- — A memorial service will be held Saturday for Gerald ‘Gerry’ L. Surrena of Hermitage. He passed away at 5:23 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 13, 2013, in Pittsburgh after losing a battle with a rare form of cancer, Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia. He was 83.
Mr. Surrena was born in 1930 in Sharon, a son of Leonard F. and P. Ethel Taylor Surrena.
He spent his entire life in the Shenango Valley and surrounding areas.
After graduating from Hickory High School in 1948, he worked until his retirement for the former Sharon Transformer Division of Westinghouse Electric Corp.
Gerry was formerly married to S. Geraldine Sloas and on Nov. 21, 1970, married the former Carol Goleb; together they built a life.
Gerald enjoyed simple pleasures such as teaching his kids to swim, family picnics, watching wildlife in the yard and playing cards and board games, particularly with the grandkids and nieces and nephews.
Buhl Park was a favorite place to walk and relax. He also enjoyed boating whether it was in an old canoe or his houseboat and road trips to visit family and motorcycling. Gerald and Carol would ride many miles to find the perfect spot just to watch the sun set.
The family used to joke that Gerald’s conversations were limited to about five topics: Pittsburgh Pirates and Steelers, his old boat, his lawn mower which he was continuously “fixing,” discussing card games in infinitesimal detail and his large, continually growing family.
Each child, grandchild and great-grandchild was a tremendous source of pride even though most of them lived far away, a fact that he deeply regretted. He always enjoyed hearing about their lives, whether by a phone call or e-mail and if a picture was attached, it was even better. He was extremely proud of all of them. He particularly enjoyed his little buddy, Logan, with whom he spent a great deal of time riding scooters, doing yard work and just hanging out.
In his younger, healthier years, Gerald enjoyed membership in various social clubs throughout the valley and Grove City, and recently received a certificate for 50 years of service in the fraternity, Free and Accepted Masons Lodge 517, Sharpsville.
He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, with whom he was very close, Randall E. Surrena and Roger Surrena.
Gerald is survived by his wife, Carol; five daughters, Gail Surrena, Wasilla, Alaska; Pam Garmon, Dixon, Ill.; Teresa and her husband Mathew Stees, Godfrey, Ill..; Denise and her husband Mark Steffens, Quincy, Fla.; and Jennifer Surrena-MacDonald and her husband Michael, Columbia Station, Ohio; and two sons, Harvey Surrena and his wife Miros, Bonners Ferry, Idaho; and Jeff Surrena, Scotland, Ariz.
He is also survived by the following grandchildren: Sgt. Michael Moody Jr., Fort Hood, Texas; Jeremy Moody, Big Lake, Alaska; Leonard and Jeffrey Surrena; and Chad Steffens and Josh Garmon, all Dixon; Nicole Surrena, Boston; Ben Garmon, Sheboygan, Wis.; Morgan Surrena, California; Sara Surrena, Aurora, Colo.; Lance Cpl. Matthew Surrena, serving in Afghanistan; Gerri Stees, Godfrey; Danielle and her husband Brandon Kamp, Alton, Ill.; Jessica and her husband Tyler Gibler, Rock Falls, Ill.; and Logan MacDonald, Columbia Station.
He is also survived by 15 great-grandchildren and was looking forward to the one on the way and also leaves several nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to American Cancer Society or the Lymphoma Research Foundation for research in Waldenstrom’s Macroglobulinemia, 115 Broadway, Suite 1301, New York, NY 10006.
Gerald ‘Gerry’ L., 83, Hermitage.
Calling hours: 10 a.m. to time of service Saturday (10-19-13) in JOHN FLYNN FUNERAL HOME & CREMATORY Inc., 2630 E. State St., Hermitage. Friends may sign a guestbook at www.flynnfuneralhome.com
Service: Memorial service for family and friends at 11 a.m. Saturday in the funeral home chapel with the Rev. C. Charles Eckles officiating.