Gerald Francis Domanik, 81 of Westerville, passed away peacefully Saturday, December 23, 2023.
Gerry was born in Youngstown Ohio on May 16, 1942. Gerry is a 1960 graduate of Chaney High School and a 1964 graduate of Youngstown State University. He met his loving wife Joan in grade school which led to a lifelong relationship and 59 years of marriage. Gerry and Joan relocated to Westerville in 1979 while Gerry was working with Ohio Bell Telephone. Gerry retired as a Senior Project Manager after 31 years from Lucent Technologies in 1999. Gerry then went on to enjoy a second “career “in volunteerism.
Gerry’s volunteer work began on the Shade Tree Commission in Westerville. Gerry would then go on to serve multiple terms on both the Board of Zoning Appeals and the Planning Commission contributing to the city’s growth and projects including the development of South State Street. Gerry also served on Police and Fire advisory boards in Westerville helping to bridge the gap between the community and city officials assisting in community relations, engagement and valuable resources needed to protect the city. He was an active supporter of Fire and Police Safety levies throughout his time. Gerry served for 28 years in support of the City of Westerville.
Gerry was an active volunteer with Therapy Dogs International. Gerry worked with two retired Champion Irish Setters – Killian and Trev – for more than 10 years. Gerry regularly visited the Village of Westerville Nursing and Assisted Living Facilities, Mt. Carmel St. Ann’s, and Lutheran Social Services. Gerry was known as the handler for the “big red dogs”. He was well known throughout these facilities by both the residents, patients, and staff. Gerry totaled over 2,500 visits throughout his volunteer career. His time with Killian was recognized by the city of Westerville in 2005.
Gerry’s first job was as a haberdasher in a men’s clothing store. He had the uncanny knack for picking out the best neckties. It was during this time that Gerry identified the qualities that would define his life. Gerry believed in an honest day’s work, being professional in both appearance and interactions, and an unwavering commitment to excellence. Gerry always said, “If it is worth doing, it is worth doing the right way”. He instilled these qualities in his family and his pursuit of hobbies. Gerry was an avid golfer and member of Blackhawk Golf Club achieving a single digit handicap at the peak of his playing days. Gerry also possessed a green thumb and was an avid gardener at home and at Suite 59 Hair Design where he maintained the property for his wife Joan. As in work, Gerry’s yard was as neat as his suits – pressed, tailored, and polished. He was the consummate professional. Gerry also enjoyed cooking and a “proper meal”, frequenting restaurants with Joan, throughout the city. Gerry was known as a regular at several establishments and appreciated by the staff he struck up friendships with. Gerry never met a stranger.
Gerry is survived by his wife of 59 years Joan, sons Craig and wife Shilla of Gallatin, TN and Chris and wife Beth of Westerville, his five grandchildren Gage, Donnie, Sophia, Nina, and Joseph, Dick and Linda Panda, Cousin Charlotte Kostelic, as well as nieces and close friends.
Rest peacefully Papa Bear. You will be missed in life but never forgotten.
There will be a private family service with interment at Blendon Central Cemetery. Donations in his memory can be made to CARE360 Hospice, 3455 Mill Run Dr Ste 100, Hilliard, OH 43026