Obituary of Rev. Gerald Bartko, OSFS
Rev. Gerald (Jerry) Bartko, OSFS passed away following a long battle with cancer, on May 16, 2021 at Hospice of Niagara, in Lockport, NY. Fr. Bartko was born on June 16, 1938. Upon his graduation from the Oblate High School, Bishop Duffy, in Niagara Falls, NY, he entered the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. He professed his first vows as an Oblate on September 14, 1957, and was ordained in Annecy, France on October 15, 1966.
Following his ordination Fr. Bartko taught at several Oblate schools, including Salesian HS in Detroit, MI, Judge Memorial in Salt Lake City, UT, and Niagara Catholic, in Niagara Falls, NY. Fr. Bartko spent most of his ministerial life in Lockport, NY teaching at DeSales HS, and assisting at local parishes.
Fr. Bartko was a pastoral and sacramental minister at the Niagara County Jail for over 50 years, and was a regular visitor at hospitals and nursing facilities. In addition to teaching HS religion, Fr. Bartko, a linguist, taught Spanish, French, Latin, Italian and German for much of his career, and was involved with youth in many other ways. Fr. Bartko, co-founded Big Brothers Big Sisters of Niagara County. He also coached Little Loop Football, and has been an official referee for YMCA, high school and adult football, basketball, soccer and baseball. In 2019, Fr. Bartko received the annual Tony DeVivo “Umpire of the Year award from the New York State Baseball Umpires Association.
The list of honors and awards Fr. Bartko received over the years is lengthy. In addition to the award above a few more are: Lockport Citizen of the Year, Outstanding Secondary Educator of America, Niagara Falls Sports Hall of Fame and Outstanding Contributor to Catholic Education.
Fr. Bartko suffered for several years with cancer, but continued despite his own ill health to participate in priestly ministry, celebrating mass at All Saints Church in Lockport, NY and continuing to visit the ill, shut-ins, and those in prison. Fr. Bartko lived a life devoted to the people of God serving as a Catholic priest and an Oblate of St. Francis de Sales. He was steeped in the spirituality of his congregation, always sharing the spirituality of St. Francis de Sales. He even quoted St. Francis in his voicemail message, “Remember, be who you are, and be that well.”
Fr. Bartko was predeceased by his parents, John (Jack) Bartko and Mary (VeRost) Bartko, and his brother John Bartko. He is survived by his sister Carole and brother-in-law Mike Iodice, Sister-in-law Patrina (Pat) Bartko. Nieces and nephew: Michelle (Tom) Seider, Denise (Scott) Perry, Merrie Carole (Frank) Strangio, Kellie (Jesse) Imes, Rosemary (Don) Boback, John (Vera Daly) Bartko. Great nieces and nephews: Marissa Seider, Julia Seider, Michael Seider, Madision Perry, Mikayla Perry, Anthony Strangio, Alyssa Strangio, Liliana Imes, Jack Imes, Jennifer (Mike) France, Nicole (Mike) Stuart. Great-great nephews: Jackson Rotella, Nathan Rotella, John Stuart, Cole Stuart, and dear friend Jeanne Sheehan and family.
Visitation is scheduled for Wednesday, June 9, from 3:00 to 6:00PM with a prayer service at 6:00PM at All Saints Church, 76 Church St., Lockport, NY. All services will be livestreamed via Facebook: @allsaints.lockport and also at allsaintslockport.org. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Thursday, June 10 at 10:00AM at All Saints Church.
Donations in memory of Fr. Bartko can be made to:
The Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, P.O. Box 2868, Toledo, OH 43606
Niagara Hospice, 4675 Sunset Dr., Lockport, NY 14094
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, PO Box 1000, Dept. 142, Memphis, TN 38148-0142
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Prudden & Kandt Funeral HomeTo send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Rev. Gerald Bartko, OSFS, please visit Tribute Store
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