Jewelry Television’s Co-Founder Jerry Sisk Dies At Age 59

We often poke fun at Jewelry Television, but it’s time to be serious now.

The network’s co-founder Gerald D. Sisk Jr., passed away unexpectedly Sunday, according to JTV. He was only 59, which makes us feel a little more worried about our own mortality.

Jerry Sisk

Jerry Sisk

Here is the link to the memorial on JTV’s website.
Jerry Sisk

The announcement said that Sisk, JTV’s co-founder and executive vice president passed away peacefully in his sleep on Sunday morning. He is survived by his wife Karen, his mother, a sister and several other relatives.

Sisk was a graduate gemologist (G.I.A.), a member of the International Colored Gemstone Association, and served as a Gemstone Industry & Laboratory Conference committee member.

“A frequent guest speaker, he was honored to be chosen as one of the five most powerful people in the world of gems and gemology on the JCK 2012 Power List,” according to JTV. “His book, ‘Guide to Gems & Jewelry,’ has sold more than 15,000 copies and is in its second printing.”

Sisk was born in New York and had been a resident of Knoxville, Tenn., since college. That’s the city where JTV is based.

Sisk traveled to over 40 countries worldwide, “developed a deep appreciation for many cultures, and was well-versed in the challenges of gemstone mining and jewelry manufacturing,” JTV said. “Sisk began working in the jewelry business as a teenage apprentice.”

He created JTV in 1993 with Bob Hall and Bill Kouns, both longtime friends, and “tirelessly devoted his career to finding the best quality gemstones for the best value for JTV customers,” the network said.

“Jerry enjoyed sharing his passion for gemstones with others and especially enjoyed going on-air and talking directly to customers about how to look for the best gemstone for the money they had to spend,” JTV said.

The family will receive friends from 5 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday at Cokesbury United Methodist Church, 9908 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, with a Celebration of Life to follow at 7 p.m.

Family and friends will gather at 10:45 a.m. on Thursday at Concord Masonic Cemetery with graveside services to follow at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations in Jerry’s memory may be made to Beads of Courage.

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