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METZGER, Monsignor Paul died peacefully on Monday, May 6, 2013, two days short of his 97th birthday. Msgr. Metzger was the longest serving priest in Ohio, having just celebrated the 70th Anniversary of his Ordination on April 17th. He was born in New Philadelphia, Ohio on May 8, 1916, the only child of Clarence and Marie Metzger. Six weeks later his family moved to Middletown where Metzger attended Holy Trinity Church and later Holy Trinity School. On the day of his Ordination to the Priesthood on April 17, 1943 he was made pastor of St. Mary Church in Pine Grove. In 1958, then Father Metzger was made a Monsignor by Bishop John King Mussio, Diocese of Steubenville. Besides being a pastor, Monsignor served as dean of 17 parishes and was on the board of almost all the diocesan finance committees. He is best remembered as director of Catholic Social Services in which he directed many housing projects, homes for the mentally challenged, and senior citizen homes. In Belmont County he was the first to receive the Liberty Bell Award as the outstanding citizen of the county. After his second retirement in 1997, Monsignor returned to the church of his childhood, Holy Trinity - then combined with St. John and St. Mary to form the new catholic community of Middletown, Holy Family Parish - where he has served in residence these past seventeen years. In addition to saying Mass every day for parishioners, Monsignor was active in the Knights of Columbus and the St. Vincent de Paul Society. His Catholic Social Work background made him a soft touch for people in need. He was a very appreciated donor to the Middletown Symphony Orchestra and Community Pregnancy Center. Monsignor Metzger is survived by his cousins, Larry (Deanna) Cottle, Kathy McAdams, Shelly (Joe) DeBacker, Marci Russell, Missy (Chris) Riegel, Robb (Patty) Cottle, Teresa (Adam) Dambrowski, Carolyn (Jack) Parrella, Jennifer (Tom) Vanderhorst, Michelli Parrella, Pauline (Mike) DeMartino and many other cousins. He was preceded in death by his parents and cousins Peggy Cottle, Jerry Cottle & Sister Bridget Cottle, SCN. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held Thursday, May 9, 2013 at 10:00 am at Holy Family Parish - Holy Trinity Church with the Most Reverend Jeffrey M. Monforton, Bishop of the Diocese of Steubenville, as celebrant. Visitation will be Wednesday 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Holy Trinity Church. Memorial donations may be made to St. Vincent dePaul Society, c/o Holy Family Parish, 201 Clark St., Middletown, Ohio 45042. Please sign the guestbook online at WilsonSchrammSpaulding.com

Published in Journal-News on May 7, 2013
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