Alexander Metzner, Jr., 79, of Shalimar, Fla., passed away July 10, 2013, with his daughter at his side. Born in Lindenhurst, N.Y., to German immigrants, Al enlisted in the Air Force after high school graduation and began a military career spanning more than 28 years. During this time, Al served as a missilier in Germany, an RF-4 navigator during Vietnam, and later worked with NASA, Technical Operations and at the Pentagon.
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Upon retirement as a colonel in 1980, he moved his family to Shalimar where he became a founder and eventual president of the newly emerging Okaloosa County Republican Party. As an active member of Fort Walton Beach Rotary Club, he not only served as president but also sponsored the club's first female member and helped start new clubs in the local area. Al's community volunteer work also included serving on the Board of the Salvation Army and as a member of the Mid-Bay Bridge Authority Board, holding the position of secretary/treasurer during his 1988 to 1991 term. Al was also a real estate investor and an avid sports fan, considering the Atlanta Braves as his favorite team.
Preceded in death by his wife, Gerry Metzner, Al is survived by his daughter, Schala Duckett and husband, Kelley, both of Mary Esther, Fla.; his sister, Rosemarie McKeithen of Suwanee, Ga.; and his three grandchildren, Daniel, Grace and Sarah Duckett, also of Mary Esther. A private memorial service at Fort Barrancas will be held at a later date where in accordance with his wishes, he and his wife's cremation ashes will be entombed together.
In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to Shalimar United Methodist Church, 1 Old Ferry Road, Shalimar, FL 32579, 850-651-0721.
Published in Northwest Florida Daily News from July 14 to July 16, 2013