Jerzy (Jerry) was born on October 10, 1958, to Wolodymyr and Zofia Mnich in Prabuty, a village in Northern Poland. He was 1 of 6 children in a loving Ukrainian family.
As a young adult, Jerry developed a passion for sport. He began participating in Modern Pentathlon, which includes horseback riding, fencing, shooting, swimming, and running. At 19, he was drafted to the Polish Army, where he served his duty for 2.5 years. During this time, Jerry continued to train and compete in Modern Pentathlon, earning himself a spot with the elite military sports club in Warsaw. It was through his competitions that Jerry got to travel and see the world, making a name for himself as a nationally ranked athlete.
As his time in the army came to an end, and his competitive sports career slowed down, Jerry began to think about his future. He wanted to start a family of his own, in which he would keep Ukrainian culture alive. He attended various Ukrainian events in the community, and it was through this that he met his future wife Tatiana. As he continued to become more active and engaged with other Ukrainians, Jerry and Tatiana would spend more time together and their love began to develop. On August 23, 1986, they got married and, not a year later, welcomed their daughter Natalia. In 1989, Jerry and Tatiana decided to emigrate and begin a new life in Canada. In 1992, they welcomed their son Ihor, and their family was now complete. Jerry always made sure his family was well taken care of, providing them with new experiences and opportunities.
Living in Canada, Jerry continued his love of sports, representing his new country at modern pentathlon competitions across Canada, as well as other countries. Modern pentathlon wasn’t as popular in Canada as it was in Europe, and he found that being able to train for all 5 events, all while providing for a family, was a challenge. He eventually invested in a road bike and instantly became hooked. With a lifetime of running and swimming experience to go with his newfound love for cycling, he set his sights on competing in triathlon. His physical and mental strength, determination, and discipline helped him achieve many accolades in the sport, including countless podium finishes, qualifying to represent Canada at the 2016 World Triathlon Championship in Mexico, and completing an Ironman 70.3 - one of the toughest tests for triathletes.
A very motivated and hard-working man, Jerry spent over 30 years working at Topper Linen Supply. He was a very dedicated and loyal team member, as has been recognized many times by his boss, Tim, and fellow coworkers. His work never stopped though. He always stayed busy with different projects around the house and yard, and, being the handyman he was, would always find a way to get the job done himself. He found just as much joy in helping others with their projects as well.
Jerry’s door was always open to family and friends; he loved to host barbecues and entertain. He knew how to make people laugh and always made sure that everyone felt welcome. Jerry was a true family man and valued friend to many. It was all of these important people who provided him with strength and courage as he battled cancer. In the end, this was a battle he could not win. Jerry passed away peacefully in his home on January 31, 2023, surrounded by his family.
Jerry is preceded in death by his mother Zofia, father Wolodymyr, sister Leokadia, and brother Andrijko; he is survived by his loving wife Tatiana of 36 years, children Natalia (Demyan) and Ihor, grandson Florian, and siblings Mirek, Piotr, and Aneta.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that, if you are able, to make a donation in Jerry’s memory to kidsportcanada.ca.