Daniel L. Metzger, who offered students theory, practice, and encouragement in a long career teaching electronics technology at Monroe County Community College, died Monday at ProMedica Ebeid Hospice Residence in Sylvania. He was 74.
He’d been dealing with Parkinson’s disease since he was 57 years old, his wife, Sue, said. Formerly of Bedford Township and Sylvania Township, he lived most recently at Kingston Residence of Sylvania.
Mr. Metzger was an associate professor of electronics technology at the college, retiring in 2005 after 38 years. He also served on the college curriculum committee. He wrote several books in the field, including electronic components, instruments, and troubleshooting and microcomputer electronics.
He realized his select readership wouldn’t land him atop bestseller lists.
He told The Blade in 1981 that his first book, Electronic Circuit Behavior, published five years earlier, had sold 18,000 copies.
“Well, that’s 18,000 people I have reached or profoundly affected. That feels pretty good,” he said then.
A former student who visited pulled out a copy of Mr. Metzger’s Electronics Pocket Handbook, and said he went nowhere without it, Mr. Metzger’s wife recalled.
“I always wanted to marry someone smarter than me and, trust me, I was a very lucky woman,” his wife said.
At the start of a class, his students got an outline of what they had to do to attain a particular grade. The approach, he told The Blade, gave students a chance to be responsible for their grades, which motivated them.
In the electronics lab, students “didn’t buy anything. You found out how to make it. That’s how you learned — making something and realizing how it worked,” his wife said.
To prepare students for the working world, he kept abreast of the currents in Silicon Valley and elsewhere. “He told them, ‘Don’t stay here. You can always come back here. Go out and learn your craft,’” his wife said. “He was the most moral man I ever met.”
He was born Nov. 29, 1943, in Lima, Ohio, to Catharine and Leonard Metzger and grew up in West Toledo.
He was a 1961 graduate of Central Catholic High School and received a full scholarship afterward from Toledo Edison to study electrical engineering at the University of Toledo. He received his bachelor’s degree in 1966 and, later, a master of education degree.
He worked for Magnavox in Illinois before he began teaching. Over summers he worked at Toledo Scale and Owens-Illinois Inc.
He was an amateur radio operator and earned a license at age 13. He taught his son and daughter to sail and to windsurf atop a device he designed and built. He sang bass in a barbershop-style group and could recite long passages from memory — “The Raven,” “The Cremation of Sam McGee,”and “Casey at the Bat.”
Surviving are his wife, the former Susan Gray, whom he married June 19, 1965; son, Michael; daughter, Jennifer Mason; sister, Constance Ryan, and three grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday at Reeb Funeral Home, Sylvania, with memorial services at 11 a.m. Saturday.
The family suggests tributes to the Parkinson Foundation of Northwest Ohio.
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