Cover photo for Patrick J. Mertaugh's Obituary
Patrick J. Mertaugh Profile Photo

Patrick J. Mertaugh

Patrick passed away peacefully into the arms of Jesus, Monday, October 17, 2022, with his beloved wife, Bonnie and friends at his bedside.

Pat was an incredibly gifted bluegrass musician whose music touched thousands of people over the decades. He lived out the gospel message in his humility, kindness, love and generosity. Patrick was involved in many local bands over the years, with the Sweet Corn, Green Valley Boys, Wasepi Gospel Band, Lonesome Moonlight Trio and others. He frequently played at nursing homes, churches, prisons, restaurants and concerts. Pat was inducted into the Michigan Country Music Hall of Fame. He walked “the road less traveled” and created a satisfying and rich life, focusing on the simple things and the joy of the moment.

Born in Kalamazoo to Marjorie and Adrian Mertaugh, he graduated from Kalamazoo Central and attended WMU. He served his country in the Army. He worked at Gibson Guitar for many years and loved his work there, creating instruments and fine tuning them so there was music involved in his job and many friends with the same interests. Pat was a loving, caring and amazing husband who always wanted the best for his wife.

He is survived by his loving wife, Bonnie who is so thankful for her wonderful husband Pat who treated her with the upmost love and kindness; sister, Linda (Jack) Lamoreaux; brothers, Michael (Clemence) Mertaugh and Thomas (Karen) Mertaugh; nine nieces and nephews, Lisa, John, David, Kevin, Hannah, Hilary, Nicholas, Megan and Ryan and 16 great-nieces and nephews.

Friends may visit with Pat’s family from 11:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M., Friday, October 21, 2022, at the Winkel Funeral Home, Otsego.

A graveside service will take place at 1:30 at Mountain Home Cemetery in Otsego, with Pastor Ray Brown officiating.

Contributions in memory of Pat may be made to the

Kalamazoo Gospel Mission


Messages of condolence may be posted at

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Condolence Messages

Brenda Olson

October 18, 2022 at 5:03 pm

I always enjoyed listening to Pat’s music and also enjoyed playing Dueling Banjo’s with Pat. He was a wonderful man and a great friend of my dad Bill Shingledecker who passed away last November 27th. Pat will be missed by so many! May you now RIP Pat.


Betty Moore

October 18, 2022 at 5:08 pm

Only heard him play a few times with Bill Shingledecker and others. He and my niece would play “Dueling banjos and it was so fun to watch and listen to them. Just a very sweet and kind man. He will be missed by so many.


Marty Koviak

October 21, 2022 at 12:54 am

I had the privilege of making music with Pat a few times. He was a great musician and a nice person. Admired him for his work at Gibson too. Rest in Peace Pat


Brenda Shafer

October 18, 2022 at 5:31 pm

Aunt Bonnie,

We want to extend our condolences on the loss of Pat. You are in our thoughts & prayers now & in these coming days. May you get rest & find peace knowing that Pat is walking & talking with Jesus! I’m certain he’s playing some instrument & making beautiful The Shafer’s (Tracey, Brenda, Preston, Emily, Ethan & Hannah)


Tom and Connie Koning

October 18, 2022 at 5:36 pm

We were blessed to know Pat and loved his talent, music and general spirit. We are praying for his family and close friends!!


Charlie Burgstahler

October 18, 2022 at 6:50 pm

Pat and I played a lot of music together over the years. He was a good, kind friend. I will miss him very much. Thanks for being my neighbor and friend.

Charlie. From the (Sodbusters)


James D. Fuller

October 18, 2022 at 7:01 pm

I have know Pat for many years and enjoyed playing music with him occassionally. I am sure he will be missed greatly by the music world.



October 19, 2022 at 8:51 am

Our condolences to the family


Penny Rose

October 19, 2022 at 9:56 am

My dad loved the Lonesome Moonlight Trio and he would often eat at Cooper Cafe just so he could hear them (we often joined him). Condolences to all the family. And thank you to Pat for all the music he shared with my family.


Richard n Dianna Brown

October 19, 2022 at 2:19 pm

My name is Rich Brown, I have known Patrick since 1962 when i started working at Gibson Guitar. He played with my brothers Jim ,Jack and Lynn and my brother- in- law Ken and my self in in gospel group called ,The Sounds of Faith. Pat’s love for music is what he lived for, He could play for hours an wouldn’t stop until it was time to eat. He will be missed.


Dawn Edwards

October 19, 2022 at 5:21 pm

Pat was such a kind and humble person. I loved listening to him play at Pat Baker’s holiday parties. He was so very talented and down to earth. He will be missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him. Keeping Pat’s family and friends in my prayers.


Mike Frank

October 20, 2022 at 8:41 am

So sorry for the loss of Pat. He was fun to be with and we always had a great time playing music together.


Ren Wall

October 20, 2022 at 11:26 am

Pat was respected and loved by so many musicians. He loved his banjos and loved working on them.

He enjoyed the process of experimenting on them to achieve perfection and that he did.

Meeting Bonnie was one of he best things that could have happened to Pat

I am a better person for knowing him.


Ren Wall


Bud Johnson

October 20, 2022 at 2:01 pm

Sincere Condolences to Pat’s family. Great memories playing music with Pat and the Looking Back Band. He was so very talented, it was a pleasure knowing him.


Susan Frary

October 20, 2022 at 3:42 pm

My deepest condolences to Pat’s wife

and family. Pat was a great man. I always

felt it an honor to pick beside him at the

Scott’s Jam. He was without question one

of the smoothest and best banjo pickers

I have ever come to know.He always had

a smile and something positive to say. Rest in peace my brother. You will be

sorely missed by all who knew you!


Ernie Hamilton

October 20, 2022 at 7:15 pm

I remember meeting Pat at Gibson’ Guitar and then playing music with him. I was always impressed by his awesome gift and knowledge of music! He could play many instruments, including the piano. But what impressed me the most was how humble he was and his love for Jesus and compassion for others.. He will be missed!


Steve Cowles

October 21, 2022 at 8:06 pm

Pat Mertaugh is one of finest human beings it has been my pleasure to know. I’ve known him all my life, and grew up listening to his exemplary musicianship. I’ve never heard a better banjo player. Pat was always happy to share his faith. I know that he’s enjoying heaven in the company of family, friends and his savior.

Until we meet again friend.


Sandi Champion

October 25, 2022 at 9:34 pm

Pat used to come out to the Roe Ranch and play for the family on Sunday afternoons and at Christmas Eve. He played at my brother and sisters in laws’ funeral in 2013. Such a blessing he was to us. My mom was Lynn Crowner Roe and her brothers were Marty and Joe Crowner. They all grew up in the knollwood neighborhood together. Such a kind and talented man. Our condolescences go out to his family and wife Bonnie.


Mary P

October 26, 2022 at 7:07 pm

I remember about 30 years ago attending the Stulberg competition at Western with my young daughter. A cellist played and when she finished Pat jumped out of his seat and called out brava brava and soon after Sir Yahudi Menuhin awarded her the top prize and compared her to Jacqueline Dupree. Ibrings tears to my eyes to remember how much Pat enjoyed that wonderful music and how he has appreciated so many genres of music but mostly I am sad because it was so special to watch him enjoy the music. He really enjoyed the music.


David Shields

October 27, 2022 at 9:55 am

The world has lost a truly unique person too soon. Pat’s playing in 4/4 time heaven. My condolences to the family.


Linda Mertaugh Lamoreaux

October 31, 2022 at 4:13 pm

Pat is my brother and I am so thankful that he was himself and not influenced by fame or fortune. He shared his gift of music with thousands of people over the years and brought much joy. He lives on in my heart and I miss him so much. His uniqueness and his courage to be himself was a wondrous thing. God gifted him with amazing musical talent and he carried that gift out into the world as he lived daily the Gospel message of Jesus.


Mike Baker

November 8, 2022 at 1:45 pm

I grew up in the Knollwood neighborhood, and knew Pat and his family for many years. There wasn’t anything he couldn’t do or accomplish, and with and caring and gentle spirit. His guitar/banjo playing was legendary, and about blew me away when in later years, I found out he was also an accomplished pianist. Godspeed Pat.


Lydia Hines

November 29, 2022 at 3:54 pm

I had lost track of Pat in more recent years so this obituary came as a shock to me; I remember his encouragement of my daughter, Edith, as she began her violin studies as a very young girl, as well as his offers of advice as we looked for “the right instrument” and “the right bow” for her use. May God give you His comfort as you reflect on Pat’s life and the joy he brought to so many.


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