KASANDA, Major (Retired) Jerry J. OMM, CD April 4, 1926 - January 18, 2020
Jerry was born in Czechoslovakia in 1926, grew up in the town of Ceské Budejovice and studied languages at University of Prague.
In 1949, after the Communist coup-d'état, he immigrated to Canada at the age of 22, where he did migrant work picking apples in Ontario, logging in Quebec, ranching in Alberta and tunnelling in BC. He was also active in the Czech Sokol community in Toronto.
In 1952, during the Korean war, Jerry signed up for the Canadian Army desiring to fight communism, dreaming to free his homeland. For a period, he was known as Private, Corporal and then Sergeant Cassidy to protect his relatives still behind the Iron Curtain.
While preparing to deploy in Germany with the Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry 2nd Battalion, his aptitude for athletics gave him an opportunity to attend the British Army School of Physical Training in Aldershot, England. He returned to Canada to continue his lifelong passion for Military Physical Training at bases across the country.
A member of the Canadian Army Gymnastic Display team, he was known to soar 10 feet in the air over the "high-horse" after launching from the custom trampolette he invented.
He met the love of his life, Margaret in Lipsett Hall, the base pool he ran in Winnipeg. They married and raised two sons.
Commissioned from the ranks in 1962, Jerry progressed from Physical Training Instructor to Base Recreation Officer, Air Command Director of Physical Training and concluded his career at the rank of Major as Commandant of the Canadian Forces School of Physical Education and Recreation at CFB Borden, Ontario
A trainer, teacher and mentor for many PERI's and PERO's he was known for his care for those under his command, and his honesty, integrity and wealth of knowledge.
After his retirement, he completed the Canadian Forces Physical Training Manual and enjoyed the beauty of his country home in Ebert, Ontario. He and Margaret later returned to Ottawa to be close to their grandchildren.
Loving Husband of Margaret (predeceased), he will be greatly missed by sons Tom and Paul, Paul's wife Elke, grandchildren Eva, Mila and Thomas and many nieces and nephews.
Jerry slipped away gently and peacefully at the family home in Ottawa.