As many of you know by now, our good friend, Jerry Valeske, passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, Aug. 6, 2016 at approximately 3 p.m. He was 66 years old. He died doing the thing he loved best – sailing – at the venue he loved the most – Lake Quinault. Jerry was leading the race at the weather mark of the 2nd race of the Pacific NW Area Championships at the time of his passing. He is survived by his wife, Laura Sullivan, son Jason, brother Ray, and mother June. An incredible outpouring of love and support has helped Laura and the family to endure these difficult times. There are not enough ‘thank yous’ to express the gratitude Laura and the family feels.
Jerry will be remembered for many things. His smile and gracious giving were two of his biggest assets. But Jerry was also giving with the many talents God graced him with, including fiberglassing, woodworking, artistic t-shirt design, trophy design, PROing, and much, much more. He was a man of many talents, that is for sure. The Pacific NW sailing community has lost a dear and beloved man.
Many people have expressed a desire to send flowers or help out in other ways. So we have set up a Jerry Valeske Memorial Fund. The idea behind this campaign is to raise money that can help support any one of a number of passions Jerry enjoyed. Current plans are under way for a park bench to be donated to the Lake Quinault Rainforest Resort Village in memory of Jerry. The Village has been very supportive of Jerry and the Hobie division over the years. But beyond that, there are greater goals. Hobie youth sailing is near the top of the list, but other ideas are also being considered. Laura will make one or more contributions to a charity or charities of her choosing which she feels best matches the spirit and love of her beloved husband.
Checks may be sent to: Laura Sullivan c/o Peter Nelson, 12418 83rd Ave. S, Seattle, WA 98178. We have also started a crowd funding campaign at GoFundMe. You can click this link to get to it: https://www.gofundme.com/2qw7axvk. Checks are preferred to save the 3% or whatever GoFundMe charges. Please do not feel obligated in any way to make a donation. We’ll be fine either way.
From all of us who knew Jerry and were close to him, words cannot express the gratitude we have for your love and support through all of this. It has been truly overwhelming. God bless.