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Dr. Gerald Paul Michalak

July 30, 1943 December 24, 2018
Dr. Gerald Paul Michalak
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Obituary for Dr. Gerald Paul Michalak

Dr. Gerald Paul Michalak, 75, went to spend Christmas with his Lord and Savior on
Monday December 24, 2018.
He was born on July 30, 1943 to the late Stanley and Celia Michalak in Buffalo, NY. He was predeceased by his brother, Dr. Daniel Michalak.
Left to cherish his memory is his wife of 47 years, Dr. Janet (Vukovic) Michalak; sons, Dr. Nathan (Stacey) Michalak and Justin (Elena) Michalak; four granddaughters, Elizabeth, Alaina, Avery and Arianna Michalak; brother, Norbert (Mary Ann) Michalak; and sister-in-law, Gayle Michalak.
Following high school, he joined the Air Force as a member of the Strategic Air Command (SAC), stationed in Roswell, New Mexico, where he trained airmen in small arms before they were deployed to Vietnam.
Jerry then received his doctoral degree in Education from the State University of New York at Buffalo. His dissertation explored the relationship between hemispheres of the brain and learning styles. It was the culmination of his passion for research, love of learning, and commitment for individualized learning.
Following coursework on the Brain and Education at Jesus College, Cambridge University, he became an international consultant for education and business. His love of children and learning, however, kept him in his 4th grade classroom for many years as he continued to implement theory and research in curriculum development.
Jerry was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease in 2005 and became a firm advocate for Alzheimer’s research and support services. He was invited to speak to Congress, by then New York Senator Hilary Clinton, and was awarded New York State Advocate of the Year and numerous other awards from the Alzheimer’s Association. Through his work, along with many others, funding to the National Alzheimer’s Association has increased from $85 million in 2006 to $352 million in 2018. His final contribution was the donation of his brain to the Alzheimer’s Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) sponsored by the National Institute of Health (NIH).
Jerry had many interests throughout his life. As a drummer, he would quickly turn any surface into a drum set and loved to play music with his children and grandchildren. Travel and experiencing other cultures had always been important to Jerry. Even five years after his diagnosis, he traveled to Asia and walked the Great Wall of China. As an outgrowth of his Air Force service, Jerry was interested in aviation including experimental uses of drones. He also enjoyed reading and was a fervent car enthusiast.
He will be most remembered, however, for his humble, kind and loving nature. He was a role model to his sons, and helped to instill in them a deep sense of work ethic and character. His close relationship with God gave him the strength and peace during his most difficult days. On his last day, he never forgot his wife Janet and the unconditional love he had for her and his family. Even in his reduced capacity, he manifested a reflection of God’s love.
The family would like to acknowledge Cedar Manor and Heartland Hospice for their care and support. A memorial service will be conducted at 11:00 am, Saturday, January 5, 2019 at Great Bridge Presbyterian Church. Inurnment will be held at a later date in Buffalo, New York. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association. Friends are invited to share memories and sign the online guestbook at

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Previous Events

Memorial Service




11:00 AM 1/5/2019 11:00:00 AM
Great Bridge Presbyterian Church

333 Cedar Road
Chesapeake, VA 23322

Great Bridge Presbyterian Church
333 Cedar Road Chesapeake 23322 VA
United States

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