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Gerald Horazuk, 80

Gerald “Jerry” Vernon Horazuk passed away at home Sept. 12, 2021.

Jerry was born March 9, 1941 to Harry and Josephine (Alick) Horazuk in Minneapolis.

He was the third in a family of eight children. Jerry grew up on Harriet Ave. in Minneapolis, and attended West High School, until he enlisted in the US Air Force.

After boot camp, he was stationed at Loring Airforce Base, ME; Cape Lisburne, AK; and finally, Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, NM. He was honorably discharged Jan. 4, 1967. His service to his country wasn’t yet complete, because he joined the National Guard, where he served until he was honorably discharged May 20, 1976.

He took great pride in his service throughout his life and was a member of the American Legion.

After his time in the Air Force, Jerry returned to Minnesota, where he met the love of his life, JoEllen Anderson.

Jerry and JoEllen were united in marriage April 29, 1967. They made their home in Minneapolis, and welcomed son, Tim.

They bought their first house on St. Paul Ave. in Minneapolis, and added sons Dave and Joel to the family.

In 1979, they moved into their forever home in Loretto on Lake Sarah where they continued to raise their boys, and welcome their grandkids, and great-grandkids, and eventually enjoyed living their busy retired lives.

Jerry enjoyed camping with Jo in their 5th wheel, and traveling with friends. He was always game for jumping on a train or in a U-Haul. He will be greatly missed on the annual fishing trips he took to Canada and northern Minnesota.

Jerry started working as a 49er crane operator for B&S Crane Services. In 1973 he began working for Metro Transit as a bus driver. Shortly after, he moved into a dispatch position on the night shift. He worked his way to a district supervisor position where he stayed until he retired March 5, 2003.

He enjoyed his job, and liked telling stories of his time behind the wheel of his company car.

In 2007, Jerry and Jo became snowbirds, and began spending their winters in Mesa, AZ, where they made numerous friends, first on 8th Street, and then on 10th, when they purchased their park model.

Jerry enjoyed spending time with friends and family, who would come and watch him play his banjo on Sunday afternoons at Mesa Regal.

They loved hosting their family, taking them to Tortilla Flat, and the Mesa Market.

Jerry was diagnosed with esophageal cancer in May 2020. He fought with determination, always retaining his sense of humor. He never complained, always responding with “I’m good,” when asked how he was doing.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, JoEllen; sons: Tim (Kelli) Horazuk, Dave (Heather) Horazuk, and Joel (Becky) Horazuk; grandchildren: Cori (Dan) O’Reilley, Ryan Horazuk, Ally Horazuk, Blake Horazuk, and Maggie Horazuk; great- grandchildren: Gage O’Reilley and Emersyn O’Reilley; siblings: Roger (Sandy) Horazuk, Jeanne (Nick) Nickelson, Sharon McLaren, Doreen Drake; sister-in-law Jean (Larry) Winkelman; brother-in-law Jim Anderson; many nieces, nephews, and more friends than one can count.

Jerry was preceded in death by his parents, Harry and Josephine Horazuk; in-laws Henry and Julia Anderson; brother Jim (Darlene) Horazuk; sisters Audrey Adams and Kate (Colin) Emmerson; nephew Steve Horazuk; niece Lisa Horazuk; brothers-in-law Don Hofman and Pat McLaren; and sister-in-law Geraldine Anderson.

A memorial service honoring Jerry will take place at 11 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 2, at Christ Lutheran Church in Maple Plain.

A gathering of family and friends will take place one hour before the service. Lunch will be served following.

Inurnment will take place at a later date with military honors at Fort Snelling National Cemetery.

Arrangements are by the Iten Funeral Home in Delano.

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