Jerry Bolzak

Jerry Robert Bolzak Sr.

Tuesday, February 3rd, 1925 - Tuesday, November 10th, 2020
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Jerry R. Bolzak, aged 95, passed away peacefully in Ossining, NY on November 10, 2020. He was born Jerry Robert Zbikowski at home at 106 E 103rd Street, New York, NY on February 3, 1925, to Blanche (Piesowicz) and Walter Zbikowski, a master baker. His father assumed his good friend’s surname, Balcerak (Bolzak) and Jerry legally changed his name as well in 1956. He grew up in the Bronx, NY and while in elementary and high school he helped his family through hard times, first by shining shoes with a handcrafted shoeshine box and then at his favorite job as an usher at a movie theatre giving him the opportunity to see movies for free.
Jerry served with the Army-Air Force in WWII as a communications specialist at Fort Sam Houston in Texas from March 1944 to May 1946. While in service to the country, he received the American Theater Campaign Ribbon, Good Conduct medal and Victory Ribbon.
After his honorable discharge from the Army he worked for the government on Governor’s Island in New York harbor. It was there he met Violet, who brought him into her coffee klatch to make him feel welcome. He provided day old danish from his father’s bakery to her delight which led to their elopement on November 20, 1952.
Jerry attended Traffic School concentrating on logistics and landed an entry-level job with Sun Chemical Corporation. He retired as their Director of Transportation and Distribution after over 40 successful years with the company. He was asked to stay on as a consultant for their European operations for a period of three years. He and Violet resided in London and traveled extensively and enjoyed themselves immensely during those years.
Jerry and Violet raised three children, first in an apartment in Ozone Park, NY, then in a lovely home in River Vale, NJ where they lived for nearly fifty years. Jerry and Violet moved to Iowa City, IA in 2014 then to Arcadia, MI in 2017 to be cared for by their daughter, Lynn and her husband Roger. Upon Violet’s passing in December of 2019, he chose to move back to New York to be near his youngest child, Diane and her husband, Gary.
Jerry is survived by his three children: Jerry (Reva) Bolzak, Lynn (Roger) Brown and Diane Bolzak (Gary Telfer); four grandchildren: Emily Shortreed (partner Jarvis Hedge), Alex Bolzak, Will (Joan Wyatt) Brown, and Ted Brown (partner Lindsey Kuhn); great granddaughter River Violet Shortreed and great grandson Miles Robert Hedge; and several nieces, grandnieces, nephews and grandnephews.
Jerry is predeceased by his wife of 67 years, Violet, his parents, his brothers Ted (Mary) Zbikowski and Robert Zbikowski, and sister Irene Bonnici.
While Jerry achieved much success in his long and satisfying business career, he was most elated by being able to provide his wife and children a most comfortable and abundant life and the blessing of such a long life.
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