Patrick J. Fitch (“Monk”)  (T-9)

January 17, 2016

Chicago Tribune, 1/29, 2016:

“Patrick Joseph Fitch, 74, died January 17, 2016 in Istanbul, Turkey. He is survived by his loving wife Ayten, his son Enver (Katie) and granddaughter Abigal; 5 sisters and 4 brothers and many nieces and nephews. He was a former resident of River Forest, Illinois before traveling to Istanbul for his work with the Peace Corps. He met his loving wife of over 30 years in Istanbul and there he made a home. Patrick often travelled back to Illinois and Washington to visit with family and friends. He was laid to rest in Turkey.”   


Patrick J. “Monk” Fitch passed away recently in Istanbul, Turkey, where he was buried.  His Wife, Ayten and son, Enver were present as well as his brother, Michael who shared some impressions of his funeral and burial:  “It was an unusual ceremony, had to be in a Catholic Church and a Catholic cemetery since he could not be buried in the common Muslim way, though we tried to do that.  Strange to have a Catholic priest, from Africa, praying in Turkish, with Catholic prayers, to a Muslim audience.  Also a singing nun.  It was all unusual but ok.  Pat had all the Razak family and many friends, about 60 attending. I and all miss him.  Ayten is very weak but ok.  Michael”


Michael has shared some photos of the funeral and burial.  Michael requests that photos of Pat be shared with him. Michael’s daughter is a film-maker and is preparing a slide show honoring Pat which he will share with us.  Michael’s email is,  Also, please share photos with Sandy Anderson for the Arkadaşlar  website ( ).

Pat served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in T-9 from 1965 to 1967. He entered training in Portland, Oregon and completed training at Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey. Here are some comments by the members of Peace Corps who knew Pat and served with him as members of Turkey-9.

  • Dan Leahy, T-9:  Monk always wanted me to go to mass with him when we were all living in Yalincak.  I really like him. A good guy.
  • Ephraim Frankel, T-9:  Thanks for this difficult sad note.  Pat was, and will always be, a good, fine guy, just like Dan said.
  • Mike Basile, T-9:  I got to see him about 10 or so years ago when I was visiting on behalf of my university.  He was then as I remember him in Yalincak, full of energy, fun, optimism. 
  • Robert Staab, T-9: When Sylva and I went back in 74-75, we lived in Istanbul, where we saw Monk , Ayten, and their son Menderes quite a bit. The best memory was my son, Peter, blond and blue eyed, and Menderes wrestling in our small bahçe.  That , of course, and having another bottle of Efes birası  with Monk. Later I tried many times to find him, always failed. Great guy, father, and husband. He will be missed. 
  • ·Ken Hill,T-9: Our sincere condolences to Pat’s families!! We’ll miss ‘Monk’!
  • ·Tom Turner, T-9: Wonderful guy.
  • Sandy Pfunder, T-9: Clarence Falk and his wife, Molly Ehrlinger, were both Turkey 9 volunteers, who married after our stint in Turkey was completed.  In the summer of 2007, Anatolian Artisans organized a tour of Capadocia and Konya, and Clarence (and I) were on that tour.  After we arrived back in Istanbul at the end of our tour, Monk and Ayten met us in Istanbul and Monk spent a day with Clarence and me. 

Association of Returned Peace Corps Volunteers and Friends of Turkey