Walter Ernest Mettler Jr., 88, died peacefully, surrounded by family, on Friday, Jan. 28, 2011, at Hospice House in Williamsburg. |
He was born in Detroit, Mich., on April 8, 1922, one of four children born to Walter Ernest Mettler Sr. and Florence Amelia Seidel.
Upon graduation from high school, Mr. Mettler began a career in sales at Chrysler Corp. that spanned 37 years. In March 1943, he entered the Army and served for 31/2 years. He attained the rank of sergeant and, assigned to the headquarters battery of the 215th Field Artillery Battalion, he fought throughout Belgium, France and Germany, including the Battle of the Bulge. At the Battle of the Bulge, his unit provided artillery support to his brother, Bob, who was part of the 90th Division of George Patton's 3rd Army, who was in a foxhole being approached by a German tank. The shelling drove the tank away and may have saved Bob's life.
After the war, Mr. Mettler returned to Chrysler Corp. and was moved to corporate headquarters in the Chrysler building in New York City. He returned to Detroit to work in the distribution department at the Warren Michigan Dodge Truck plant. In 1966, he was promoted and became department head of truck distribution at the new St. Louis, Mo., Dodge truck plant until his retirement in 1977.
After retirement, he enjoyed a full life of travel throughout the USA and Europe, including several Olympics, Soccer World Cups, and Rose Bowls when UofM Wolverines played.
In 1997, he moved to Williamsburg to be close to family. He was active in his church and served as chairman of the Williamsburg Republican Committee and many more civic organizations, both in Williamsburg and St. Louis.
He is survived by his brother, William Arnold Mettler, and wife, Maude Lees Mettler; sister-in-law, Jean Dobbs Mettler; nephews, William Douglas Mettler (Lynne) and David William Mettler (Susan), all of Williamsburg, and Thomas James Lagergren (Susan) of Irvine, Calif.; and nieces Nancy Mettler Galvin (Jim) of Williamsburg, Diane Mettler Vachon (Guy) of Geneva, Ill., D'Arcy Mettler Kirkland (Jim) of San Jose, Calif., and Cherie Mettler of Empire, Mich.; in addition to 11 great-nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his sister, Florence Amelia Lagergren, and brother, Robert Frederick Mettler.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 13, at King of Glory Lutheran Church. Interment at White Chapel, in Troy, Mich.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to a charity of your choice.
Arrangements are being handled by Bucktrout Funeral Service of Williamsburg.
Online condolences may be sent to www.bucktroutfuneralhome.net.
Published in Virginia Gazette from Feb. 9 to Mar. 9, 2011