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Published: Wednesday, 5/7/2014

Joseph J. Metzger [1964-2014]; Print shop co-owner grew family business

BY MARK ZABORNEY
BLADE STAFF WRITER
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Joseph J. Metzger, 50, who focused on growth by diversifying the typesetting business his father founded, died Monday in Hospice of Northwest Ohio, South Detroit Avenue. He learned he had colon cancer in November, 2011.

The couple had four children, ages 13 through 22. The oldest, John, has begun full-time work at Metzgers Printing & Mailing after graduating from the University of Toledo.

Mr. Metzger was president and with his brother, Tom — the chief operating officer — a co-owner. He was inducted into the 2010 Printing Impressions/​RIT Printing Industry Hall of Fame.

He was in his teens when he started working for his father, Norbert, who founded Metzger Type House in 1976 near downtown Toledo. He started full-time work after his 1982 graduation from St. John’s Jesuit High School. The business has since relocated to expanded quarters in South Toledo. The brothers became owners when their father retired in 1996.

Mr. Metzger’s strong suit matched the company’s needs. Customers with computers, for instance, were less likely to need typesetting in 1996 than in 1976.

“He was the marketing and sales and the idea guy,” his brother said. “He was constantly looking for ways for us to diversify into other services for our customers."

In running the business, and personally, the brothers were simpatico.

“We were best partners, best friends, best brothers,” his brother said. “We just read each other so well and did everything so well. He was so outgoing, and I’m the inside guy, the operations guy, and we met in the middle all the time, and that’s what made the business great.”

Mr. Metzger of Sylvania was born Feb. 22, 1964, and grew up in South Toledo. He attended the University of Toledo.

His brother Richard, who also worked at the business, died in 2005.

Surviving are his wife, Dana, whom he married Aug. 12, 1989; sons, John, Mark, and Kevin; daughter, Kelly; mother, Patricia Metzger; sisters, Cathy Plante and Connie Flahie, and brother, Tom.

Visitation will be from 1-9 p.m. Thursday in the Ansberg-West Funeral Home. Services will be at 1 p.m. Friday in St. Joseph Church, Sylvania, where he was a member. Arrangements are by the Walker Funeral Home.

The family suggests tributes to the Joe Metzger Memorial for youth athletics in care of the Catholic Youth Organization at the Diocese of Toledo, 1933 Spielbusch Ave.

Contact Mark Zaborney at: mzaborney@theblade.com or 419-724-6182.



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