William James "Bill" Metzger, 80, of Collinsville, Ill., born Oct. 17, 1935, in East St. Louis, Ill., passed away Friday, June 17, 2016, at Memorial Hospital, Belleville, Ill.
Bill Metzger was a lifelong Collinsville resident. Bill graduated from Collinsville High School in 1953, and from the Washington University School of Business in 1957, where he was a member of the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity and the Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity. Following his graduation, he joined his father in the operation of the Concrete Unit Step Company in Collinsville. In 1962, he joined the Travelers Insurance Company in St. Louis, Mo., and was the Manager of the Personal Lines division when he retired. He served as President of the Insurance Company Executive's Association in 1984, and was also named Insurance Person of the Year by the Insurance Council of St. Louis. In 1991, he was awarded the ChFC designation.
Following his retirement from the Travelers, he joined Tyler and Associates Insurance Agency in Wood River, Ill.
Bill's community service to Collinsville began soon after his college graduation. He was a member of the Collinsville Jaycees, was Vice-President of the Baseball League, and in 1959, was asked to join the Collinsville Rotary Club where he remained an active member for 47 years. He was club president in 1963-64 and served as secretary for many years. He was named a Paul Harris Fellow and was the Rotarian of the Year in 1987-88. Selling oranges for Rotary was a part of every Christmas season.
In 1961, Bill was presented the Distinguished Service Award "Young Man of the Year" by the Collinsville Junior Chamber of Commerce. He was nominated by two groups in recognition of his overall business and community involvement.
He served in the Missouri Air National Guard, was a member of the Tepee Adult Advisory Board and served as its President. He became a member of the YMCA board in its formative years when the summer day camp was established; he served on the Capital Campaign when the current CMT YMCA building was built. He was a member of the library board of the CollinsvilleMemorial Public Library and the C M P L Foundation. The Blum House was another of his projects during the time of Sunday night concerts on the lawn and the "Gentle Voices Calling" fundraisers at the historic Glenwood Cemetery.
When the YMCA, Rotary and the Blum House benefited from the Festival of the Trees, Bill served on the steering committees. He was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Collinsville, and was the financial secretary for many years.
When his children were growing up, he helped in many ways with their activities including coaching baseball and timing at swim meets. He was always there to support his children and grandchildren. He was proud of their accomplishments. He took pride in his yard and enjoyed his unique deck.
He was preceded in death by his parents, William Herman Metzger and Gladys Fern, nee Dugger, Metzger Powell.
Surviving are his wife, Lois nee Welch, Metzger, whom he married on August 8, 1959; a son, William Mathew (Dana) Metzger of Collinsville, Ill.; two daughters, Ellen Christine (Ben) Birch of St. Louis, Mo., and Susan Marie (Chris) Peters of Dove Canyon, Calif.; 10 grandchildren, Brett William Metzger, Cole Mathew Metzger, Darci Lynn Metzger, Benton William Birch, Elizabeth Ann Birch, Catherine Christine Birch, Mathew James Birch, Emily Ann Peters, Maxwell James Peters, and Abigail Rose Peters; a sister, Virginia Metzger Shover of Grosse Point Woods, Mich.
Memorials may be made to the Collinsville Education Scholarship Foundation, Friends of the D.D. Collins House, or the First United Methodist Church, and will be received at the funeral home.
For condolences go to: barrywilsonfuneralhome.com.
Visitation: Visitation will be from 3 to 8 p.m. Sunday, June 26, 2016, at Barry Wilson Funeral Home, Maryville, Ill., and from 10 to 11 a.m. Monday, June 27, 2016, at the First United Methodist Church, 207 West Church, Collinsville, Ill.
Funeral: Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Monday, June 27, 2016, at First United Methodist Church, with Rev. Mark Horn officiating. Burial will be in St. John Cemetery, Collinsville, Ill.
BARRY WILSON FUNERAL HOME, Maryville, Ill.
Published in Belleville News-Democrat from June 24 to June 26, 2016