Gerald R. Vlasak

August 24, 1954 ‒ June 04, 2020

Powell, Ohio

Gerald (Jerry) Vlasak, 65, of Powell, passed away at his home. He was born to the late Ferdinand and Winnifred Vlasak. He married his wife, Chun, and she survives.

Other survivors include three brothers, Ken, Ed, and Leon and their spouses along with several cousins, nieces, and nephews.

Jerry had a passion for birdwatching and photography. He combined these two favorite hobbies on a regular basis. He also loved music and ballroom dancing. He excelled in both, playing many instruments. He was known for his commitment to his work, his quick wit, and his kind and compassionate spirit.

The family wishes to thank his friends and co-workers for all the support and assistance to Jerry.

A celebration of life visitation will be from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm, Tuesday, July 7, 2020 at The Snyder-Rodman Funeral Center, 101 Valleyside Drive, Delaware, OH 43015. To leave a condolence or to share a fond memory of Jerry, please visit www.snyderfuneralhomes.com.

  • I was saddened by the news of Jerry’s passing and extend my deepest condolences to Jerry’s immediate family members and friends!

    I have know Jerry for almost 35 years since we both worked in Delaware at Liebert Corporation. He was a good friend with many talents and we could talk on variety of topics on end. Since 2014, along with our mutual friend Gary Reichle, we made it a tradition of getting together at least once a year in view of my two hour drive distance to Delaware. I was looking forward to our next meeting when I heard this sad news especially since we had talked two weeks earlier and Jerry seemed to be optimistic to travel to Cleveland for bird watching.

    I am going to miss Jerry and our meetings. He was kind, gentle and intelligent with artistic talents and quick wit. May God bless his soul!

  • I worked at Liebert Delaware with Jerry for many years. In the past couple of years I got to know him better through mutual colleagues at work – Darryl, Phil & Don when we would meet up with him for nature walks at Stratford Woods. I learned a lot about birds and bird watching from Jerry as well as other things of nature.

    Jerry was a gentle soul and didn’t complain about his personal battle. In fact, he handled it with a kind of dignity and grace that I can only hope I would have if I were placed in the same situation.

    I was blessed to get to know Jerry a little and I offer my condolences to his friends and family. He will be missed.

    Paul Porter

  • My condolences to the Jerry’s family and friends. It was quite a pleasure knowing and working with Jerry for the last 10+ years. I’d never met anyone with such a positive attitude.

    Jerry was like a walking dictionary when it came to birding. On our walks in the park, he’d hear a bird and quickly point us in the right direction to see it.

    Jerry will be dearly missed but always remembered.

    Darryl Brown

  • I have known Jerry for over 35 years. When I started working at Liebert in 1986 Jerry and I worked together on the ET project. He was very conservative which kept me grounded. We worked together on many projects. He was very knowledgeable and very thorough and I respected his work ethic. Since I retired we would meet for lunch once a year. Many times my wife and I would swing by his house on our Delaware motorcycle ride and sit and talk. Jerry will definitely be missed.

  • I have known Jerry for over 35 years. When I started working at Liebert in 1986 Jerry and I worked together on the ET project. He was very conservative which kept me grounded. We worked together on many projects. He was very knowledgeable and very thorough and I respected his work ethic. Since I retired we would meet for lunch once a year. Many times my wife and I would swing by his house on our Delaware motorcycle ride and sit and talk. Jerry will definitely be missed.

  • My condolences to the family, wife Chun, one of the first guys I met at Liebert,.. great memories working, talking of hobbies, BBQ expert, Birdwatching, Lunchtime at Liebert all the time … we always talked about food…. hamburger inn… dancing dude…Jerry will be always remembered in my book..comfort to the family..earth has no hurt heaven can’t heal..

  • The below statement was written by Jerry’s wife, Chun:

    My husband
    ——Gerald Robert Vlasak

    When I arrived at CMH Airport on June 14, 2020, my heart was in powerful sorrow. As I was walking hard toward the baggage claim, my tears burst out. Sadness shrouded me. I knew that I would miss a person who was my love, my husband Jerry, there.

    Jerry met me at the baggage claim every year when I came back to Ohio from China. But this time, he did not appear. Jerry passed away on June 1, 2020.

    Jerry had been battling cancer for many years. The last round of chemotherapy did not work well on Jerry, so he needed to start a third round of treatment. The new treatment was a powerful chemotherapy that can cause damage to the heart. Jerry had a health check on Monday (May 25, 2020) before he started the treatment. He told me that his heart was healthy and he was happy he would be able to do the powerful chemotherapy. But he also told me that his red cells were lower, and he needed to check his blood again on Monday (June 1, 2020).

    Jerry started the powerful chemotherapy on Wednesday (May 27, 2020). I talked with Jerry the next day, and he was happy that he survived such a powerful treatment.

    I called Jerry two times per day when I was in China. The last time I talked with Jerry was on the afternoon of June 1, 2020. We talked for around 26 minutes. Jerry had gotten his blood checked that morning at the clinic, and I asked him how he was feeling. He told me that he was dizzy. I asked him to take a rest for the afternoon, and he agreed. When I called him at 10:02pm, he did not answer my call.

    It is a difficult time for me.

    I met my love, Jerry, in April 2005 in Nanning, China. I moved to Ohio on November 21, 2006.

    Jerry was a good husband. After he married me, he took care of me and helped me adapt to our new life. The United States was a new world to me, I was curious about everything. Jerry had many hobbies that he shared with me: dancing, birdwatching, hiking, fishing, planting, cooking, etc. His hobbies affected me.

    I started learning about birding from Jerry in the spring of 2005. We visited many National Parks, State Parks, Metro Parks, and wetlands in Ohio, Florida, Texas, the province of Guangxi, China, and Belize. The Everglades National Park in Florida and Magee Marsh Wildlife Area in Ohio are two parks that are famous for bird watching. We visited the Everglades National Park many times and we visited Magee Marsh Wildlife Area every year. We saw many bird species of North America in these two parks.

    Besides birdwatching, Jerry and I enjoyed watching butterflies, insects, wildlife, mushrooms, wildflowers, and plants. We took a lot of pictures of them.

    Jerry taught me how to feed the birds, build birdhouses, and how to build brush piles for wildlife in our backyard. From these things, I learned the different habits of birds. I learned which birds like to eat sunflower seeds, suet, and which birds like grass seeds, and why having a lawn of dandelions is important for birds like goldfinches, white crowned sparrows, etc. Jerry told me that after white crowned sparrows have eaten the dandelion seeds, they go back to Canada in the spring time. Jerry’s knowledge about birds (such as his ability to separate many species of birds from their singing), infected me. I got many ideas from his curiosity about birds, and I started to try writing stories about birds in English in 2012. I participated in the Beginning in Ohio Writer’s Conference competition and won many times with the bird stories I wrote. My English teachers, Cheryl, Theresa, Viviane, and my husband Jerry gave me a lot of support for this program. I appreciate them.

    Jerry’s hobbies of birdwatching, liking wildlife, liking nature, and his inwardness of protecting birds impacted me a lot. His passions made me have a goal after I retired: I started a nature education program in a province of China for teenagers. Jerry supported me very much with this program and joined the work one time when he visited the province of China in 2013. We had planned to volunteer at the nature education program when Jerry retired. But after he retired, his health was so weak and he could not take the long trip.

    Jerry also liked to plant. We planted many species of flowers, bushes and trees in our backyard. Jerry still planted two bushes, beauty berry, last fall; four bushes, ilex berry poppins, many herbs, and vegetables like garlic, onion, sweet beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, hot peppers that he planted just for me this spring. He even got a small garden ready to plant some summer squashes.
    He still was hopeful for his life.

    Jerry opened a big door for me to learn about nature and how to protect the birds and the wildlife. His spirits are inside of me going forward.

    Jerry was a good dancer; I learned to dance from him too. Jerry was also a good cook. He knew that I did not like meat, so he always brought the nice seafood that I like to cook.

    Birdwatching, hiking, planting, and traveling were a part of our outdoor life, and watching the videos of nature, cooking, and dancing were a part of our indoor life. I very much miss doing them with Jerry.

    Jerry also taught me about many different cultures and practices in the US.

    Volunteering was a new concept to me when I arrived here in 2006. Jerry took me to volunteer at different institutions. In 2009, Jerry encouraged me to volunteer for SourcePoint where I still volunteer. Later, I also became a volunteer for Preservation Parks of Delaware.

    The practice of donations was a new concept for me too. Jerry donated to many institutions per year. Jerry bought land when he was young and had just started his work. He bought the land to save a habitat for the wildlife. He said that he would donate the land after he passed. He wrote the words in his will. He said to me, ”God created me whose mission will protect the wildlife.” Jerry lived in a small house, and his material life was so frugal, but I felt that he had a rich spiritual world in his heart.

    Beginning in 2019, I participated in OSU’s Program 60, where I took a course called Society and Natural Resources taught by Ph.D. student Clair Bullock. From that course I understood the theoretical basis and social significance of “Volunteer” and “Donation.” I appreciate Clair Bullock and Jerry who supported me participating in the Program 60 at OSU.

    I was a lucky person since I met Jerry 16 years ago. It changed my life that I like and enjoy.

    Jerry was a peaceful harbor to me. He gave me love, l learned new things, and I was able to try new things because I was safe in Jerry’s peaceful harbor. I learned language, cultures and education, understood different value views, etc, which was all a new way of life. I have lived this way for 14 years under Jerry’s care.

    I appreciate you Jerry, my husband.

    Jerry, you gave me a lot of care, but I did not reward you enough for caring. I had to come back to China to care for my parents almost every year. Especially in the past few years, you were so weak, and my parents were so much older, but you always encouraged me to come back to China to care for them. You had visited my father when he stayed in a hospital in 2017 and said goodbye to him. My father was so happy when he saw you. He was 98 then. I appreciate you, and my mother and my family appreciate you too.

    During the coronavirus outbreak, I had many ominous hunches; I worried about you every day. I asked you each day what food you ate per meal, if you wore a mask when you were shopping or went to the clinic, and if you washed your hands after you took in the mail. You had no immunity in your body.

    You only ate a little bit of food per day, you said that you did not feel hungry. You were losing weight, and it made me worry. I told you about my father’s experiences of how he ate food when he was weak and I hoped that would help you. I shared with you how to make a nice dip for helping you eat more chicken. You were interested in the dip recipe and said that you would try. I was happy to hear that.

    But it was late…

    I was supposed to return to the US in early April, but the coronavirus prevented me from returning back home on time. This created irreparable pain. The pain is hidden deep in my heart.

    I am so very sorry Jerry!

    “Hi Tom. I was just shopping the midnight TV clearances. The riots are terrible, not helping their cause. Not doing well. Feeling weak. I need transfusions this week. A kidney stent slipped. They both need to be replaced. I just started chemo #3. I am sure you are having more fun than me. Shipping the new PDUs? Hope everyone is well. Take care.”

    The above message is the last one Jerry sent. He sent the message to his co-worker Tom Dugan at 8:29 pm, June 1, 2020. From the message, it is clear that Jerry was a valued friend (Don Prouty said) to his co-workers and friends. He liked his job, he respected his co-workers and friends, and he was kind and thoughtful to them.

    Jerry shared his passion for nature, birds, and bird watching with his co-workers, friends, and his doctors. Co-worker Don Prouty wrote, “I miss trading birding stories with him. ” Jerry’s friend Pauy wrote, “I see a seagull soaring, I will see Jerry…” and Jerry’s doctor Pete Kourlas, M.D. wrote, “He inspired me to look closer at nature around me.”

    Jerry, my love, I miss you!
    You rest in peace,
    God bless you!
    Chun
    6-29-2020

  • It was very sad to hear Jerry passed away and give my deepest condolences to Jerry’s wife,my dear friend Chun.
    I have know Jerry for many years. Jerry was a nice gentle man. I am in New Zealand. It was always please to talk with Jerry on phone. We also shared photos of natural on line.
    Jerry loved plants and birds. He sent me many lovely photos of them. Jerry had a 50 years old potted plant of succulent pachypodium for 25 years and a plant of epiphyllump for 35 years. Jerry took care the plants very well and they are beautiful.
    Jerry you will be dearly missed.
    May Jerry rest in God’s love.

    Jueling