How ‘The Golden Bachelor’s Wife Died

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Gerry Turner

Widower Gerry Turner, the star of The Golden Bachelor, touched studio audience members and Charity Lawson’s eliminated suitors on The Bachelorette’s “Men Tell All” special.

As fans saw on the ABC episode, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house when a preview for Gerry’s show aired—and he described how his longtime wife Toni had died.

He also dropped some other secrets of being the first senior Bachelor and how the new show will look.

Read on to find out more!

Who is Gerry’s wife on The Golden Bachelor?

During the “Men Tell All” special, a video was aired to promote the then-upcoming Golden Bachelor.

Indiana native Gerry, now 72, recalled in the clip, “I married my high school sweetheart, Toni, in 1972. We had 43 wonderful years together. We had two daughters and I now have two wonderful granddaughters. We had a real typical but beautiful life, full of love, full of activity, and as years went on, I retired.”

How did Gerry’s wife die?

He told the cameras, “We had a plan and we had an idea of what our dream house was going to be. So when Toni retired the end of May in 2017, we bought that dream house, closed on it on June 6. From June 6th on, it didn’t go according to plan at all. She became ill and her situation got worse over a couple of weeks.”

Gerry continued, tearing up, “And so we went to the emergency room and she had a bacterial infection that infected her kidneys and infected her liver. So I took my wife to the emergency room on July 7th. She passed away on July 15th.”

The story moved the studio audience. Cameras even showed The Bachelorette contestant Brayden Bowers tearing up at Gerry’s story at the "Men Tell All."

Related: The New Golden Bachelor on How His Late Wife Would React

How was Gerry able to pick up the pieces after wife's death?

In the video, Gerry sadly reflected on his Indiana lake house and his wife, “This is her dream. This is what she deserves. Why am I standing here alone?”

He said it has been six years since Toni died, but he was able to be happy again with the help of his family.

“No one’s ever going to replace Toni, but the love of my daughters and my granddaughters pulled me out of a dark spot,” Gerry told cameras.

Related: All About the Bachelor Spinoff for Seniors

What do Gerry's daughters think about him competing on The Golden Bachelor?

Gerry's daughter Angie has a pretty open mind about her father looking for new love. In the video, she said her dad is personable, lovable, and kind and “deserves to find that in somebody else.”

How did the former restaurateur prepare for The Golden Bachelor?

In one of the more lighthearted moments in the emotional clip, Gerry visited what appeared to be a bar in his hometown and told a friend that he had passed two major steps to joining the cast: “I have passed the STD and drug test.”

What will be Gerry’s biggest challenge be on The Golden Bachelor?

One of his biggest challenges could probably be expected considering The Golden Bachelor is 71 years old. Gerry said he's concerned about “remembering 25 names." Before he joked with some truly old-fashioned names, "Eunice, will you accept this rose? Gertrude, I’m sorry, this isn’t going to work.”

What’s his Gerry's goal on The Golden Bachelor?

“I hope at the end of it, I find the person that I’ll spend the rest of my life with, that will complete our family,” Gerry said in confessional. “I want to fall in love. I really want to find my person who can put me in my place when I need it and make me smile. The person who can lay down beside you at night, and not have to say anything.”

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Does Gerry pay attention to social media?

"No, not really," he admitted to host Jesse Palmer during the interview portion of his "Men Tell All" appearance.

Told he'd been trending on social media, Gerry responded, "If I knew what that meant, I'm sure I'd appreciate it a whole lot more."

ABC/Jesse and Gerry talked about 'The Golden Bachelor.'
ABC/Jesse and Gerry talked about 'The Golden Bachelor.'

What will The Golden Bachelor fantasy suites look like?

Gerry told Jesse he liked being described as wholesome, but said he will say "yes" to fantasy suites.

The crowd erupted but he added, "What they will look like might be a little different. That's a long way down the journey and I think there's a lot of steps that I and a potential partner would need to go through to get to that, to make it a comfortable season."

ABC/Gerry impressed the fans and cast members of "The Men Tell All."
ABC/Gerry impressed the fans and cast members of "The Men Tell All."

What kind of love is Gerry looking for on The Golden Bachelor?

When Jesse asked Gerry if he can find a love like he had with his late wife Toni, he responded,"What I look for at the age of 70 is different than what I looked for when I was in high school and in college. I believe I'll find my person, the new person that will make me whole again. We'll knit a wonderful relationship, but I don't think it'll look like the relationship I had with Toni. I don't think it would be right to do it that way."

Next, Everything To Know About The Bachelor Host Jesse Palmer