EAST GREENBUSH - Beloved hometown hero, Peter B. Ertz-Berger, 81, peacefully passed away Wednesday, June 24, 2020, at his family home in East Greenbush.
Peter, “Pete” was born in Cleveland, Ohio, the son of the late Albert N and Jane M. (Ball) Metzger.
He attended local schools and graduated from East Greenbush high School in 1955. After joining the military later that same year, Pete went on to United States Coast Guard basic seaman training. After that he entered Diesel Engineer Tech college and specialized in maintenance, repair, & re-manufacture of the Coast Guards diesel engine powered fleet of vessels. Pete was also put through electrical and HVAC technical schools during his military career and excelled in many mechanical specialties including the fabrication of fiberglass hullworks. He went on to spend over 22 years serving our country in places like Japan, Alaska, Marcus Island in the pacific, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and South Florida eventually attaining rank of Petty Officer First class before his honorable discharge in the 70s.
After retiring from the Military Pete spent much time in the south Married to his wife Elizabeth A. Ertz-Berger and raising their 5 healthy beautiful children. Pete returned to his home town in the 80s and began a new career serving the local East Greenbush Transit department as a School-bus driver. It was there that Pete fell in love with his new career and all the wonderful and cherished folks he had the privilege of working with at the bus garage. He retired in 2016.
Mr. Ertz-Berger was well liked for his knack of easily making new friends and was loved by many. Known for his tenderness and generosity, Pete brought a special love and joy to all who knew him and he loved to make folks smile. The quintessential handyman... there wasn't much Pete could not fix or repair for friends and family.
Pete loved being outdoors and enjoyed hunting, woodworking, mechanics, snowmobiling, camping, and traveling to new places. Pete spent much time teaching and passing on to his boys many of his mechanical aptitudes. In his later years, he looked forward to just sharing time going to lunch, dinner, hardware stores, and other places with his many friends.
Survivors include two daughters Gina Schwantz and Erika Nevela, four sons John Ertz-Berger, Robert A. Schwantz, Derek P. Ertz-Berger, Frederick R. Ertz-Berger, mother of his children, Elizabeth A. Ruppert, and brother Drew Ertz-Berger and his wonderful family.
Pete has 7 wonderful and loving grandchildren, Courtney, Taylor, Bobbie, Isabella, Tina, Austin, Brent and one sweet great grandchild Bella.
Relatives and friends are invited to attend his memorial calling hours Thursday from 4-7 while practiciing masks and social distancing at the Wm. J. Rockefeller Funeral Home 165 Columbia Tpk or Via Zoom Link https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81667639495 . A memorial service will follow at 7:00 pm also via Zoom link which friends are incouraged to use.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Peter’s name to a charity of ones choice