The Golden Bachelor's Gerry Turner Breaks Down in Tears While Recalling Wife's Death

While Gerry Turner noted "no one’s ever going to replace" his late wife Toni, he's looking forward to finding love again as the star of The Golden Bachelor this fall.

By Elyse Dupre Aug 15, 2023 3:44 PMTags
Watch: Hannah Brown Dishes on Golden Bachelor & Dream Podcast Guest

Gerry Turner is ready to take on the role of the first Golden Bachelor.

Because as the retired restaurateur from Indiana put it in a new sneak peek for the show, "It's never too late to fall in love again." And in the teaser for The Golden Bachelor, Gerry—who proudly notes he's "71 years young"—shared the story of his first love with late wife Toni

"I married my high school sweetheart Toni in 1972," he told viewers in a clip that aired during the Aug. 14 episode of The Bachelorette: The Men Tell All. "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."

After Gerry and Toni retired, they purchased what he called their "dream house" in May 2017. However, things changed for them the following month.

"From June 6 on, it didn't go according to plan at all," he recalled before tearing up. "She became ill, and her situation got worse over a couple of weeks. And so, we went to the emergency room, and she had a bacterial infection that infected her kidneys and infected her liver. And so, I took my wife to the emergency room on July 7. She passed away on July 15."

The Bachelorette Stars: Where Are They Now?

Now, Gerry is hoping to find someone he can share his life with again. 

"It will be six years since she passed away," he added. "No one's ever going to replace Toni. But the love of my daughters and my granddaughters pulled me out of a dark spot."

As for the kind of woman Gerry is looking for? "Best case scenario is I find out that Helen Mirren's on the market," he said, "and she's really happy to be on The Golden Bachelor."

And while Gerry admitted he's "worried about remembering 25 names," he noted that he's ready for this next chapter.  

"I want to fall in love," the reality star reiterated. "I really want to find my person who can put me in my place when I need it and make me smile at it. The person who can lay down beside you at night and not have to say anything and you feel it. That's love. That's what I want, and I know that person's out there."

ABC/Brian Bowen Smith

Before his journey begins, Gerry has been getting ready by practicing handing out the roses and watching Charity Lawson's season of The Bachelorette. He also shared his advice for viewers on how to have a long, happy marriage. 

"If there's one thing only that I would tell you or anyone else, it's like look at your spouse every day and tell ‘em you love them," Gerry told host Jesse Palmer during the Men Tell All. "Because the day comes too soon for one of you that you can't do that. And I would give anything to be able to do that one more time. Tell ‘em that you love ‘em every day. Give ‘em that hug." 

The Golden Bachelor premieres on ABC this September.

Get the latest bachelor headlines & top stories. Sign up for Bachelor Beat!