CLEVELAND — Hearts were heavy at Cleveland Fire Station 22 where the firefighter Johnny Tetrick worked for more than two decades before his death over the weekend.
“I'm a better person from working with Johnny Tetrick,” said firefighter Dan Zudic.
His colleagues, friends and family shared their most cherished memories of Tetrick, from his strong work ethic to his advice.
"When I was told I was going to be assigned here, I didn't know what to think,” said Zudic.
No one was a stranger to Tetrick, not even when Zudic was the new guy at Station 22, affectionately called "Double Deuces."
“And you saw that Johnny Tetrick was on the schedule, you know it was going to be a good day,” said Zudic.
Tetrick had a larger-than-life presence at the firehouse.
"His smile every day coming into work was infectious. When you left you wanted to be the best you had to give,” said firefighter Ray Wacker.
Tetrick was known to always be ready for any call.
On this day, his helmet sat on the kitchen table where any downtime meant good laughs over good food.
"It's not often you get a good Korean dish at a firehouse, but he could whip up a great dish,” said Firefighter Robert Schwind.
Tetrick died last weekend in a hit-and-run. He was on duty trying to save lives after a crash on I-90.
Tetrick’s father is a retired Cleveland firefighter, a career Tetrick’s daughters say he always wanted.
"I begged him to retire because it was such a dangerous occupation,” said his father, Kris Tetrick.
Throughout the station, there are memories from that fateful night, including the board with his name and duty, his life as a firefighter and what mattered to him the most.
“It was about guiding them through life, that was it,” said his best friend, Greg Juratic.
Tetrick’s love for his daughters was evident from one look at his station locker. Pictures decorated both doors.
"This is our family. We grew up here, we came here for birthdays, Christmases and everything, so this is where he was at, this is our family too,” said Tetrick’s daughter, Falon.
"Twenty-five years he stayed here and I think a big part of that is he is fiercely loyal,” said his daughter, Eden.
"They lost a brother and we lost a dad,” said his daughter, Regan.
"These girls are now my girls and I hope I do it right,” said Juratic.
Juratic described his relationship with Tetrick as inseparable.
"My day revolved around what his day was a lot of times and vice versa,” said Juratic.
Greg has two girls of his own and looked to Tetrick for advice.
"His advice is paramount, you can't get better advice,” said Juratic.
That sentiment was felt by his colleagues, both the veterans and the younger crew.
"That helped make you a better person because you wouldn't want to let Johnny down,” said Zudic.
Tetrick’s daughters say their dad worked four jobs, that he loved to help people and would always put others first.
His colleagues say Tetrick deserves a full arena this weekend as a tribute for his final goodbye and welcome anyone to come out to pay respects.
Details on Tetrick's funeral service, from a Cleveland Fire Department news release, are below:
A funeral service will be held on Saturday, November 26, 2022, at 11 a.m. (doors open at 10 a.m.) at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse at 1 Center Court in Cleveland. Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse and the Gateway complex are uniquely equipped and prepared to be the site of the funeral service.
The service is open to the public.
The processional route to Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse on Saturday is below:
- Rt. 91 NB - Rt. 6 WB - Euclid WB - Dille/Nottingham NB - St. Clair WB - E. 79th SB - Superior WB - E. 9th NB - Erieside WB - Al Lerner Way WB - W. 3rd SB - St. Clair WB - W. 9th SB - W. Huron SE - Ontario SB - Carnegie EB - E. 9th NB - Bolivar WB – Under Garage Parking.
General parking for attendees is available at the East Garage.
Gates of entry for the general public include the Sherwin Williams entrance and the Cliffs entrance located on the corners of Huron Rd. and Ontario St. / Huron Rd and E. 6th St., respectively.
Road closures surrounding the arena
- Ontario/Huron Eastbound
- E. 9th / Carnegie
- E. 9th / Sumner
- E. 9th / Erie Court
- E. 9th @ Cemetery
- E. 9th / Bolivar - E/B Bolivar open from E. 9th
- E. 9th / Prospect
- Huron / Prospect
- E. 9th Pl / Huron
- E. 8th / Huron
- E. 7th / Huron
- E. 6th / Huron
- E. 4th / High St
Cleveland Police will be on site to direct and assist with the flow of traffic.
Those who do not plan to attend in person may view a live stream of the event via the Cleveland Division of Fire Facebook page.
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