Metro-East News

C. Barney Metz, World War II veteran and former circuit clerk, dies

WWII veteran receives medals

Retired St. Clair county circuit clerk C. Barney Metz was presented several medals that he earned during his service in the Army from 1943 to 1946 by U.S. Rep. Mike Bost.
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Retired St. Clair county circuit clerk C. Barney Metz was presented several medals that he earned during his service in the Army from 1943 to 1946 by U.S. Rep. Mike Bost.

A World War II veteran and former St. Clair County Circuit Clerk C. Barney Metz died on Monday. He was 93.

Metz, of Columbia, served as circuit clerk for 28 years as a Democrat. He was the oldest-serving circuit clerk. He left the job in 2008 when he didn’t run for re-election.

During World War II, Metz served under Gen. George Patton in Germany.

“(Metz was) a great man from the greatest generation,” said Brendan Kelly, the acting Illinois State Police Director, who succeeded Metz as circuit clerk in 2008. He went on to become the county’s state’s attorney before moving to the ISP.

Metz was in the Army from July 1943 to January 1946, and left the service at the rank of corporal.

In 2016, U.S. Rep. Mike Bost, R-Murphysboro, presented Metz with medals recognizing his service during World War II, including European, African and Middle Eastern campaign medals, with a Bronze Star attachment.

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Visitation for Metz is scheduled for 3-8 p.m. Thursday, at Leesman Funeral Home in Dupo.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:30 a.m. Friday at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Columbia.

Metz will be buried in Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis.

Joseph Bustos is the state affairs and politics reporter for the Belleville News-Democrat, where he strives to hold elected officials accountable and provide context to decisions they make. He has won multiple awards from the Illinois Press Association for coverage of sales tax referenda.
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