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The Golden Bachelor’ Gerry Turner’s heartrending love journey with his wife

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Gerry Turner is the star of ABC’s new reality show, The Golden Bachelor, which features the first senior bachelor in the franchise’s history. But behind his charming smile and charismatic personality, there is a heartbreaking story of love and loss that has touched the hearts of many viewers.

Gerry Turner's poignant love story prior to his stint on 'The Golden Bachelor'(The Golden Bachelor)
Gerry Turner’s poignant love story prior to his stint on ‘The Golden Bachelor'(The Golden Bachelor)

Turner, 72, hailing from Indiana, was married to his high school sweetheart, Toni, for 43 years. They met when he was on the basketball team and she was in the stands. They got engaged in college and had two daughters, Jenny and Angie. They worked hard and saved for their dream retirement home by the lake.

“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,” Turner said in a preview of The Golden Bachelor, according to Bachelor Nation.

But their dream turned into a nightmare when Toni contracted a bacterial infection that affected her kidneys and liver. She died within a week of going to the emergency room.

“So I took my wife to the emergency room on July 7th. She passed away on July 15th. No one’s ever going to replace Toni, but the love of my daughters and my granddaughters pulled me out of a dark spot,” he said.

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Turner decided to apply for the show after seeing an advertisement for older contestants in 2020. He was hesitant at first, but he wanted to honor Toni’s memory and find love again. The producers were impressed by his story and his genuine personality.

“I wanted to make sure that the story of my wife’s passing was told in a kind and sensitive way, and never sensationalized,” he told The New York Times.

“I really didn’t want to tell that story over and over. I wanted it to be out there for people to know, but I also wanted to move on,” he added.

Turner seems to have a sincere intention to find love on the show. He does not want to exploit his wife’s death or become a pity case. He wants to celebrate her life and move forward with his own.

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