Donald Everett Metzger passed away at Miller's Merry Manor in Culver July 22, 2017, at the age of 99 years and 8 months.
He was born in Syracuse, Nov. 9, 1917, the son of David W. and Ella Pha (Woods) Metzger. The family later moved to Goshen, where a sister, Mary, was born.
Don started school in Goshen, but in 1925 the family moved to Kewanna. There he continued his education. In high school, he played basketball and baseball for four years and ran track.
After graduation in 1935, he went to work for the Standard Elevator in Kewanna. He helped to build the elevator in Monon, riding there with his father and the other workers.
Don continued playing baseball on a local team, as well as being a substitute on teams from Winamac and Logansport. He even played against Ted Williams in a game during World War II. An opportunity to try out for the Chicago White Sox was available, but jobs were hard to get during the Depression, so he passed on the opportunity.
On Oct. 6, 1940, he married the love of his life, Geneva W. Lemmon, at the Methodist church in Kewanna. Five children were born of this union: Karen Sue, Avondale, Pennsylvania, Donald Gene and Robert Dale (Rosa), both of Rochester, Diane Kay, who died after a month of life, and Thomas Dean (Mary Lou), Palatine, Illinois. Seven grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren blessed the lives of Don and Geneva in the 64 years of their marriage. Geneva passed away May 19, 2005.
In September 1949, Don became the general manager of the Fulton County Farm Bureau Co-op and that October, the family moved from Kewanna to Clay Street in Rochester. In 1958, Don purchased 40 acres west of Rochester and later added another 40.
The family moved to Goshen when he was hired as general manager of the Elkhart County Farm Bureau Co-op in June 1962. Don retired after a total of 33 years as a manager and moved back to Rochester and built a house on the 80 acres in 1979. He did work on the house himself after helping Don Woolington's construction company build the frame and roof.
Don served as a member of, and later chief of, the Kewanna Volunteer Fire Department; served as a volunteer at Rochester Elementary School; served as a trustee for Grace Methodist Church and Methodist Church in Goshen; served on the Fulton County Fair Board; was a volunteer for the Cancer Society; a member of the Lions Club; and was a member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows for 75 years.
He had rare Type O blood, so he gave blood as often as possible, donating more than 8 gallons. He served as a Red Coat at Woodlawn Hospital.
He loved his farm, where he raised corn and beans as well as Hereford cattle.
Don was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, Geneva, and infant daughter, Diane.
He leaves behind a sister, Mary Renkenberger (Bob); children, Karen, Don, Bob (Rosa) and Tom (Mary Lou); seven grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; nieces and nephews.
He was the person the family looked to for help. He will be greatly missed by all.
His funeral will take place Friday, July 28, at 11 a.m. at Harrison-Metzger & Rans Funeral Home in Kewanna.
Visitation is set for Thursday, July 27, from 4 to 8 p.m. at the funeral home and also one hour before the funeral service Friday.
Burial will be at the Kewanna IOOF Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be sent to Mount Hope Methodist Church, 7022 W. 700 North, Culver, IN 46511 or to the Kewanna Alumni Association, in care of Robert Clyde, P.O. Box 92, Kewanna, IN 46939
To sign the online guest book or leave a condolence for the Metzger family, visit www.ransfuneralhomes.com.
Published on July 25, 2017