Obituary: Leona V. Jersky (1942-2024)

March 22, 1942 – April 28, 2024

Leona V. (Stern) Jersky, “Nonie,” age 82, passed away after a brief illness surrounded by her loving family on April 28, 2024. She is reunited with her late husband Martin H. Jersky and son Joel E. Jersky Sr.

Leona was born on March 22, 1942, to Sidney Stern and Francis (Epstein) Davidson. She was the last of three siblings. Her late brother Paul Stern and sister Roberta (Bobbi) Sacks. She grew up during World War II, but never had a chance to grow up with her father who passed away in the Pacific as a Merchant Marine. Raised by her mother in the Boston area with her siblings she quickly showed her love of music by learning to play the piano at the age of four. During her teenage years she lived in San Francisco with her grandmother and graduated from Lincoln High School in 1961.

Leona then returned to the Boston area and attended classes at the Mansfield Beauty Academy where she graduated the Cosmetology program in February of 1962. During this time, she was introduced to the man she would spend the next 52 years with Martin H. Jersky as they wedded in December 1962.

Leona would return to San Francisco in 1966 with Martin where they stayed until the early 1970’s when they moved back east to Sharon, Massachusetts where they started their family. All throughout this time, Leona would continue to play the piano and paint while raising her three sons. In 1981, Leona would move to San Francisco for the last time until 1986, where they would once again move back east to Middletown RI.

During the next 15 years, Leona would encourage her sons to sing in school and at Emanuel Episcopal Church in Newport. Leona would continue her education during this time and graduated the Nursing Assistant Program at Brown University. Always the selfless caregiver she gave up her career to first take care of her mother-in-law Ida Jersky until she passed away in 1990. In 1994 she gained a daughter into the family. Always the selfless caregiver she moved her mother in when her health declined, where she took care of her until her passing 1997.

In 1996, Leona moved to Fall River where she continued to play professionally at various clubs around Newport and released two albums under her stage name of Leona J. During this time, she also worked for the Herald News delivering papers to the residents of Corky Row.

From 1994 to 2000 she welcomed in a total of six grandchildren and spent her time helping her sons raise them throughout their childhood as they were her “Jewels”. Leona continued playing piano and painted throughout the 2000’s. She also continued her selflessness by always keeping the door open for her children to start and restart their lives and be the guiding light of hope even when things seem lost and dark. After the losses of her husband and middle son, the favor was returned by her eldest who cared for her until her passing.

She is survived by her sons: Randy & Andrew Jersky, Daughter-in-Law Angela Jersky of Fall River. Her grandchildren: Andria Richard, Rachael Jersky-Cunha, Sydney Martin, Jacob Jersky all of Fall River, Massachusetts, and Joel Jersky Jr. of Portsmouth, Rhode Island. Her great grandchildren: Christopher Costa, and Jason, Cataleya, Kimberly, McKayla, Ailyah Pimentel, and Calliope Cunha. Her Nephews: Sonny Stern, Wayne Sacks, and Steven Sacks. Nieces: Bonnie Stern and Shelly Laska (Stern) and their families.

Her Funeral Service will be held on Saturday, May 25, 2024 at 10:00 AM in the Waring-Sullivan Home at Cherry Place, 178 Winter St., Fall River. Relatives and friends are invited. Burial will be private.

Contributions in her honor may be made to the First Congregational Church, 282 Rock St., Fall River, MA 02720.




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