March 18, 1959 - January 31, 2023
Ethan was the son of Ernest J. Rosenfeld and Arline Gringer Rosenfeld, born in Suffern, NY. He grew up in Nanuet and Katonah, NY as the middle son of a family of five boys. After high school he attended Tulane University in New Orleans, a city he loved ever after. While there, he became involved with the Oyster Shell Alliance, an anti-nuclear group and worked as a writer and editor for their publications. Unfortunately he didn’t love Tulane so much, and before finally graduating from New College in San Francisco, he made explorations at Columbia University, Sarah Lawrence College, and the School of Visual Arts, where he studied film.
Within a couple of years after graduating from New College, he found his way to Asheville, NC, where he played softball, and managed distribution and occasionally wrote for a small alternative monthly paper, The Green Line. It was here that he became friends with Nancy Patterson, who would eventually become his life partner. He left Asheville briefly to study at the School of International Studies in Vermont before returning and eventually helping to shepherd The Green Line’s transition to a weekly alternative named the Mountain Xpress.
After a decade in Asheville, he returned for a few years to New York to attend Sunbridge College and work as the editor of the High Tor Forum in Chestnut Ridge, NY. When the High Tor Forum closed its doors, Ethan obtained a real estate license and worked as a buyers’ agent for several years in Chestnut Ridge. As he liked to phrase it, he exchanged the High Tor for the RealTor. He enjoyed serving his clients and earning their trust.
He married a friend from Uruguay, Silvia, during this period and helped to raise her son David. By the mid-2000s he was spending part of each year in Uruguay and part of it in Florida and New York. After his separation and divorce from Silvia, Ethan settled in Florida and became a real estate investor and a life coach. He remained there for a decade with his partner Nancy before moving back to North Carolina in 2019.
Along his way through life, Ethan gathered numerous friends and admirers and was loved by many, many people. He was a warm, charming, brilliant and generous man with a marvelous sense of humor and an infectious laugh. He loved people and made a life-long study of the human psyche. He was one of those people who could light up the room when he walked in. He savored life to the fullest and never took a moment for granted. He constantly expressed gratitude for the many ways in which he was blessed.
He is survived by his mother Arline Rosenfeld of Boca Raton, Florida; his devoted partner Nancy Patterson of Greensboro, NC and her children Sarah and Michael; his brother Edward (Karyn Gershon) of New York City and his children Aliza and Leo; brother Michael (Dawn) of Glen Cove, New York and children Jordan and Haley; brother Louis (Mary Jean Babic) of Brooklyn, New York and children Iris and Nathaniel; step-son David Barona (Lesley) and his son Charlie; his aunt Phyllis Taranow and uncle Donald Gringer; and many beloved cousins. He was preceded in death by his father Ernest Rosenfeld and by his oldest brother Philip Rosenfeld. Ethan will be missed by all who love him.
A memorial service is being planned for a future date.
Memorials in Ethan’s memory can be made to: