Jerry Slawik died at age 86 on June 28, 2021 in Woodbury, Minnesota after a long illness.
He was preceded in death by his father, Harold J. Slawik; mother, Marie O’Brien Slawik; and younger brother, Harold, Jr. (“Skipper”), who died in a boating accident at age 12.
Jerry was the eldest of Marie and Harold’s three children. A dutiful son, he studied hard and enjoyed sports while growing up in St. Paul.
Jerry graduated near the top of his 1953 class at St. Thomas Military Academy in St. Paul. He studied Business Administration at the University of Notre Dame, graduating with honors in 1957. After his graduation, he trained with the U.S. Army at Fort Knox, Kentucky. He was a tank commander and served in the Army reserves into the early 1960s, attaining the rank of captain.
After his military training Jerry worked in the Slawik family’s auto and other businesses until his retirement in 1999. For most of his career, he managed the Midway Ford dealership in St. Paul. Jerry was also heavily involved in the family real estate business, the developer of the Har Mar Mall, among other projects, a pioneering shopping center in Roseville, Minnesota.
Jerry met his future wife, Delores Sweeney, while he was in high school. They married in 1957 and built a family of five children together.
His children remember him as a dedicated father focused on providing for and educating his children. He enjoyed boating and water skiing on the St. Croix River as a youth and passed his love for the river and the Afton area on to his family.
Jerry was proud of his work building the Skipper Slawik Foundation in memory of his younger brother, Skipper, who had died when Jerry was in his mid-twenties. The foundation has provided tuition scholarships for thousands of students attending private high schools in Ramsey County since it was established in the late 1950s. In the 1990s, Jerry helped organize and was an early and dedicated supporter of the Catholic Community Foundation of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Archdiocese. He and Delores were longtime parishioners at the Church of St. Louis, King of France in St. Paul, where Jerry served as trustee.
Jerry is survived by his much-loved wife of 64 years, Delores; and their five children; Jerome O’Brien Jr. (“Brien”) and his wife, Monika Strom, Harold J. III and his wife, Sharon (Love), Annie, and Margaret Christensen, all of whom reside in the Twin Cities, and by his son, John, of Naples, FL; six grandchildren; and one great-grandchild. He is also survived by a sister, Mary Tichenor, of Wisconsin and her five children; John, Patricia, David, Jennifer, and Joseph.
Memorial gifts are welcomed to support educational scholarships through the Skipper Slawik Donor Advised Fund of the Catholic Community Foundation, 2610 University Ave. W., St. Paul, MN 55114.
Mass of Christian Burial and Interment are private. A memorial service will be held at a later date.
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