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Jerry Gerrit Baljeu

  • 08 Dec 2021 11:12 AM
    Message # 12177530
    Daniel (Administrator)

    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 famjily emigrated to Canada in 1951 and he has lived in Sarnia since. Predeceased by his parents, Johanna (Koomneef 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 grandsons 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 48 year 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 in 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 Glentleman'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 Emst 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.

The Canadian Vintage Motorcycle Group (CVMG) is a not-for-profit organization aimed at promoting the use, restoration and interest in older motorcycles and those of historic interest.

The Canadian Vintage Motorcycle Group (CVMG) is a not-for-profit organization aimed at promoting the use, restoration and interest in older motorcycles and those of historic interest.

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