It was Wednesday evening April 19, 2023 and Jerry was watching the Guardians battle the Tigers on the television and keeping his wife Joanne updated on the score through his shouts of enthusiasm. It was getting late in the game and Ramirez steps up to the plate and hits a three-run homer and the Guardians beat the Tigers 3 -2. It was the last game Jerry watched his beloved Guardians team play The Greatest National Pastime…Baseball, a sport he truly loved. He always wanted to engage in conversation with others about his team and the hope of what another season might bring.
With sadness and love both in our hearts, the family of Jerry Sankovich, 85, of Canton, Ohio announces his passing on Thursday, April 20, 2023. Despite Jerry’s battle with a serious medical condition in recent years, he came out a hero and stayed strong and fought so hard until the very end.
Jerry was born December 5, 1937 in Cleveland, Ohio to the late Walter and Anna (Ondruko) Sankovich. He was a member of Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church, The American Legion, Fraternal Order of Eagles 2370 and the Grand Lodge of F. & M. of Ohio William McKinley Lodge 431 and was a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason. Jerry served the country he loved so much in the branch of the Army, 27th Ordnance Battalion and he retired from The Timken Company. He was a master millwright who could complete any project with efficiency, pure craftsmanship and speed. If a project was unable to be figured out, Jerry was always called upon to solve the situation. Upon retirement, Jerry and Joanne were fortunate to live in Bonita Springs, Florida during the cold months we have in Ohio.
He is preceded in death by brothers Michael, Nick, George, Sam and sisters Amelia Mulligan and Dorothy Johnson.
Jerry married his most dedicated friend, confidant and love of his life Joanne (Habrun) on May 23, 1959 and God truly blessed them with 63 years of marriage. If you stopped at their home in Canton Township, many quiet evenings you would find them together on their swing (which Jerry made) as the sun set on the evening sky’s reminiscing about their many stops along life’s journey and how blessed they truly have been. He is also survived by daughter Michele Shaffer of Louisville, Ohio and son Steve (Penny) Sankovich of Scottsdale, Arizona; two grandsons Kyle (Megan) of Woods Cross, Utah and Eric (Ilana) of Austin, Texas. You could truly hear the pride in his voice when he spoke of his family and you knew that his heart was very full. He was so excited when his grandsons were born and the Sankovich named would be passed on. He also leaves behind brother Walter Jr. Sankovich, sister Mary (Jack) Kutz, sister-in-law Sharon Gronow, brother-in-law Damon (Gail) Habrun and many special nieces and nephews.
Jerry was known for his love for the Guardians and baseball which included coaching his son at one point, but he also loved to fish (boy did we hear the stories), restore his 32 Ford coupe with a rumble seat, tell jokes, take the boat out for a spin around the lake, keep a meticulous yard, cook (his home fries and grill creations were the best) and he was also known as one of the best welders around who could create or fix anything.
Visitation will be held Tuesday, April 25, 2023 from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. at Kreighbaum - Sanders Funeral Home with a Masonic service beginning at 4:00 p.m. Visitation will also be held from 10:30 -11:00 a.m. before the service which will be held Wednesday, April 26, 2023 at Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church 3828 Cleveland Ave SW. Jerry will be laid to rest at Melscheimer Cemetery with military honors.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Jude Children’s Hospital 501 St. Jude Place Memphis, TN 38105, Wounded Warrior Project P.O. Box 758516 Topeka, Kansas 66675 or Peace Lutheran Church 3828 Cleveland Ave. S.W. Canton, Ohio 44707.
Dad, you still can finish watching the Guardians play out their schedule every year, but the only difference will be you now have the BEST seat in the house. Cheer loud dad so we hear you down here. We love you and will miss you every single day.
Arrangements are entrusted to Kreighbaum - Sanders Funeral Home 4041 Cleveland Ave S. Canton, OH 44707. Friends and family may share condolences and memories online at www.sandersfuneralhomes.com