Dennis Charles Hartzell

Class of 1963

In Memoriam

Below is the death notice of Dennis Hartzell, Class of 1963. Brother of David Hartzell, Class of 1957, Grandfather of Nathan Grabowski, Class of 2020. Please keep the Hartzell and Grabowski families in your prayers.

Dennis Charles Hartzell, 78, of Bay Village, Ohio passed away peacefully on March 28, 2023. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio on March 15, 1945, to the late Clarence and Mary Hartzell (nee Kelly). Dennis will be deeply missed by his beloved wife of 53 years, Diane S. Hartzell (nee Fleischer); loving father of Nikki (Stanley) Grabowski and Christopher (Jennifer) Hartzell; cherished grandfather of Nathan Grabowski, Alison Hartzell, Caitlyn Hartzell, Gabrielle Grabowski, and Jason Hartzell; dear brother of David (Mary Lou) Hartzell, Maryanne (Joseph) McAdams, and Roger (Rita) Hartzell (both deceased); and a host of extended family and dear friends.
Visitation and memorial service will be held on Monday, April 3, 2023, at Sunset Funeral Chapel, 6245 Columbia Road, North Olmsted, Ohio 44070 10am-12p.m. visitation and 12pm service.

Denny grew up on Cleveland’s West side, West 54th Street attending St. Stephen parish. After graduating from St. Edward High School in 1963, he joined the Air National Guard. From 1966-1975 he was a City of Lakewood policeman. He always relied on his gift of communication to best serve the city of Lakewood.

He met his beloved, wife, Diane in Columbus in 1967. He met her in the most Denny-way possible: she was out sunbathing near the pool (with her hair newly-done) at the apartment complex she lived in when he was there visiting a friend. Having never met her- but knew he wanted to- he decided to walk over to her, pick her up, and throw her in the pool. The fact that she ended up marrying him is a mystery none of us will ever solve.

They had two wonderful kids whom he loved dearly- almost as much as he loved his dogs. And boy did he love his dogs. Tramp, Samantha, Murphy, and MacGregor were a big part of the joy he found in life.

He began working part-time as a realtor in 1973 which quickly transitioned into what became a 40 year career in the business. His passion for helping people and his gregarious personality made real estate a perfect fit. Although he guided many people through the process of finding their perfect home, the majority of his career was in management. What brought him the most joy was watching other people succeed. They were not employees, they were considered family and friends whom he wanted to see thrive and do well not just in their job but also in their lives.

Personally, Denny loved spending time with his family, his dog(s), and visiting Kelleys Island. He cherished the many vacations and weekend trips to the island which allowed him to slow down, reminisce, tell stories and laugh, laugh and laugh some more. He has made an impression on more people’s lives than we can count. He loved scaring people for the fun of it- whether it was hiding behind a door and jumping out at people or driving them down a dark, wooded road at Kelleys to tell them about the hermit who lived in the woods, he thought it was hilarious. He also loved endlessly teasing his grandkids about really anything, and they thought he was hysterical. If one is judged by the amount of people he touched and friends they made, Denny was second to none.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Dennis's honor to:
Cleveland APL ( and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (

Posted on: April 2, 2023

You can view a list of all St. Ed's Alumni who have passed away on our website.

Dennis Charles Hartzell

Make a Gift in Honor of Dennis Charles Hartzell

St. Edward High School is humbled by the generosity expressed by our community. Commemorative gifts enable us to empower our students with the knowledge, skills, and Holy Cross values to grow into Christ-like servant leaders. To make a memorial gift, click below.

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