Gerald (Jerry) Donald Colella
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AGE: 94 • Sea Girt
Gerald (Jerry) Donald Colella , 94,of Sea Girt, passed away on Sunday morning after fighting a heroic battle with parotid gland cancer. He fought with surgery and two rounds of radiation treatments.
Jerry passed away at home, as was his wish, with his wife, Audrey, and family at his side. Jerry was born in 1919 in Manhattan and was the proud son of Italian immigrants, Carmela (Micele) and Edmidio Colella of Weehawken. As a teenager, Jerry worked for the Tootsie Roll company in Hoboken. He then proudly served his country for five years in the Army during WWII. Jerry was the recipient if the American Defense Service Medal, the Good Conduct Medal and the WWII Victory Medal. After the War he began his lifelong career in real estate and, with his brother Louis, they established Colella and Colella Realtors in Irvington, NJ. They successfully built apartment complexes, two-story homes and served the people of Irvington for more than 50 years. Jerry was an esteemed member of the Board of Realtors of Maplewood and the Oranges, president of the Irvington Optimist Club and a lifetime member of both the Knights of Columbus and the Elks (Manasquan).
Jerry met his wife, Audrey (Sykora), during the War in Riverhead, Long Island. They were married in 1945, resided in Astoria, Queens, before settling in Maplewood where they were devoted parishioners of St. Paul the Apostle Church in Irvington. Jerry and his brother Joe were ushers at Sunday Mass for more than 20 years. Jerry and Audrey maintained a summer home in Sea Girt Estates and moved there permanently in 1997. They recently celebrated their 68th Anniversary.
Jerry was a devoted Husband, Father, Grandfather and Great-Grandfather. He has two daughters-Deborah Heuer (married to Brian, Wall,NJ) and Cheryl Gaiser (married to Duke, Flemington, NJ). Grandfather to Brian and Leigh Heuer (New Milford), Keith and Dannielle Heuer (Spring Lake Heights) and Kimberley and Michael Ellery (Manasquan). Jerry also considered himself blessed to be the Great-Grandfather to seven wonderful young people: James, Emma and Dylan Heuer, Jack and Mackenzie Heuer and Abigail and Paige Ellery.
Jerry taught his daughters and granddaughter how to be kind, understanding and respectful. More importantly, he instilled in them the importance of being strong and independent women. Jerry taught his Grandsons by example the qualities needed to be a good fathers and husbands. He lived his life believing a positive, mental attitude is the key to success and was an inspiration to many with his indomitable spirit and zest for life.
Jerry was predeceased by eight brothers and sisters: Marie Farina, Louis Colella, Rose DeLorenzo, Josephine Mazzarella, Ann Zittani, Nicholas Colella, Joseph Colella and his beloved 'baby sister' Eleanor Albanese.
Visitation will be Wednesday 1-3 and 6-8 PM at the O'Brien Funeral Home, 2028 Highway 35, Wall, N.J. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday at 9:30 AM at St. Denis Catholic Church, 90 Union Avenue, Manasquan, N.J. Entombment will follow in St. Catharine Cemetery Mausoleum, Sea Girt, N.J. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Daniel P. Ryan Foundation (DPRF.org; PO Box 3145, Point Pleasant, N.J. 08742 or Meridian at Home Hospice. For further information or to send condolences to the family please visit www.obrienfuneralhome.com
O'Brien Funeral Home
2028 Highway 35 at New Bedford Road Wall, NJ 07719
Published in Asbury Park Press on Nov. 11, 2013