Gerald John Kania, Sr.

6/1/1929 - 9/5/2023


Gerald J. Kania, Sr., affectionately known as Jerry or ‘the Count’, passed away on September 5 in Port Townsend, WA from natural causes.

Jerry was born August 1, 1929 in Hamtramck, MI, where he attended St. Ladislaus High School and his father, John, was the Fire Chief. Jerry then attended the University of Miami, Florida on a basketball scholarship; there he met his first wife, Lillian, with whom he had three children- Cynthia, Gerald Jr. aka Kip and Gregory. He worked at McKesson Chemical and then as a contractor with Corley Companies on Chicago area projects for many years. An avid golfer himself, several of these projects were some of the first golf course/condo communities in the area. Jerry continued to play basketball for fun and one of his favorite memories was playing pickup games against the Harlem Globetrotters. He went on to coach his sons and all their various sports teams, including basketball, baseball, football, and hockey.

In 1980 Jerry moved to California and married Sharon Chadwick; they lived in Palm Springs and Dana Point, CA before moving to Port Townsend. Jerry and Sharon spent many happy years travelling, playing tennis. and cruising on their boat, the Pez Vela. They also enjoyed the beauty of the Peninsula together and with their family.

Jerry was an outgoing, friendly, funny, and gregarious person, genuinely interested in whoever he met. He was the quintessential “people person” and delighted in hearing of the adventures and accomplishments of his children and grandchildren. Jerry was pre-deceased by his parents, John and Helen Kania, and son Gregory Kania. He is survived by his cherished wife, Sharon, children Cynthia, (Vincent Guastaferro), Gerald, Jr., (Hyun Soon Lee-Kania,) Cherie, and Chanel, 11 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren and 4 great-great grandchildren.


As his favorite shirt said, he was indeed- “Papa: the Man, the Myth, the Legend.”