Jerry Donckels

September  24th, 1938 January  31st, 2024
Burbank, CA
Jerry Donckels


Gerald “Jerry” Donckels, of Burbank, California, peacefully departed this life on January 31, 2024, with his loving wife Barbara at his side.

Jerry was born to Louis and Marie Donckels in Glendale, California on September 24, 1938. He was the eldest of fifteen children, and family was everything to him. Jerry married Barbara Scholl in 1961 and together they raised five children.

Jerry proudly served in the 82nd Airborne Division of the US Army, and then followed in his father’s footsteps by joining the Los Angeles City Fire Department. He was joined on the force by three of his brothers, Ray, Skip, and Doug, and retired as Captain II at Fire Station 15 after three decades of service. After retiring, he and Barbara continued working their twelve-acre orange orchard in Fillmore for another 27 years before settling in Burbank.

Jerry loved all things California, including USC and UCLA football, the Lakers and Dodgers in the playoffs, skiing at Mammoth Mountain with family and friends, fishing with his brothers, and driving with Barbara in his 1966 Nassau blue Corvette convertible. Jerry remained actively involved with the Catholic Church, including volunteer work with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul and the Saint Francis of Assisi Church Food Pantry.

Jerry is survived by his wife Barbara, their five children: Susanne, Damian, Boyd, Julie, and Dean, as well as nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

A funeral service to honor Jerry’s life will be held on Thursday, February 15, 2024, at Saint Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church in Burbank. The service will commence with a rosary at 10:30 a.m., followed by mass at 11:00 a.m., with a reception to follow in the church hall.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Jerry’s name to the Widows, Orphans & Disabled Firefighter’s Fund at, or to St. Vincent de Paul of Los Angeles at


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February 12, 2024
Uncle Jerry is one of those people that has been my orbit my entire life. I can remember few Donckels family occasions where he was not there. 4th of July, Christmas parties, family reunions...we was a fixture in all of them.

I have two vivid memories of Uncle Jerry I'll contribute: and both are relate to him "staying until the end" of something.

First: when Grandma Donckels passed away (his mother), the cousins who came for the funeral were standing around his kitchen in Fillmore. Our cousin Jill said "she was their mother, but she was our Nana....and we have memories too." It turned into great time for us cousins to remember Grandma (especially those who know the Noble Avenue house.) The ONLY "child" of Grandma to be there was Uncle Jerry. He was there until the end of the evening. He said very little, but laughed and enjoyed all the stories being told by his nieces and nephews about his Mom.

Second: when Mary and I got married, and the wedding reception came to an end, the limo to take us to our hotel was delayed. Those of us remaining were standing outside, and Uncle Jerry and Aunt Barbara were there too. Until the very end, they stayed and saw us off as we took the limo to our hotel.

Uncle Jerry was my Godfather; and he was also my Confirmation Sponsor - and has been a fixture my entire life. He'll be missed, and I'll never hear the words "we need players" said without thinking of him rounding people up for volleyball.

Enjoy your place in the Kingdom!!
Bill Donckels

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