Gerald A. LaMonica rescued Madison P. Boljesic from an attacking dog, Dearborn Heights, Michigan, September 25, 2010. Madison, 10, was on the sidewalk in a residential neighborhood when a 45-pound, adult male pit bull dog charged her without provocation. It took her to the ground and bit her repeatedly. Across the street, LaMonica, 75, retired merchandiser, was approaching the scene on foot when the attack took place. He immediately ran across the street toward Madison and the dog, yelling at the dog to distract it. When he had nearly reached them, the dog turned to LaMonica and charged him. LaMonica landed a hard kick against the dog’s chest, but it recovered and charged him again, biting him forcefully on the right calf. When Madison’s brother then arrived and threatened the dog, it released LaMonica and left the scene. Both Madison and LaMonica were treated at the hospital, their bite wounds requiring sutures.
83580 – 947983580-9479
Gerald A. LaMonica, 85, of Dearborn Heights, Mich., died on April 28, 2020. He was the husband of Gertrud; the father of Gregory (Donna) LaMonica and Juliette LaMonica; and grandfather of Allison, Anthony, Gregory, and Rebecca.
LaMonica was born to Joseph and Caroline LaMonica. He was preceded in death by his siblings, Rose Glasson, Constance McKinley, Josephine Wells, Caroline LaMonica, Charles LaMonica, Margaret Rabbitt, Victoria Buchanan, John LaMonica, Mary Trimbath, Florence Hostetler, and Grace Kacmar.
Whether you called him Gerald, Jerry, Muzzi, Jeruitz, Dad, Papa Bear, Papa Nunni, Zio Jerry or Brother in Christ, Gerald LaMonica was known and loved by many.
He was born in Newboro, Pa., and grew up surrounded by the love of his family, neighbors and friends. He helped his family in their greenhouse business, which gave him a love of flowers and vegetables. He often told stories of getting to “ring-a-the-bell” when riding with his father in the truck to sell plants.
He joined the Army and told us many stories of his travels, especially getting to know and love our extended family in Italy and Sicily. His favorite story is that of meeting the love of his life, Gertrud (Trudel) Michelberger, while stationed in Germany.
They married in 1959 at St. Barbara’s church in Dearborn, Mich. Gregory and Juliette were born four years apart. Jerry was a dedicated father and husband who made sure that every outing or vacation was fun and an adventure. Picnics in the park, trips to the Eastern Market, hauling the family on wonderful vacations throughout the U.S. with our trailer and multiple station wagons and our yearly and most loved times in Ludington State Park are all cherished memories.
Dad and Mom worked together to make our backyard a great place for friends and family to gather for cookouts and the often talked about — bonfires.
Dad has been considered the family historian and more importantly, he focused on gathering and keeping in touch with extended family and many friends. His love of family and friends knows no bounds.
He has always been the “entertainer” whether dancing, telling jokes or singing songs. The jokes are still repeated today and his strong voice carried religious hymns, Italian favorites, musical hits and his favorite German beer drinking toast.
On Dec. 28, 1976, the Lord caught Jerry during a quiet moment and revealed to his heart that he wanted to have a personal relationship with him. Jerry accepted the Lord as his personal savior that night. He committed to Jesus that as long as he lived he wanted his family, friends and those he met to know he loved the Lord. He and Mom were faithful servants to the Lord. Dad spent all his years evangelizing so that others would share in the joy he knew.
At the age of 75, Gerald again proved his selfless love for others. He was honored by the Carnegie Hero Fund Commission for his selfless efforts to save a young girl from a dog attack in our neighborhood.
He cared lovingly for Mom during her illness and passing. Several years later, he had his own health challenges. Even during his hospital stays and long stay in a skilled nursing facility, he kept his sense of humor and blessed those that entered his room.
Part of his self-written eulogy: “And now I bid you a final adieu. I am now absent from my body, but present with the Lord. My prayer is that we shall meet again, together with the Lord. Salute and Prost!”
(Edited from an obituary published by the Voran Funeral Home in Taylor, Mich.)