Leslie Wallace Metzger Born March 10, 1923 - Died August 19, 2014 in the most expert and loving care of the staff at Panorama City Convalescent Center surrounded by his wife and members of his family. Leslie (Les) Wallace Metzger was born on a farm in Elma, Washington and was one of six children. While in high school he played the piano in a dance band. His love of music lasted his entire lifetime. After graduation from Elma High School he enrolled at Washington State College where he met and married his wife, Edna Rogge, of 71 years. He was a four-year letterman at WSC; 2 years football, 4 years track. He continued to participate in track events in the Olympic Senior Games for many years. When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor Les and several other athletes volunteered for army service. Les served as an infantry soldier in General Clark's Fifth Army which traversed the length of Italy and the northern regions of Africa. He was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star. After service he returned to W.S. C., he completed his education and began his teaching career in LaCenter, Washington. He coached various sports and taught agriculture. He later went into educational administration. Les became the principal of Castle Rock High School before moving into the vice principal's position at Olympia High School. His final ten years of educational service was as principal of Olympia High School where he retired in 1982. During his tenure as a principal he served as the president of the Washington Association of Secondary School Principals. In his early career Les took time out from teaching to be a dairy farmer in Kalama, Washington. He maintained an interest in education as a member of the Kalama School Board. While farming he was recognized as the Grassland Farmer of the Year. Every community where Les lived has been the recipient of his service, contribution and leadership. He was instrumental in the foundation of several support services for children and youth. Also, he served on the board of directors for the Salvation Army and was an active member of Kiwanis until his death. In 1982 Les was the honorary Grand Marshall of the Lake Fair Parade. Les was selected as the Kiwanis Thurston County Citizen of the Year in 1989. As a member of the vestry of St. John's Episcopal Church he served as Senior Warden and was awarded the Bishop's Cross. Les is survived by his loving wife, Edna, children: Marsha Miller (Dan) of Geneseo Illinois, Steve Metzger (Linda) of Rochester, Lesley Weatherman (Ric) of Olympia and Jody Metzger of Seattle as well as nine grandchildren and twenty-two great-grandchildren. His longtime friend, George Eisentrout, wrote the following: "Les has been a man of integrity and trust. He lived by the adage 'God first; others second; I'm third.' Truly he has served and influenced the youth and fellow citizens of his community." George asks us all to please join him in saying, "Good Job, my friend." A celebration of this amazing life will be held at St. John's Episcopal Church in Olympia on August 30th at 11 a.m. Memorials in his name may be made to the St. John's Outreach Program, Salvation Army, or Olympia High School Scholarship Fund. No flowers please.
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Published in The Olympian on Aug. 26, 2014