This ol’ engineer reached the end of the tracks on Wednesday, June 23, 2021 at the Rainy River Health Centre. His ride began in Worthington Township (Sleeman, Ont.) on November 9, 1928.
Gerry was the first born to George and Mae Marchuk. He would be later joined by brothers Don, Dick, Dennis and Steven and sisters Phyllis Gagne and Sharon Marmus. All have predeceased him except Sharon (Bill) Marmus.
He was also predeceased by wife Vi; his good friend Verna Barsy; and granddaughter Shayna Marchuk (Derek & Beth).
Following in his father’s footsteps, Gerry (at age fourteen) hired on to the CNR B&B gangs. He would transfer to the running trades, where later he got the chance to work with his son Derek before he retired in 1989 as a locomotive engineer.
Gerry was united in marriage to Vi Waldenberger and they began their life together in Sleeman. They adopted sons Mark and Derek and ultimately became proud grandparents of several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
During his time in Sleeman Gerry owned a riverfront farm and engaged in raising and selling beef and hay.
Upon relocating to Rainy River, Gerry sold his interests in farming.
Gerry loved the land, the lake and fishing and hunting. He and six railroad buddies purchased lake property in Morson, Ont. and it became known as the “727” club. It was here that he earned the nickname “Moose.” On hunting drives, he pushed through bush making more noise than a moose, thus was born the nickname “Moose,” a name of which he became proud.
Gerry eventually became the sole owner of “727” where he enjoyed many years with his good friend Verna and his grandchildren.
Gerry was very active in the community always striving to make things better. He served as President of the Royal Canadian Legion Major Hughes Branch #54 for 21 years (second in time only to Major Hughes). During his tenure, the Legion relocated to its present location; spearheaded and donated substantially to the building of the new health centre; funded “The Rec Centre” in equipment and programs; supported youth programs in the area; and began a community involvement in parades etc. as well as strong partner relationship with our neighbouring Legion in Baudette, Minn. Gerry was a proud, confident and quiet leader.
Gerry also served on the “Rainy River Town Council” for many years striving to make Rainy River a better place to live. He was involved in the funding and creating of Heritage Square at the CN Station. Today it attracts many visitors to town and serves as a reminder of the significance of the railroad to the town and area.
Gerry is survived by sons Mark (Heather) and Derek (Beth); several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He is also survived by sister Sharon Marmus; many nieces, nephews and in-laws.
A graveside service was held on June 29, 2021 at Forest Lawn Cemetery in Rainy River.
In memory donations may be made in honour of his passion of community to the Town of Rainy River for the 4008 Heritage Square.
Thank you Gerry! Rest in peace, you deserve it!