-mate. They were married on May 21, 1955 at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Halifax, NS and spent their honeymoon night at The Nova Scotian Hotel. Ironically, when Trish and Michael stayed in Halifax in 2019, they stayed at the same hotel unknowingly. Trish found the hotel receipt with some old photos, and it was quite a surprise (not as much as seeing the cost of the hotel room that night which was $11.00).

Jerry and Mary lived in Halifax, had a baby girl named Nancy and decided to move their new family to Ontario. They travelled by Via Rail to Brantford where they had another daughter Trish and where they lived the remainder of their lives.

Jerry always held a special place in his heart for “down east” and as a family, many summer vacations were spent driving to Cape Breton. Jerry and Mary continued to vacation there over the years as well as spending time in Vancouver and other destinations.

Jerry worked at Gates Rubber Canada as a shipper/receiver for most of his working life in Brantford where he retired. During this time, he was an excellent 5-pin bowler and played in bowling leagues for many years. He could definitely throw a good spinner.

He also loved going to wresting matches and when baby-sitting Trish, she often had to tag along to those matches which has remained a funny thing all these years later. Nancy was fortunate to have missed all that fun. This was not as funny as how Jerry ‘loved’ the Toronto Maple Leafs for so many years and then ‘pretended’ that he no longer cared, but we know he did.

Jerry’s biggest passion in life after the navy, was his love for Drum and Bugle Corps. It likely started by his love for military bands and he started to follow Drum Corps in Ontario at parades and shows. Nothing made Jerry happier than to travel far and wide to see a Drum Corps show.

When it was time to get his girls involved, Nancy joined St. John’s Girls Drum Corps. It was a proud day for our father when Nancy was appointed Drum Major. If you wanted to see a man with a huge smile, it was when his little girl was leading an amazing group of girls doing his favorite thing. When Trish was old enough, she also joined St. John’s and this organization became one of the most important things in our lives for several years. Jerry loved many other drum corps including De La Salle Cadets, Oakland Crusaders, Toronto Optimists and of course St. John’s all of which many friends were a part of.

Reflecting on our father’s life has been a wonderful walk down memory lane. He was a quiet, reserved man with an infectious smile and a very funny sense of humour. We all have so many “Mary and Jerry” stories, it will be part of his legacy. They had a lot of fun together and after 65 years of marriage, there is nothing but respect for that.

Our mother, Nancy and Trish would like to thank him for being a wonderful husband and father, we will see him on the other side and in military and Drum Corps style salute him!! Love you Hon. Love you Dad. Xo

Thank you to the wonderful staff at Participation House and St. Joseph’s Lifecare who took such amazing care of Jerry.

Thank you to Hugh M. Devereux at Toll Funeral Home who handled our father’s final arrangements, a gentleman who our father respected.

“In Memoriam” donations can be made to “Friends of HMCS Haida” at CanadaHelps.org. “Friends of HMCS Haida” is a registered charity formed to work with Parks Canada to assist in the preservation and maintenance of HMCS Haida as a historic ship, naval memorial and a national historic site. They receive no government funding and rely entirely on memberships and donations for Canadians who believe that preserving Canadas naval history and heritage is important.
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MM

Michelle Monarch

Posted at 04:43pm
Dear Mary,Nancy and Patricia.
I am so sorry to hear about Jerrys passing. Mary,Jerry and my mom and dad were great friends for many years. Please know that you are in my thoughts and prayers.

Love Michelle
GH

glenn hanselman

Posted at 01:28pm
Dear Aunt Mary, Nancy and Patricia,
I have a lot of fond memories of Uncle Jerry . Whenever anyone he knew, including myself, entered a room, he always provided a pleasant greeting which touched the lives of so many. Initially, he was quiet at first but with a twinkle in his eye, he would add a comment or a reaction that would add to the laughter in a room. The times we all shared at Aunt Myn's were precious. His sense of humor was unique and unparalleled.

He was a wonderful cook and I was fortunate to enjoy the fruits of his skill in the kitchen. His specialty log cabin potatoes were absolutely amazing. Each time I prepare his recipe, I think of him. I bet his Navy comrades fully enjoyed the meals prepared by him so caringly in the galley.

When I was a youngster, I would walk by his ship docked at Ontario Place and imagine him walking the decks.

Aunt Mary, I am so thankful to you for calling my Dad on the phone so many times and never giving up on him even though he rarely answered the phone. Also, Uncle Jerry and yourself having my Dad, Jason and Darlene over to your apartment for a meal was so nice of you.

As he was the last of the 3 brothers, I am saddened once again.

Love Glenn
SK

Sue Kieswetter

Posted at 09:47pm
Mary, Trish, Nancy and the entire family I send my condolences and much love. I have such fond memories of both your parents and I will never forget how much I looked forward to their visits. Your parent's Sunday afternoon drives to Waterloo bearing boxes of sugary treats that Mary had baked was a highlight of our 4th year at WLU. Your parents would hand me my very own box of treats with a warning, "now Sue don't eat Trish's treats, you have your own", their warnings fell on deaf ears.

After we graduated from WLU your parents would visit us in Toronto when we lived in the Beaches, it took them 2 hours to drive from Brantford to Toronto because Jerry would take Dundas Street all the way, refusing to drive the highway but being quite content with the long drive, never complaining, just smiling and nodding when we teased him about it. I remember one visit to Toronto where my family and your family visited us in the Beaches and we enjoyed a wonderful afternoon together talking and laughing.

Years later I would drop by for Christmas or summer visits at Nancy's house and I just loved the sheer joy your parents always expressed when seeing me. It was wonderful catching up with them and just being in their presence.

Harry loved your parents too and he looked forward to seeing them at their apartment in Brantford. This is where Jerry would tease me and say "that girl can talk and she says unbelievable more than anyone I know", Jerry was not wrong.

People spend lifetimes chasing "things" which never make them happy, your parents were happy and did not have a lot of "things". Their joy came from their beautiful relationships with each other and their family members, especially Nancy and Trish. I am so grateful to have had Jerry and Mary in my life.

Until we meet again Jerry. Sending tonnes of love.

Sue Kieswetter
DD

Dalbert and Aldona Dawson

Posted at 08:52pm
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Family.
What a beautiful tribute to Jerry.
With sympathy and love,
Your Friends from St. Basils.
Dalbert and Aldona Dawson
AG

Allison Greer

Posted at 08:57am
Dear Mary, Nancy, Peter, Trish, Mike, Shaun and all the other members of the Hanselman family;

Death leaves a heartache, no one can heal;
Love leaves a memory, no one can steal.
(from an Irish headstone)

May you all enjoy and continue to find peace and happiness in sharing and reflecting stories about Jerry. You were all blessed to have an amazing husband, father, grandfather and man in your life. Thinking of you with deepest sympathy from across the pond, Allie and Bernd xox
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