Gerald Sisk, Jewelry TV Co-Founder, Dies at 59

Gerald D. Sisk Jr., co-founder and executive VP of Jewelry Television, died peacefully in his sleep on Sunday morning, Jan. 13, according to the network, which said his death was unexpected. He was 59 years old and is survived by his wife Karen, his mother, a sister and several other relatives. The shopping network has posted a memorial Web page at this link.

Jerry 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.  His book, Guide to Gems & Jewelry, has sold more than 15,000 copies and is in its second printing, according to the network. 

Born in New York and a resident of Knoxville, Tenn., since college, Sisk traveled to more than 40 countries worldwide, developed a deep appreciation for many cultures, and was well-versed in the challenges of gemstone mining and jewelry manufacturing.

He began working in the jewelry business as a teenage apprentice. He formed Jewelry Television 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.  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, the network said.   

The family will receive friends from 5 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 16, at Cokesbury United Methodist Church 9908 Kingston Pike, Knoxville, Tenn. , 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.