Gerald A. Leary
It is with a tremendous sadness and broken hearts that the family of Gerald A. Leary, “Jerry” , born February 13, 1956, announces his passing on January 20, 2023, at age 66.
Jerry passed away quickly after an advanced cancer diagnosis with his granddaughter, Lauren, her significant other, Nick, and former daughter-in-law, Lisa, at his side.
Jerry leaves behind his former wife, Peggy, two stepsons Mark (Lisa Corsica) Belchik, all of Valparaiso, IN; Matt (Chris) Belchik, of South Carolina; granddaughter, Lauren (Nick Clark) Belchik of Grand Rapids, Michigan, many friends, and two cats, Wendy and Sarah. He is preceded in death by his mother, Gladys Hill.
Jerry was born in Gary, IN, and received a degree of completion from Portage Adult Ed. He proudly served his country with theUS Air Force in the mid 1970’s after which he spent time inDaytona Beach, Florida. He recalled this time as the best and worst days of his young adulthood that altered the course of his life when he decided to become sober, remaining so for 41 years. Jerry went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Valparaiso University at the age of forty. Over the course of time, he worked for various agencies, including Opportunity Enterprises and Globe Star, aiming to improve the quality of lives for developmentally and physically challenged adults and children. Most recently he volunteered with the Special Olympics enjoying every moment with the bowling and corn hole teams. He held a special pride for his gold medalist and family friend, Courtney.
Jerry was a student and teacher of life, he never complained and was endlessly patient. He often expressed gratitude, offered inspiration and he never met a stranger his entire life. If he could leave final words, they would be, to give more than you take, a lot more.
Arrangements have been made at Bartholomew Funeral Home, 102 Monroe St. Valparaiso, IN 46383. Visitation is Tuesday, January 24, 2023, 4:00-6:30, service begins at 6:30. Dinner reception to follow at Gelsosomo’s Pizza in Valparaiso. Ashesscattered on Daytona Beach at a later date.