Patrick Jay Ertle

Class of 1982

In Memoriam

Below is the death notice of Patrick Ertle, Class of 1982. Brother of John Ertle Jr., Class of 1980 and William Ertle, Class of 1986. Father of John M. Ertle, Class of 2014. Please keep the Ertle family in your prayers.

Patrick Jay Ertle, 59, of Cleveland, Ohio passed away peacefully on April 4, 2024. Patrick was preceded in death by his parents, John and Mary Anne (nee Forristell) and his brother, Michael. He is survived by his wife, Susan (nee Sears), his children, John, Emily, Kate Watson (Scott) and Neal Hutchison (Chelsea), his grandchildren, Audrey, Olivia, Jack and Abigail, his brothers Karl (Carol), John Jr. (Kathy), William (Yvette), his sisters-in-law, Ann Musca Ertle (fiancé Greg Shirk), Denise Sears (Mary Stanton) and Jeni Matousek (Rob), his brother-in-law, Gene Sears (Carol) and numerous beloved nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Patrick was born June 30, 1964, the fourth of five brothers who grew up in a boisterous home in Lakewood, Ohio. He was a proud graduate of St. Edward High School, the Borromeo Seminary, and Cleveland Marshall College of Law. Professionally, Pat was a highly accomplished attorney, but his greatest achievements in life were his personal relationships and the camaraderie that he cultivated. Pat could travel just about anywhere in the world and manage to find the friendly face of someone who’s life he had already touched. He loved his wife, Susan, his children, his grandchildren and any day spent on the golf course. No one could outmatch his vast knowledge of random facts and information, which earned him the nickname “Pat-o-pedia”. Of course, for any gaps in his wisdom, he quickly turned to his technological mistress. “Siri, search the web…”.

Patrick loved food, and had a unique approach to culinary adventures. Despite all the amazing meals he shared with the numerous, incredible cooks in his family, Patrick loved to cook on his own terms from time to time. Annually, an October tradition was celebrated by Patrick. He would call out of work, head to the grocery store at 8 in the morning (usually “Sapell’s Big Meat Sale”), and prepare a practice Thanksgiving turkey to make sure it was just right for the upcoming holiday. Patrick was never once in charge of the actual Thanksgiving turkey.

Patrick was well-traveled, and throughout his life he visited to over 15 countries. During high school, he taught English in Puerto Rico for two summers. Later, during college, he lived in Rome for six months. He loved visiting Europe, and had a special affection for the Irish and Italian coasts. When he wasn’t travelling, you could find him binging “Rick Steve’s Europe” tourism videos about travel, art, and history.

Patrick had many friends. In fact, he was nearly guaranteed to run into at least one acquaintance every time he left the house. His kids noted that this held true, even at highway rest stops several states away, the Italian airport, or a McDonald’s in The Netherlands. His kind and caring demeanor earned him many supporters, and he truly took an interest in all people.

In fact, Patrick’s interest in people and their future always seemed to be a core trait of his. In the 90s, Patrick taught over 2000 young men theology class at St. Ignatius. Later in his career, when he took on new roles, he always seemed to attract old colleagues or friends to work with him once again. He loved connecting people together, and was always thrilled at the chance to bring together like minds.

He craved the news. So much so, that he would wake up around 4:30am and consume all of the early broadcast, plus every MSN article posted that day. No need to get up to date on current events through traditional sources! Pat was happy to supply you with the AM brief, regardless of how sleepy and un-caffeinated you were.

Patrick was a man with many “trademarks”. You could spot him in any crowd, with his huge hands forming a “five finger wave”. His ready smile and huge, hard hugs were sure to make anyone feel welcome, seen, and loved. He had many phrases: “It’s a funny story” or “it’s kinda funny” whenever he shared one of his life’s parables, “I read an article the other day” when he was ready to discuss the day’s politics or an interesting new topic, or “all you have to do is breathe” when he told his kids and grandkids all they needed to do to earn his unconditional love and everlasting support.

Perhaps one of Patrick’s best traits, and also one that got him in trouble from time to time, was his honesty. He always believed that the truth was the only path forward, and his integrity and judge of character reflected this honesty. For those close enough to ask Patrick about how he conducted his relationships, he always assured, and reassured, that the goal was for everyone to be happy and healthy. He truly elicited the most genuine versions of the people around him, and it was obvious that all he wanted was to support and love anyone and everyone in his circle.

Patrick’s compass always pointed true North, and his strong yet gentle example certainly influenced the character of many in his life. Through any rough patch, we could rely on him to pick up the slack, exchange strong words when necessary, and carry the load when others could not. He was always “a good man in a storm.”

A memorial mass and celebration of Patrick’s life will be held at 10am on Friday, April 12, 2024 at St. Patrick Parish, 3602 Bridge Avenue, Cleveland, Ohio 44113. In lieu of flowers the family suggests memorial contributions made in Patrick’s name to VeloSano in order to support cancer research at Cleveland Clinic. Donations may be made online at or via check mailed to Velosano / Cleveland Clinic, P.O. Box 933441, Cleveland, Ohio, 44193.

Posted on: April 8, 2024

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

Patrick Jay Ertle

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matt stepnowsky teaching a class