Jerry Gerrit Baljeu
July 21, 1938
October 12, 2021
The family of Jerry Baljeu wishes to announce the passing of Jerry Baljeu, 83,after a long struggle with Melanoma (skin) Cancer. Always the optimist, it finally beat him. Born in Holland, the family emigrated to Canada in 1951 and he has lived in Sarnia since. Predeceased by his parents, Johanna (Koornneef 2006) and Pieter (2009). He met his first wife, Diane Humble at the Tabs London Road Drive-in. She was a car-hop and according to her Mom, he was a 'bad' biker. They were married in'58 and had four children, Brenda, Jeffrey, Annette and Eric. Diane passed away in 1980 from medical complications and daughter Annette died in a tragic car accident in 1981. Survived by his own Florence Nightingale, true love, best friend, and soul mate Debra (Chaulk) who he met in 1988 and married in 2001 at the Sarnia Yacht Club's Green Space. It was a grand BYOB, Pot Luck Dinner and Dancing under the stars to an 'over-lubricated' band, down to Earth, event! Also survived are sisters Irene/Henk and Maria/Hans, brothers Pieter/Rita and Albert/Noreen, daughters Brenda/Richard, Tanya/Andy, Chantel/Trevor and sons Jeffrey/Debora and Eric/Ginette. Also second wife Carmen Baljeu (Pitt) and grand daughters Alyssa Baljeu, Brooklyn and Kylee and grand sons Tyler and Christian. Jerry started his working life as a Pin Setter at the National Bowling Alley, had 2 paper routes and became an appliance repair man (person ?) working at Lambton Appliances, Johnny's Warehouse and later Sarnia Hydro. He ventured on his own in 1968 by starting a wholesale motorcycle accessory aftermarket company called "Sport & Speed Supplies", later changed to DI-JER International (short for Diane-Jerry) which became famous for their "DI-JER MX Boots" supplying over 1100 dealers across Canada from a Sarnia warehouse and a second location in Quebec to serve the East Coast Markets. In 1973 he became the OSSA motorcycle Distributor (from Spain). However, in 1985, the CIBC wasn't happy charging 21% interest on a million dollar credit line and closed his business. (being polite here) In the meantime he had started to import sailboats from Taiwan with his new company, 'Gypsy Boat Works', followed with 'The Gypsy Carousel and Menagerie Co', wood carved imports from Thailand supplying the Marriott's Hotel Chain, with 200 reproduction Cigar Store Indians for their "Cheers Bars located around the world. Then he introduced the disastrous private labeled "Victory Inflatable's" from South Korea that finally broke him in more ways than one. He loved his sailboat 'Gitana del Mar', a Westsail 32 which he sailed to the Bahamas and back in the late 70sh, and was a 48year long member of the Sarnia Yacht Club and part of the "haul out" crew for many years.. An avid motorcyclist since the age of 15, he was well known in that industry and enjoyed riding his vintage 1980 Goldwing until very recently. In 1988 he co-founded the local chapter of the World-Wide "Hash House Harriers" (a drinking club with a running problem) and was known in the HHH 'circles' as "Gypsy". You might have seen him and Debbie back in 2011, early December, scouting out Sarnia's best decorated Christmas homes. They would place pins on a map, connect the dots and come up with a circular route that they called on their Facebook: Self-drive, self directed "Sarnia's Christmas Decorated Home Tours". Five years later, I-phones and I-pads availability made their circle tour obsolete and they deleted that webpage. Jerry felt honored and enjoyed for 3 years, being the host for Sarnia's "The Distinguished Gentleman's Ride" a annual world-wide motorcycle charity event to raise awareness for Prostate Research and Men's Health. Arrangements by McCormack Funeral home. Cremation has taken place and there will be no service or visiting hours although he regrets he will miss the rum swizzle party planned for him in the Summer, on the beach of the Sarnia Yacht Club during a glorious sunset. Special thanks go out to Dr. Robin Shearer and Dr. Scott Ernst of the London Cancer Clinic, Dr. Aaron Grant at the University Hospital and Dr. David Kim with the Sarnia St. Joseph's Hospice, Tom & Bonnie, George & Jackie, Jan/Frank, Terri & Jerry, Eric & Sarah, special friend Dick Rikken and Brother Al for the many rides to London. Kinder and more understanding people do not exist, we are so lucky to have them, ready for our calls and concerns. Donations please to the St. Joseph's Hospice, 475 Christina St. North, Sarnia, ON. N7T 5W3, will be most appreciated.
Visitation & Services
Masks are requested for entry to McCormack Funeral Home.
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To Debby & Family. Please accept our deepest sympathy on Jerry’s passing. We have many fond memories of Jerry and all the parties & music on the “green” of dock 4.
JIM & MAUREEN FRASER
Debbie I am so sorry to hear of Jerry's passing. I know he was the love of your life. Hugs my friend. ❤️
So sorry to hear of Jerry's passing Deb. So glad you guys were able to visit with us in Tobermory. Jerry was a great guy and lived a full and adventurous life. He will be missed by so many, especially you. 💗
AL AND JAYNE COLLIER
Very Sorry to hear of Jerry’s passing … he was a great guy , full of energy, an a very large generous heart … Jerry sponsored me when he had the Di-jer shop an went to some race weekends with us , those were some of the funniest wknds for sure … he will be very missed Godspeed Jerry
Debbie sorry for the loss of your husband you guys had many adventures and happy memories
Deb, so sorry to hear about Jerry. He certainly fought hard and long. RIP Jerry Thinking of you xo
PATSY HOULE MCGILL
My condolences to the family. So many accomplishments. Thanks to Jerry I have some great memories , The Gentlemens' Ride, the Bayfield Run that he organized, but the best memory of all was Jerry filling the gas tank of my first motorcycle , a 67 Ducati, in the back of Tony's Cycle world on Ontario Street. The bike is in pieces now but that gas tank is hanging from the ceiling of my shop and will be a constant reminder of Jerry.
I have known Gerry for many years from my motorcycle days. He will be missed, he was a great personality. Rest in peace.
Met Jerry through the running Hash Club and numerous times at the Yacht club where we always had good times together. I will miss you buddy. Dan Cochran and Run.
My sincere condolences to the family. Jerry was a great upbeat person and always a pleasure to meet on the various bike rides. May you ride in Peace.
Lee Ann Nickles
Debbie, I am sorry to hear about Jerry. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
So sorry for your loss. Jerry was a gentleman whom I am pleased to have known. Rest in peace Jerry.
So sad to hear the news about Jerry. He certainly gave it his best as he battled with his health challenges .
Bill@ Cathy Oke
Deb and family. We are so sorry to hear of Jerry passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Linda & Scott Fletcher
Dear Debbie and extended family Scott and I are saddened to hear of Uncle Jerry's passing. We know that you will miss him terribly into the days ahead. We will be keeping you all close in prayers for strength and peace. The months ahead will be hard but we know that he is free from his cancer and is at peace. We never did get that glass of wine on the balcony with him. Lots of love, Linda Fletcher (Niece)