Everything We Know About Golden Bachelor Gerry Turner’s Late Wife and His Relationship History

Gerry Turner Golden Bachelor
ABC/Brian Bowen Smith

The Golden Bachelor debuts this week, showcasing Gerry Turner‘s quest to find a wife at the age of 71. However, the Bachelor Nation‘s new leading man is no stranger to being wed. Prior to this quest, Gerry was actually in a four-decades-long marriage. Following his wife’s passing, Gerry decided to put himself back out there, using this new senior-aged spinoff of The Bachelor.

Luckily, Gerry has the support of his family behind him on his search for love. With 22 women vying for Gerry’s heart, the support of those who know him the best will come in handy. As the September 28 premiere date is approaching, it’s likely that your questions about Gerry’s past are mounting. Here is everything that we know regarding Gerry’s late wife, his relationship history since her death, and what Gerry hopes to find in a second chapter of life romance.

Gerry’s Late Wife and Their Marriage

The Golden Bachelor/Instagram

Gerry’s romantic backstory is sweet, albeit tragic. In 1974, Gerry and his high school sweetheart Toni were wed. Together, Gerry and Toni raised two daughters, Angie and Jenny. The happy couple then welcomed two granddaughters, Charlee and Payton.

After 43 years of marriage, Toni sadly passed away. In ABC’s official preview, Gerry opened up about their marriage and his loss. He also touched on on how Toni would support his decision to find love again in her absence.

In the preview, Gerry explained that his wife retired in May of 2017. On June 6, the couple closed on their dream retirement house. This new lakefront home, located on Big Long Lake in Indiana, was supposed to be the couple’s next life stage, where relaxed, waterfront living reigns supreme. However, Gerry stated that right after their closing, everything fell quickly apart.

Toni became ill, with her health rapidly declining. Gerry took his wife to the emergency room on July 7, where they learned that Toni had a bacterial infection that had spread to her other vital organs. While receiving care, Toni passed away. Her death came on July 15, only one week after her admittance.

In this preview, Gerry is seen alone at this house, staring out over the water, expressing, “Every time I look at that lake, I go, this is her dream. This is what she deserves. Why am I standing here alone?”

It has now been six years since Toni passed, and as we dry our eyes after watching Gerry’s emotional clip, we only have one thing left to say. If any of these 22 women who are seeking love break Gerry’s heart on The Golden Bachelor, we will happily tap in with you all, throwing hands in these ladies’ direction(s).

Gary’s Romantic Journey After Toni’s Passing

Bachelor Happy Hour/Instagram

Gerry is the man of the hour, appearing on several podcasts while fielding interviews left and right. It seems like everyone wants to know how Gerry is moving forward following his tragic loss. Speaking with the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast, Gerry explained that he wasn’t nervous to find love again. In fact, he’s already dipped his toes briefly into the dating pool.

Gerry joined his neighbor in celebrating the anniversary of her husband’s passing, just six years after his own wife died. “And we had a good cry, you know, hugged it out a little bit, had a good cry,” Gerry said. Then, just three hours later, Gerry’s neighbor asked him to come back over and take a few photos with her and her family. At this point, the two shared a kiss.

“I turn to her, and I say, ‘just gimme a little kiss right here,’ and as she does, I turn. And so we kissed and then in the last picture, her face is lit up and busting out with laughter” Gerry reminisced. Though nothing further transpired between the two, this event seemed to be Gerry’s turning point, where he remembered that he still had a lot of living left to do.

How Gary Came To Be The First Golden Bachelor

Good Morning America/Instagram

In an interview with Good Morning America, Gerry explained that it was his daughters who first encouraged him to apply for The Golden Bachelor. They texted him to sign up, and, as Gerry felt like he had nothing to lose, he followed their ask.

After his application was sent, Gerry was seen taking a zoom meetup with the series host, Jesse Palmer. Here, an excited Jessie asked, “There’s this really important question that I’ve been dying to ask you. Gerry, would you be the first ever Golden Bachelor?” On this, an even more exhilarated Gerry replied, “Well hell yes I would!”

Gerry’s daughters then gathered around him, clearly excited for their father’s huge opportunity. Their excitement, combined with Gerry’s eagerness, will no doubt translate into an epic first showing of The Golden Bachelor.

What Gerry Hopes To Find

Bachelor Nation/Instagram

Regarding what he is now in search of, Gerry has covered all of the bases with his family back home. This included a quick tease on how his nights spent in the Fantasy Suites might look different than that of the 20’s and 30’s crowds previously seen on The Bachelor and/or The Bachelorette. Fair enough.

Referencing back to his interview with Good Morning America, Gerry listed a few qualities that he was hoping to find in a mate. “I’d love it if I found a partner who was high energy. Someone that maybe plays pickleball. Someone that maybe plays golf, ” he explained.

When the host joked if perhaps a wedding special might follow, Gerry’s humor shone through. “I wouldn’t discount it,” he replied, joining the host in laughter. Oh Gerry. We all truly hope that you find your missing piece on The Golden Bachelor.