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Herbert Metzger; 1923-2013: WWII vet a finalist in Jefferson recognition




Herbert Metzger of Sylvania, an educator, philanthropist, and founding member of the board of Toledo Children’s Hospital, died Oct. 7 in Toledo Hospital. He was 90.

His wife, Carolyn, said he had suffered from Parkinson’s disease and heart trouble for more than a decade, but kept up his many interests and a lively quality of life until recently.

He taught science in the Springfield and Anthony Wayne school districts in the 1950s, moving to Washington Local Schools about 1960, where he also was a teacher, school psychologist, and director of pupil personnel for 15 years, Mrs. Metzger said.

Mr. Metzger served on many area boards, including the Toledo Zoo, Toledo Symphony, and Toledo Hospital, where he was founding chairman of the Toledo Children’s Hospital board.

He was a finalist in 2006 for the Jefferson Award for community service.

Sandusky County Soil and Water Conservation District named him Outstanding Cooperator of the Year in 2001.

“He loved to be with people. He might be the quiet one in the group, but he always loved to go,” Mrs. Metzger said.

She said he was “a gem to live with,” and doted on his three daughters.

Mrs. Metzger said her husband had good business sense, was a “savvy investor,” and liked to fix things.

“He believed in giving to your hometown,” she said.

His favorite activity was fishing, be it in Florida, Lake Erie, or Alaska, where he traveled to a fishing camp 23 times.

A fourth-generation Lucas County resident, he was born in Toledo to George and Rose Metzger.

He graduated from Scott High School in 1941 and spent free time as a youth at Metzger Marsh in eastern Lucas County that was once owned by his family.

Mr. Metzger attended Wittenberg University for one year and then transferred to Michigan State University.

During World War II he served in the Army Air Force, training as a pilot while also learning mechanics and hydraulics.

He returned to Michigan State where he received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in soil science.

Later, he attended the University of Toledo and received a bachelor’s degree in physics, a master’s in counseling, guidance, and psychology, and an education specialist degree.

He owned a farm near Fremont and managed an apple orchard.

“He was a real naturalist too. We grew a lot of food. We always had gardens growing when we were little girls,” said his daughter, Holly Metzger.

“He was a very down-to-Earth man, and he was very humble. He had a lot of irons in the fire.”

Surviving are his wife of 62 years, Carolyn Metzger; daughters, Susan Metzger, Sally Friend, and Holly Metzger, and sister Anna May Timmons.

Visitation is at Reeb Funeral Home, Sylvania, from 3 to 8 p.m. Sunday. Services are at Hope Lutheran Church at 11 a.m. Monday.

The family suggests tributes to the Toledo Zoo, Toledo Museum of Art, Toledo Children’s Hospital, Toledo Symphony, or Hope Lutheran Church-Salem Fund.

Contact Tom Troy: or 419--724-6058 or an Twitter @TomFTroy.

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