Obituary of Gerald Wilson Sigrist
SIGRIST, Gerald Wilson “Jerry”, CD, SSM, CPO1 (Ret’d) RCN – Age 85, of Halifax, formerly of Bridgewater, passed away on Monday, July 16, 2018 in Camp Hill Veteran’s Building, Halifax. Born in Essex, Ontario, January 1, 1933, he was a son of late Casper and Hazel (Armstrong) Sigrist. Jerry began his working life as a seaman on the Great Lakes Steamships in 1949. He enlisted in the Royal Canadian Navy in 1951 serving until 1982 with a further four years with the Naval Reserves retiring in 1986.
In 1958, shortly after his marriage to the love of his life Ruth (Delany), they saw the first of two moves to England to serve with the British Submarine Service. Jerry served on six submarines, five of them British, HMS Excalibur, Explorer, Alderney, Talent and Tiptoe while on loan service with the Royal Navy and subsequently commissioned and served on HMCS Okanagan during 1968/69. He also commissioned HMCS Algonquin in 1953 serving on her twice as well as HMCS Fort Erie. As a Radioman he served twice at CFS Mill Cove, the second time as Operations Chief.
Jerry was a Charter Member of the Atlantic Chief’s and PO’s Association, The Submariners Association of Canada both East and Central Branches and many years a Royal Canadian Legion Member. He was the founding President and Charter Member of the South Shore Naval Association, serving a second term as President after the Association’s name change to “Admiral Desmond Piers Naval Association”, as well as most other Executive positions. He served several years on the Executive of the National Association, the “Royal Canadian Naval Association” as Division Vice President (Atlantic), Executive Secretary National, then elected to Executive Vice President.
He was awarded the Canadian Forces Medal with two bars, the Special Service Medal (NATO), The Canadian Centennial Medal in 1967 while serving in the England and the Queen’s 60th Jubilee Medal. He also received the Minister of Veterans Affairs Commendation.
In his early years of retirement and love of travelling found him on the road a few months each year roaming the USA and Canada from Inuvik and Alaska to Texas and Florida with most summers spent at the cottage and his beloved gardens at Covey Lake, Lunenburg County before the move to Bridgewater in 2007.
He is survived by daughter, Cathy, Bridgewater; and son, Michael and his wife Noreen (Chaston), Dartmouth; son-in-law, Terry Rideout, Newfoundland. Grandchildren, Amanda (Chris) St-Germain, Adam, Andrea (Tom) and Rebecca Sigrist, and Matthew and Tyler Rideout. Great-grandchildren, Olivia, Hailey, Rosalynn, and Cadence St-Germain, as well as Brayden and Avery Cavanagh. Brother, Donald and his wife Betty of Windsor, Ontario and many nieces and nephews in Ontario.
Jerry was predeceased by his parents and his beloved wife and best friend as well as navigator and travelling companion for 55 years. He is also predeceased by daughter, Carolyn (Rideout) and great-grandson, Wyatt (St-Germain).
By request, family flowers only. In lieu of flowers he had requested donations made in his or Carolyn’s memory to the Lupus Society of Nova Scotia or Multiple Sclerosis Society of Nova Scotia. A memorial service will be held to celebrate Jerry’s life, 2 p.m., Friday, July 20 at Sweeny’s Funeral Chapel, 35 York Street, Bridgewater with Father Alvin Westgate officiating. Cremation has taken place and burial at sea will be at a later date. Cathy and Mike would like to send a big thank you to all the employees, volunteers and special visitors of the Camp Hill Vets Memorial Hospital for all the "good times" and loving care they provided to Dad.
On-line condolences may be made by visiting www.sweenysfuneralhome.com.