Transportation 07

John Marko Jerkovich

August 20, 1931 ~ January 4, 2024 (age 92) 92 Years Old

John Jerkovich Obituary

John Marko Jerkovich (92), of Gig Harbor, made his final voyage home on January 4, 2024, and is now reunited with Pat, his beloved wife of 65 years. Jay, as he was known throughout his life, was born to John and Mary Jerkovich on August 20, 1931. As a member of one of Gig Harbor's foundation families, he followed after his father and two older brothers and became a commercial salmon fisherman at an early age.

Jay attended school in Gig Harbor, graduating from Peninsula High School in 1949, where he was a star football player. After attending Gonzaga University, he joined the US Navy where he served aboard the USS Lyman K. Swenson and was later stationed in Adak, AK. Shortly after his discharge, while fishing in San Pedro, CA, he was introduced to the love of his life, Patricia (Patee) Peternell. They married, settling in Gig Harbor, and had three children, Juleeann, Joni and John, Jr.

Although Jay had a few "side professions" in his life - as a barber and owner of J's Barber Shop, and as a Plumber/Pipefitter at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, his true calling was commercial fishing; in Southeast Alaska and along the West Coast, as well as in the San Juan Islands, and Puget Sound. As part of Gig Harbor's fishing fleet, he was the "skipper" of several boats, including the Susie Q, The St. Bernadette, and the Pacific Dawn, and was a mentor to his many crew members over the years.

Truly someone who "never met a stranger", Jay was known for his outgoing personality and sense of humor, as well as being a great cook, and especially liked to prepare his traditional Croatian recipes. He was also a first-class shopper and loved to go "into town" to visit his favorite store -Nordstrom. After retiring from fishing, Jay and Pat traveled the world, and enjoyed ballroom dancing and spending time with family and friends. He was a lifelong member of St. Nicholas Catholic Church, where he belonged to the Knights of Columbus, as well as the Gig Harbor Fisherman's Club and Eagles. A diehard sports fan, he never missed a Seahawks or Mariners game.

In addition to his wife and parents, Jay is predeceased by his brothers Nick, Sr (Brud) and Tom (Toe). He is survived by his children, Juleeann Jerkovich Loreth of Orlando, FL; Joni Dupille and Son-in-law Dave, of Gig Harbor; John Jr., and Son-in-law John N. Berg of Ridgefield, WA; Sister and Brother-in-law, Mary Ellen (Jerkovich) and Mark Gilmour, of Tacoma; and was "Didi" to his Granddaughter Abigale, and fiancé, David. He also leaves behind his beloved Wheaton Terrier, Polly, as well as many, many, nieces, nephews, cousins, neighbors and friends.

The Jerkovich Family would also like to express their heartfelt thanks to the Virginia Mason Franciscan Hospice team, and the "angels" who were his Caregivers throughout his final months.

Funeral Services will be at 10:00 am, Monday, February 19th, at St. Nicholas Catholic Church, with a Celebration of Life to follow at the Gig Harbor Yacht Club. Remembrances may be made to The Gig Harbor Peninsula FISH Food Bank and Community Services, P.O. Box 154, Gig Harbor, WA 98335/

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Memorial Service
February 19, 2024

10:00 AM
St Nicholas Catholic Church
3510 Rosedale St NW
Gig Harbor, WA 98335

Celebration of Life
February 19, 2024

11:00 AM
Gig Harbor Yacht Club
8209 Stinson Ave
Gig Harbor, WA 98332


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