W. Jeff Metcalf
10/31/1949 to 6/11/2020
Writing an obituary for Jeff Metcalf has been a daunting task-not only because it'd take the entire paper to properly notate his many achievements and accolades as a professor, writer, playwright, and humanitarian…but also because for someone who had such a brilliant command of the written word, ironically, words themselves fall short when it comes to Jeff's larger than life presence. With equal parts charisma, authenticity, diabolical humor and sincere conviction, people naturally gravitated toward him. His ability to connect with, inspire, and unite people from all walks of life, made Jeff the rarest of breeds. The enthusiasm with which he lived life was contagious-anything felt possible when Metcalf was in the room. Jeff was a true renaissance man; he shared his gift with the world, he listened and learned from others, he was a catalyst of change, a challenger of the status quo, an educator, a story weaver, a Captain of Adventure and Mischief, the Fish-Whisperer, Chefcalf, a husband, a father, Grampop-the-great, a mentor, a friend, and an inspiration to all that knew him. In life, he was a force to be reckoned with, and it's hard to imagine a world without him. However, we all can keep a spark of Metcalf's magic alive by emulating what he represented. Give, Listen, Learn, Unite, Question, Inspire, Love and Laugh, and when in doubt, just ask, WWJD…What Would Jeff Do?
Published in The Salt Lake Tribune from Jul. 19 to Jul. 26, 2020.