Jerry Bloom, 76, head of the Santa Clarita Valley Salvation Army location, died April 18 of cancer.
Bloom is remembered as the officer-in-charge of the Salvation Army, and is described by those who knew him best as a warm and inspirational leader.
“His words and what he said could inspire you to better and to do more things,” said Bob Wachsmuth, a near decade-long volunteer at the Salvation Army. “Because of him, I joined the Salvation Army and a lot of other people did too.”
After moving to the Santa Clarita Valley with his parents in 1959, Bloom graduated from Hart High School in 1960.
When he was 17 years old, Bloom signed up for the U.S. Navy, but needed his mother’s permission to do.
Bloom later became an ordained minister and served as one for 59 years, according to his wife Laura.
Since 1996, Jerry had served in the Salvation Army in its various social service, adult drug and alcohol rehabilitation and spiritual programs since 1996.
He served in the Salvation Army in Carpinteria, Riverside and Hanford, City of Commerce, Canoga Park and Ventura, serving in both support and leadership roles.
Six years ago, Jerry along with his wife Laura accepted an appointment as leaders of The Salvation Army Santa Clarita Valley Corps located at 22935 Lyons Ave. Their task was to strengthen and expand the Salvation Army’s sometimes little-known but effective programs here in the Santa Clarita Valley.
“Jerry was the happiest when he served people in the name of the Lord,” said Laura.
City Councilman Bob Kellar has worked with the Salvation Army and the Blooms for years, and said Bloom had been battling his cancer for over a year.
“Jerry, along with his wife Laura, they made a huge impact on the Salvation Army here in Santa Clarita. Through their leadership all services were increased.”
Bloom, according to Wachsmuth, was the leader of the entire operation at the Salvation Army and ran it like a church, with him as the pastor. However, according to Wachsmuth, Bloom did not care what your faith was, but rather what type of person you are.
“He was a very warm, inspirational man,” said Wachsmuth.