Karla Ertel

Obituary of Karla Ertel

Ertel: Karla Eileen (née Kelly) -

A resident of Chatham. Karla Eileen Ertel passed away peacefully at home on April 9, 2024 at the age of 77. Karla was the beloved wife and best friend for 54 years to Jack (Jay) Ertel. 

She was the loving mother to her two daughters Lauren Stirling (Brian Dantas) of West Bloomfield MI and Marti Ertel-Karpala (Ken Karpala) Belle River ON. Devoted grandmother “Mya” to the love of her life Sloane Stirling.

She was predeceased by parents Francis Kelly and Veronica Kelly by brothers Paul Kelly, James Kelly, Joseph Kelly and sisters Leone Callander, Barb Delaney and Bonnie Davies. She is survived by husband Jack (Jay) Ertel and many cousins, nieces, and nephews and their families. Karla will be greatly missed.

Karla was born in Guelph ON. She graduated from St. Joseph’s School of Nursing in Chatham as an RN and the University of Windsor with a BA in Sociology and a B.Ed. Her Nursing Career included employment at a Hospital and a Long Term Care Nursing Home. After raising her family and completing her degrees she worked at Mental Health Kent as an Administrator at a Group Home and then dedicated herself to teaching with The Kent County Board of Education. Karla was a retired teacher who was passionate about her career and the success of her students. She loved working with the grades 1 & 2 in Chatham, Blenheim and Ridgetown. She introduced Learning Centres to the classroom. A student favourite was the reading centre. A bright yellow cast iron bathtub with legs and a blanket. A favourite project featured Russell a fully grown Duck that joined the classroom daily. The students heard about his escapades and then wrote their lessons. Many fond teaching memories were enjoyed by Karla in retirement.

Karla enjoyed entertaining family and friends at the cottage in Balm Beach ON from the 70’s to the present time in the summer. She played tennis for many years and just recently began to enjoy Pickleball. Fitness was a lifestyle for Karla. She was an active member of the Chatham Fitness Centres for many years. Karla had the opportunity to explore many cultures during her 24 years of retirement through travel with her beloved husband Jay. Travel included visiting many countries in North and Central America, Europe, British Isles and South America. Karla was also an active participant in many St. Clair College Retirees’Association activities.

As per Karla’s wishes. Cremation has taken place. A memorial service will be held at a later date for the family.

A special thank you to our Physicians and the Home Care Team who showed compassion and love during her 7 years with Alzheimer Disease. Dr. Biondi and Dr. Sutherland, Chatham and Dr. Pasternak, London.

Donations in Karla’s memory may be made to the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, Chatham-Kent Hospice Foundation or a Charity of your choice would be appreciated by the family.

Online condolences may be left at www.mckinlayfuneralhome.com

McKinlay Funeral Home
459 St. Clair Street, Chatham

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