The Golden Bachelor: What Happened To Gerry Turner's Wife?

Will you accept this golden rose? The days are dwindling to the premiere of "The Golden Bachelor," and Bachelor Nation is as excited as ever! The spin-off to the original "The Bachelor" series takes a new, or should we say older twist, on what fans know and love. Age is but a number when it comes to finding love, and these eligible seniors on "The Golden Bachelor" are ready for an exciting journey.

In July 2023, ABC announced the lucky man that will surely capture America's heart, per People. 71-year-old Gerry Turner was declared the first ever "Golden Bachelor." Turner has already hit the press tour, preparing for one of the biggest moments of his life and he couldn't be more ecstatic about the journey. He told "Good Morning America," "It's never too late to fall in love again."

Finding love is nothing new to the new reality show star, as he has been married once before. According to People, Turner found the love of his life, Toni, in high school and married her not long after in 1974. The couple welcomed two daughters, Angie and Jenny, who later added to the Turner family with two granddaughters, Charlee and Payton. The family was filled with an immense amount of love, but an unfortunate situation unfolded with Turner's wife that led him to attempt to find love again on "The Golden Bachelor."

Gerry Turner's wife sadly died

Gerry Turner knows what love feels like and felt it with his wife, Toni. The reality star married his soulmate in 1974 and looked forward to spending the rest of his life with her. He told Variety, "I was happily married for 43 years, that was a wonderful lifestyle for me." Unfortunately, in 2017, Toni got sick and tragically died not long after, per People. Initially, Turner kept things about his wife a bit more private, but as the season slowly approaches, fans are getting more insight into Turner's life with Toni.

In a teaser released by ABC, Turner spoke more in-depth about how Toni fell ill. The reality star revealed he and Toni bought their dream lake house not long after she retired, ready to embark on this new chapter in life together. But, things took a turn for the worse shortly after. He shared, "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, and she passed away on July 15." He continued, "Now every time I look at [the lake outside my house], I go, 'This is her dream. This is what she deserves. Why am I standing here alone?'" Turner grieves the loss of his wife, but as time has passed, he realizes that she would want him to be happy.

Gerry thinks Toni would love that he is The Golden Bachelor

Although Gerry Turner has had to deal with some difficult moments in life, he is thrilled that he has the opportunity to take on "The Golden Bachelor." The reality star has admitted that he isn't looking for someone to replace or be like his wife, Toni, per ABC. He shared, "What I look for at the age of 70 is different than what I looked for when I was in high school and college. So, I believe I'll find my person ... the new person that will make me whole again." Still, people can't help but wonder what his wife would have thought of him taking on this daunting process. Well, Turner seems to think she would have been cheering him on.

Turner revealed to GMA, "I have her picture on a dresser in my closet, every morning I give her the nod, 'So what do you think about this?'" At first, "The Golden Bachelor" felt a bit torn about finding love again with such a large franchise, but realized that Toni would have wanted this for him. He shared, "We always told each other when one of us goes, we want the other one to be happy. She's up there rooting, she's saying, 'Yeah Gerry, do this.'" Turner is taking the leap of faith to find love, and Bachelor Nation is ready to sit back and watch his journey to find the love for him.