Jerry Alfred Salonek, age 60, of Montrose, passed away Tuesday, Dec. 31, 2019.
Mass of Christian Burial will take place Monday, Jan. 6 at 11 a.m. at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Watertown. There will be visitation Sunday afternoon, Jan. 5 from 4 to 8 p.m. in the church, with a 3:30 p.m. rosary service. Visitation will continue Monday from 10 to 11 a.m. in the church, prior to the Mass.
Arrangements are with the Iten Funeral Home, Delano and Watertown.
Jerry was a loving husband, father, grandfather, son, brother, uncle, and friend to many. Married to his wife of 38 years, father to three, and mostly, the “best papa ever.” His pride and joys were his seven grandsons, along with two step grandchildren.
Jerry always joked of his boys as his “rock pickers,” and took them on many Gator, Bobcat, and tractor rides.
His passion was farming. He loved working alongside his twin brother, John; milking cows, raising beef cattle, and raising crops. “The Salonek twins” had a very special bond together.
Jerry enjoyed tossing bean bags, playing euchre, spearing and pickling fish, and traveling with his beloved wife. He took pride in his work and all his accomplishments.
“Big Jer” had a big smile, a big heart, and big sense of humor. He often hid his pain deep within. Jerry will be remembered for his work ethic, sarcastic practical jokes, and hardworking big hands. Instead of focusing on the way he died, we need to embrace the way he lived. We need to encourage others to talk about depression and suicide, instead of hiding it due to embarrassment. Jerry will be missed by many.
He is survived by his wife, Bonnie (Lange) Salonek; children Nathan and Connie Salonek, Nick Salonek, and Brooke and Casey Dingels; parents Alfred and Elizabeth (Lachermeier) Salonek; siblings Diane and Gene Stensland, John and Lori Salonek, and Danny and Sharon Salonek.
He is further survived by his grandchildren: Will Salonek, Natalie and Chase Neumann, Hunter, Jack and Charlie Salonek, and Jarett, Cain and Tyson Dingels; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Jim and Brenda Neaton; as well as many nieces and nephews, extended family, and friends.
He was preceded in death by his brother, Bob Salonek; father-in-law and mother-in-law Melvin and Arlene Lange; brother-in-law Mark Lange; grandparents; and other relatives.