CARL R. ERNEY age 89, beloved husband of the late Jean M (nee Capuiso); loving father of Patrick (wife Cindy), Jeffry (wife Sandra) and the late Rhonda Fornaro (husband Andrew Jr. deceased); devoted grandfather of Angela Oleszczuk (husband Talon), Erin Elizabeth, Robert Fornaro, Katelyn Pepper (husband Darren “Daz”), Ryan Erney (wife Erin M), and Jeffrey and great grandfather of Jackson Erney, Charlie Pepper, Marin Oleszczuk, Wyatt Erney and Adalie Oleszczuk; dear son of the late Carmelo and Nancy (nee Cottone) Ianito; dearest brother of Oliver Erney and Phyllis Messina and preceded in death by 14 brothers and sisters; cherished son in law of the late Pasquale and Mary Capuozzo; dear uncle and great-uncle of many.
Carl was born on December 5, 1932, and grew up in Cleveland -Haymarket area. He was the 15th of 16 children born to his mother Nancy. Within his family each child had a nickname, and he had the distinguished nickname of “Big Head” or “Biggie,” as most of his siblings and friends called him. He attended Saint Anthony’s and Saint Bridget’s grade school where he excelled skipping the fifth grade. The teachers wanted him to skip another grade, which he refused, as he did not think it was fair to his older brother to have him in the same class. The pastor of the school offered Carl a full scholarship to attend Cathedral Latin High School, which was the premier catholic high school in Cleveland at that time. He declined this generous offer, as he felt since he was coming from a lower economic status than the other students, he would not be comfortable in that environment. This decision was one of the few regrets he had during his life. Carl attended Cleveland Trade High School. He served in the US Army during the Korean War, where he worked as a courier delivering packages and information to multiple bases in Asia.
Carl met his beautiful wife Jean at a dance where he saw her sitting on a bench by herself dangling her feet with her shoes off. The night he met Jean he proclaimed to his best friend Eddy Mansour that he was going to marry that girl, which he did. They spent over 50 years in a loving caring marriage. Carl and Jean had three children: Patrick, Rhonda and Jeffry and raised their family in Mayfield Heights.
Despite not attending college, Carl used his natural intellect and strong work ethic to advance his career in the corporate setting. He spent the majority of the first chapter of his career working as the Plant Manager for Western Reserve Container, a division of Figgie International. He also took a second job in the evenings and on the weekends as a furniture salesman at Named Brand Furniture to be able to send his children to Catholic High and college. He retired from Western Reserve at the age of 62. After just a few months of retirement he decided retirement was not his thing, so he rejoined the workforce as the Purchasing Director with AC Welding. He worked an additional 25 years for AC Welding retiring at the age of 87. But for COVID he would have continued working for as long as his good friends at AC Welding would have had him.
He was a member of the Knights of Columbus for over 50 years, where he spent much of his free time playing cards with his beloved friends. He was a very serious card player but also enjoyed the camaraderie and storytelling that went along with these times. After these card playing sessions, he would always come home with a humorous story involving, Dominic, Jimmy, Louie, Vinnie, Lumpy or Frankie. His family loved these stories and will remember each of these friends fondly.
Carl will be remembered as a man with a no non-sense demeanor. A coarse exterior that harbored the warmest of hearts. He was a caring and loving husband, father and friend who loved to “bust chops” but would quickly and without hesitation help anyone in need, especially his family and friends. His family will miss all of the joy and humor he provided.
Carl was especially close to his older brother Ollie. Their special bond lasted throughout the years and continued with their weekly phone calls until his passing. Carl’s children want to give a special thanks to a few others that befriended, cared for and loved their Dad in his later years including Tom Nocero (his adopted son), Tim Gorbach and Brian Gay. We love and appreciate everything you did for our father.
Mass of Christian Burial Friday, September 30, 2022 at 10 AM at St. Clare Catholic Church 5659 Mayfield Rd, Cleveland, OH 44124. Burial following at Knollwood Cemetery. Family will receive friends to pay tribute to and celebrate the life of Carl at THE DeJOHN-FLYNN-MYLOTT FUNERAL HOME OF WILLOUGHBY HILLS (between Bishop Rd. and Rt. 91) THURSDAY 3-5 and 6-8 PM. Online obituary, guestbook, and order flowers at www.DeJohnCares.com