Gerald Wilson “Jerry”, CD, SSM, CPO1 (Ret’d) RCN – Age 85, of Halifax,
formerly of Bridgewater, passed away on Monday, July 16, 2018 in Camp Hill
Veteran’s Building, Halifax.
Born in Essex, Ontario, January 1, 1933, he
was a son of late Casper and Hazel (Armstrong) Sigrist.
Jerry began his working life as a seaman on
the Great Lakes Steamships in 1949. He enlisted in the Royal Canadian Navy
in 1951 serving until 1982 with a further four years with the Naval Reserves
retiring in 1986.
In 1958, shortly after his marriage to the love of his life Ruth (Delany),
they saw the first of two moves to England to serve with the British
Submarine Service. Jerry served on six submarines, five of them British, HMS
Excalibur, Explorer, Alderney, Talent and Tiptoe while on loan service with
the Royal Navy and subsequently commissioned and served on HMCS Okanagan
during 1968/69. He also commissioned HMCS Algonquin in 1953 serving on her
twice as well as HMCS Fort Erie. As a Radioman he served twice at CFS Mill
Cove, the second time as Operations Chief.
Jerry was a Charter Member of the Atlantic Chief’s and
PO’s Association, The Submariners Association of Canada both East and
Central Branches and many years a Royal Canadian Legion Member. He was the
founding President and Charter Member of the South Shore Naval Association,
serving a second term as President after the Association’s name change to
“Admiral Desmond Piers Naval Association”, as well as most other Executive
positions. He served several years on the Executive of the National
Association, the “Royal Canadian Naval Association” as Division Vice
President (Atlantic), Executive Secretary National, then elected to
Executive Vice President.
He was awarded the Canadian Forces Medal with two bars, the Special Service
Medal (NATO), The Canadian Centennial Medal in 1967 while serving in the
England and the Queen’s 60th Jubilee Medal. He also received the Minister of
Veterans Affairs Commendation.
In his early years of retirement and love of travelling found him on the
road a few months each year roaming the USA and Canada from Inuvik and
Alaska to Texas and Florida with most summers spent at the cottage and his
beloved gardens at Covey Lake, Lunenburg County before the move to
Bridgewater in 2007.
He is survived by daughter, Cathy, Bridgewater; and son, Michael and his
wife Noreen (Chaston), Dartmouth; son-in-law, Terry Rideout, Newfoundland.
Grandchildren, Amanda (Chris) St-Germain, Adam, Andrea (Tom) and Rebecca
Sigrist, and Matthew and Tyler Rideout. Great-grandchildren, Olivia, Hailey,
Rosalynn, and Cadence St-Germain, as well as Brayden and Avery Cavanagh.
Brother, Donald and his wife Betty of Windsor, Ontario and many nieces and
nephews in Ontario.
Jerry was predeceased by his parents and his beloved wife and best friend as
well as navigator and travelling companion for 55 years. He is also
predeceased by daughter, Carolyn (Rideout) and great-grandson, Wyatt (St-Germain).
By request, family flowers only. In lieu of flowers he had requested
donations made in his or Carolyn’s memory to the Lupus Society of Nova
Scotia or Multiple Sclerosis Society of Nova Scotia. A memorial service will
be held to celebrate Jerry’s life, 2 p.m., Friday, July 20 at Sweeny’s
Funeral Chapel, 35 York Street, Bridgewater with Father Alvin Westgate
officiating. Cremation has taken place and burial at sea will be at a later
date. Cathy and Mike would like to send a big thank you to all the
employees, volunteers and special visitors of the Camp Hill Vets Memorial
Hospital for all the “good times” and loving care they provided to Dad.