Henry J. Metzger, 94, of Highland died on Saturday, Aug. 15, 2015 at his home.
Visitation will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 20 at Spengel-Boulanger Funeral Home in Highland and from 9 to 10 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 21 at Evangelical United Church of Christ in Highland. A funeral service will immediately follow the visitation on Friday at the church, with the Rev. Christopher W. Hill, senior pastor, officiating. Burial will be in Highland City Cemetery.
He was born on Sept. 24, 1920 in Bond County, six miles east of Highland, to John G. and Augusta J. “Gussie” (Gantner) Metzger. On Jan. 25, 1947, he married Ivy Eileen Hurley in Hoboken, N.J. She passed away on Feb. 28, 1995.
Mr. Metzger graduated from Highland High School in 1938. In high school, he participated in wrestling, track, softball, FFA and was a livestock judge at the University of Illinois.
Never miss a local story.
In August 1942, he was drafted into the U.S. Army and served with the Transportation Corps with the 11th Port Headquarters Company in Rummney and Hereford, England. He participated in the Normandy Beach invasion. He was discharged at Camp Stoneman, Calif., in October 1945.
After marriage, he and his wife moved to Sharon, Pa., where he worked for Westinghouse Corp., Jewel Tea Co., and then for the May Co., from 1950 to 1960.
In 1960, he returned to Highland and worked for Harris Furniture Store. After the store was sold to Durvardo Furniture, he became its store manager and served in that role until 1973, when opened Metzger’s Home Furnishings Inc. in Greenville. He operated the store in Greenville until its closing in February 2009.
Mr. Metzger enjoyed the furniture business and considered it a vocation and “advocation.” He represented Madison and Bond counties on the Private Industry Council of Southwest Illinois. He served as a past president of the Highland Chamber of Commerce. He also was on the Greenville Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors and was chairman its Nominating Committee. He had also been a member of the Greenville Commercial Club. He was a member of the Greenville Investment Club since 1973 and served as its president in 2002, and he was a member of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association for more than 40 years.
Mr. Metzger also donated many, many hours of his time to his communities. He was a member of Evangelical United Church of Christ in Highland, where he also served on the Consistory two terms and also served as vice president. He was a member of VFW Post 5694 in Highland. He was a member of the Highland Rotary Club member since 1964 and had perfect attendance. He served as Rotary Club president from 1969-1970 and was also named a Paul Harris Fellow. He served on the Highland Home Association board for 33 years, 23 as president, and he was a also member of the Kaskaskia College Curriculum Advisory Committee.
Survivors include a son, Terry J. (fiancee Sharon Head) Metzger of Highland; a daughter, Susan M. (Stephen) Weiss of Chandler, Ariz.; grandchildren, Simon J. Weiss of Mountain View, Calif., and Sarah M. (Jason) Kelly of Scottsdale, Ariz.; great-grandchild, Connor J. Kelly and Carter J. Kelly, both of Scottsdale, Ariz.; a sister, Selma M. Warnecke of Highland; a sister-in-law, Edith Metzger of Smithboro; and a brother, Elmer (Betty L.B.) Metzger of Highland.
He was also preceded in death by his father, who died on July 25, 1983; his mother, who died on Nov. 17, 1999; a brother, Calvin Metzger, who died on Oct. 2, 2013; a daugher-in-law, Joyce M. Metzger, who died on March 7, 2000; and a brother-in-law, Eldo Warnecke, who died on April 6, 2003.
Memorials may be made to the Highland Home Association or the American Cancer Society (research).