Obituary of Gerald Albert Small
After a long, slow decline in health, Gerald passed away surrounded by his family on June 17, 2020 at the age of 84. Gerald will be remembered for his quiet stoicism, his gentle kindness, his thirst for knowledge, his love of nature, his unyielding faith, his inspirational dedication to all his pursuits, and his undying devotion to his family. He will be dearly missed.
Born on July 22, 1935 in Bruno, Saskatchewan, Gerald grew up on the family homestead. He displayed his signature work ethic from a young age, attending school at the local one-room schoolhouse and assisting his parents with farm work - foregoing the classroom as required during planting and harvest time. Gerald was the first of his family to attend university, studying at the University of Saskatchewan, Saint Thomas More College. It was there that he met his future wife, Doreen (née Kortje).
After obtaining degrees with distinction in Arts and Education, Gerald began his 30-year tenure in the Regina Separate School System, predominantly as school principal. A lifelong learner, Gerald went on to attain his master’s degree in Education. Gerald cherished his role as an educator and a promoter of Catholic values.
As a devout Catholic, Gerald was a proud member of the Knights of Columbus and former Grand Knight, a church lector, and a tutor for catechism classes.
Gerald’s other passions included flying, running, and travelling with his family.
In part to pay for his education, Gerald became a navigator in the Royal Canadian Armed Forces. He later pursued his private pilot’s licence and, never one to do anything halfway, he went on to obtain his certification as a commercial pilot. Gerald’s children and their friends relished the chance to accompany him whenever he took to the sky.
As an avid runner and a relentless goal-setter, Gerald achieved his remarkable goal of running 30,000 miles in 30 years. Running was his meditation, and he made it even more deeply spiritual by reciting the rosary on his daily runs.
Gerald made excellent use of his summers off, RVing with his family across Canada and throughout the United States. His family has many fond memories of these trips which were a well-balanced mix of educational sites and pure entertainment
Gerald was predeceased by his father, Victor Smolkowski; mother, Bertha (née Schulzke); and brother, Alvin. He is survived by his devoted wife of nearly 59 years, Doreen; his adoring children, Robert, CindyMarie (Lorne), and LoriAnn; his grandchildren, Botswana, Amanda (Victor), and Andrew; his siblings, Darlene and Wil; and numerous nieces and nephews.
We wish to thank the staff at Wascana Rehab and the General Hospital for the care shown to Gerald and his family.
Due to COVID restrictions, a private funeral service with limited seating will be held on Tuesday, June 23, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. Please contact a family member if you wish to be added to the guest list. Please also note the information highlighted above regarding the option of attending remotely via live-stream.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to a charity of your choosing.