Earl Metz
1935 - 2021
BORN
1935
DIED
2021
FUNERAL HOME
Schoedinger Funeral and Cremation Services - Worthington
6699 North High Street
Worthington, OH
Metz, Earl
1935 - 2021
Earl Nelson Metz, M.D., of Worthington, OH, died on Saturday January 2, 2021, in Rhodes Hall of the Ohio State University Medical Center, an institution to which he had dedicated his considerable professional talents for 30 years. He was 85 years old. Dr. Metz was born on January 7, 1935 in Congress, Ohio, to Earl Clarence Metz and Helen Gail Owen Metz. He is preceded in death by his parents; his wife Mary Alice Fritz Metz; and an older sister, Lillian, who died in childhood. He is survived by children, Douglas Owen Metz (Ann), Thomas William Metz (David Brightman), Susan Nelson Carter (Eric), and John Frederick Metz (Dianne Little); his brothers, Larry Owen Metz (Mary Jane) and Douglas Elmore Metz (Sue); and nine grandchildren. Dr. Metz graduated from Bexley High School (1953) and Capital University (1957), where he epitomized the term scholar athlete, and where he met the love of his life, Mary Alice. Dr. Metz attended Medical School at Duke University (1957-1961), served his internship at Ohio State University (1961-1962), and returned to Duke for his residency (1962-1963). He continued at Duke as a Fellow in Hematology (1963-1965) and eventually Chief Resident (1965-1966) under Dr. Eugene Stead, a mentor whose lessons in bedside manner guided Dr. Metz's approach to medicine for the entirety of his career. Years later he described Dr. Stead as "a gentle genius who cared, who could make the most humble tobacco farmer in North Carolina believe that he was the most important patient in Duke Hospital." He could have been describing himself. Dr. Metz served as a captain in the United States Army Research Laboratories, Edgewood Arsenal, MD, before returning to Ohio State University in 1968. There he served as a Professor of Medicine until the end of his academic career and held the Charles A. Doan Chair of Medicine from 1972 to 1997. Over the years, he served as Director of the Residency Training Program (1972-1992), Vice-Chair of the Department of Medicine (1977-1997), Chief-of-Staff of the University Hospital (1980-1983), Director of the Division of General Medicine (1985-1986), and Associate Director of Clinical Affairs for The Arthur G. James Cancer Hospital and Research Institute (1990-1997). Dr. Metz was presented with Distinguished Alumni awards from his high school, college, and medical school, and in 2002 he was invited to give the Eugene A. Stead, Jr., M.D. Lecture at Duke University. He was named Master Teacher by the Ohio Chapter of the American College of Physicians. With a national academic reputation, Dr. Metz was respected by his colleagues, admired by his students, and loved by his patients. Dr. Metz's paramount concern was the welfare of his patients, and in a letter to the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2009, he wrote "Being responsible for the primary care of a sick person is one of the finest things we humans are permitted to do. It is rewarding, fulfilling, frightening, time-consuming, [and] loving." As a professor of medicine he trained between 40 and 50 new doctors each year, preparing successive generations of young practitioners to carry his humane and patient-centered approach to some of the nation's most prestigious medical institutions. He did likewise as director of the internal medicine residency program, which graduated 30 new residents per year. His clinical values were enshrined at the OSU Medical Center in an award that bears his name, the Earl N. Metz Distinguished Physician Award, given annually to the physician who best exemplifies these ideals. In 2009 Dr. Metz wrote, "All of us will die and most of us will die of a degenerative problem for which medicine has little to offer. When that time comes for me, I want to be cared for by a caring physician who left his algorithms in the pocket of his other suit." Dr. Metz was well served in this capacity by the Neurology Critical Care Unit team at the James Hospital and the nursing staff of Hospice of Central Ohio. Although Dr. Metz was an unrepentant workaholic, he gloried in his retirement. "Papa" spent his happiest hours with his grandchildren, sharing with them his love of the outdoors and teaching them about forestry in Hocking County. Dr. Metz was a member of Christ Lutheran Church in Bexley, which he and Mary Alice attended while at Capital University and where he was a member until the end of his life. Due to the pandemic, there will be no visitation or calling hours. A service for family and friends may be announced at a future date, circumstances permitting. Persons wishing to remember Dr. Metz may consider a donation to the "Stefanie Spielman Fund for Breast Cancer Research" at The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center - James Cancer Hospital and Solove Research Institute. Services entrusted to SCHOEDINGER WORTHINGTON.
Published by The Columbus Dispatch from Jan. 6 to Jan. 10, 2021.
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16 Entries
Earl and I were in the same Class of '61 at Duke U. Medical School. Our families were friends throughout, until most of us went our separate ways. I believe Earl graduated at the top of our class, and his subsequent career confirms his brilliance as a physician and the good person that he was. My deepest condolences to all of Earl's family and friends.
RITZ RAY MD
Friend
January 12, 2021
Melissa Cochran
January 11, 2021
Rest In Peace Dr. Metz. You were a true inspiration to so many of us who held you as a role model
Sunil Rao
Student
January 10, 2021
To the family, I am so sorry to hear this. Back in the 70s when I was just 23, I found I had some blood issues, which scared me very much. I could not possibly have had a more competent and sympathetic doctor. I am totally fine now but always remember his explaining things to me and guiding me to good health again. I think about him often and am grateful that he was my doctor during a scary time.
Blessings snd sweet memories to you all.
Doris Oursler
Friend
January 10, 2021
Dr Metz was the most influential and inspirational physician who I had the great fortune of knowing during the years from 1971-1979, internship, residency, fellowship all the wonderful years of “Earl’s Pearls” which I still use to this very day..
We will miss him dearly
Ira Shafran MD
Ira
Student
January 9, 2021
Thank goodness for the legacy he leaves behind as a gentle man, a excellent physician, a compassionate colleague and a great leader. He will be missed but his legacy shall live in all those he touched;, students, staff, colleagues and especially patients and their families.
Nancy A Huber Palecek
Coworker
January 8, 2021
We lived behind you. He helped my dad out once. Sorry for your loss. My mom died in 91 and my dad 3 yrs ago end of jan.
Susan shay
Neighbor
January 8, 2021
I have so many wonderful, warm memories of Dr. Metz it is hard to know where to begin...or how to keep my comments short. I have known him most of my adult life but became close when he became my mother's oncologist and helped her beat breast cancer for more than 11 years during the late 70's and early 80's. My mother passed on July 9, 1984 in OSU University Hospital but without Dr. Metz and Dr. Peter Minton would not have had those extra years afforded to her. It was because of his tender and compassionate care that I left Ohio Health in 1988, returned to OSUMC and served under Dr. Schuller as the COO of the proposed James Cancer Hospital. I retired in 2009 and was honored to have Dr. Metz at my retirement dinner. In all my 30 plus years in healthcare I have never known a more kinder, caring and loving physician. I was proud to work next to him and even prouder to call Earl my friend. As a side note, we opened The James on July 9, 1990 on the anniversary of my mother's death from cancer. Totally unplanned. Rest in Peace my friend and thank you for what you gave this world of ours.
Dennis Smith
Friend
January 8, 2021
I graduated from osu medical school, served my internship, residency , and Gastroenterology fellowship all at OSU. No one in my experience embodied the qualities which Dr Metz displayed during my time there. He was humble, friendly, and treated all patients in the same gentle manner no matter their situation poor, rich uneducated etc. He never developed the academic" smarter than others attitude" so common among university physicians. He was a rare role model which was not the norm when I attended OSU for 9 years. His family can take great pleasure in his knowledge but more importantly in his humanity . It was my pleasure to have trained under him.


Jan Steinbaugh
Student
January 8, 2021
I spent a treasured afternoon with Dr. Metz and my brother Doug about a year ago. (It felt somehow as if we were all playing hooky.) His home was filled with books; birds; reminders of his beloved Mary Alice, kids and grandchildren; and still (unsurprisingly) quite a few medical texts.

He told us old and new stories—a couple more than once—and was of the slightly ornery good humor that I always treasured in him, mixed with a sighing resignation toward his mounting limitations. He spoke with love and concern of his family, grateful for their nearness and for their care of him after Mary Alice’s passing. He slipped into an afternoon nap as we sat with him, awaking as we rose to say our goodbyes.

How selfishly warmly fortunate I feel for that day, wishing of course that we’d been able to repeat the visit, and praying that I will always be able to call to mind his unmistakable warm baritone when in need of comfort and guidance.

In Dr. Metz we have lost a master of medicine and humanity—and an unforgettable, exceptional human being. He cared for my father through his cancer diagnosis, and helped look after my mother. For me and for so many others, he woke a love and respect for the intellectual discipline of medicine that guided me toward my ultimate career. He clearly loved the puzzles of the human body and the challenges those bodies posed for physicians. Most of all, though, he so enjoyed and respected people—and fostered that respect in others. I hope his beloved family may draw comfort in knowing that a bit of him will carry on in each of his trainees and all those he touched. He will be truly and deeply missed.
Amy Pope-Harman
Student
January 7, 2021
Earl Metz was very important to his son Tom and son-in-law David and I always heard what a remarkable man he was. My heart goes out to the family at this difficult time with prayers and much love.
Carol Gorski
Friend
January 7, 2021
Without overstatement, Earl Metz was the single most influential person that I have encountered in my professional life. I will be forever grateful for his guidance and encouragement to train at Duke University, a place he truly loved. With his exceptional intellect and genuine compassion for patients, he taught so many of us what a privilege it is to be a physician.
Frank D. Tice
Student
January 7, 2021
Dr. Earl's family,

Thank you for sharing him with us. I had the distinct honor of selecting him to be the Medical Consultant for the Ohio State Highway Patrol Retirement System, while I served as the Executive Director. While his medical expertise goes without question, that was not his most valuable asset for us. Instead, he was able to explain difficult medical conditions and test results so that the Board Members would make informed decisions about disability retirement applications. In that way he served the best interests of the people of Ohio, the HPRS and the applicants.

I considered him a friend and I hope he thought of me in the same way.

Dick Curtis
Richard Curtis
Coworker
January 7, 2021
Dr. Metz was stellar personally and professionally. His integrity, kindness and wisdom will be missed.
Stephen Pariser
Friend
January 7, 2021
He taught me a lot about life and medicine. When I finished my training and was worried about be prepared enough, he said "The only thing you have to know to care for your patient is to care for your patient."
Peter Kourlas
Student
January 6, 2021
Dr Metz was a physician that every physician should strive to be like. He was a beloved doctor and teacher. I had the honor of working with him for many years in Internal Medicine and will always remember him fondly and with admiration.
Beth Deley
Acquaintance
January 6, 2021
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