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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.

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Unknown member
Feb 27, 2020

Jerry had a good life slipping quietly away at the age of almost 94! He was a big strong man who even at the age of 50 could do a standing back flip in uniform while holding a clip board in one hand. We will all miss you Jerry.


Alan Blondel
Alan Blondel
Jan 30, 2020

I am sad to hear of Jerry Kasanda's death. He was a very compassionate man and contributed greatly to the PERI Branch.

Al Blondel


Jan 30, 2020

Jerry slipped away quietly and peacefully early 18 January at home.

Our family had a private vigil last Friday. Jerry looked sharp in his mess-kit as per his wishes.

My brother Paul and I want to thank everyone for their friendship and camaraderie with our dad throughout his career.

I'm sure his spirit, now free is busy organizing a gymnastic display or high horse routine up in heaven.

Below is a link to a YouTube remembrance.

Below is a link to his online memorial We would appreciate your stories both here and in his memorial guestbook.


Tom and Paul Kasanda


Meleme McGraw
Meleme McGraw
Jan 29, 2020

Jerry was one of my Instructors during my 2's & 3's PTI Courses in Borden; promoted to glory; may he rest in peace.!

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