Col. J. Hayes Metzger (Ret.) died April 8, 2014 in Concord, NH. He was born in Wilmington, Ohio 1924. He is survived by his wife of 64 years, The Honorable Katie Metzger (State Representative 1990-1999), 5 children: John Metzger of Reston, Virginia; Anne Horey and husband Marc of West Bath, Maine; Beth Thompson and husband Michael of Tucson, Arizona; The Rev. Curtis Metzger and partner Doug of Boscawen, NH; Katherine Groves and husband Steve of Hawi, Hawaii , and 7 grandchildren in whom he took special interest and pride. He and Katie retired in Fitzwilliam in 1976. In retirement he was active in a variety of organizations. He served as Water Commissioner in Fitzwilliam for many years, the School Budget Committee, the American Legion, the VFW, the Disabled Veterans of America, and the Peterborough Fly Fishing Club.
He also sang in some organization for most of his life, including the Symphonic Choir at Ohio State, the West Point Chapel Choir, the West Point Glee Club, the University Glee Club of NY City, Anchorage Community Chorus, the Keene Barbershop Chorus, the Keene Community Chorale, the Fitzwilliam Community Church choir and many other church choirs throughout his life.
He graduated from Wilmington High School, Wilmington, Ohio in 1942. He was co-captain of the football team, and active in band and chorus. In high school he was elected Secretary of State of American Legion sponsored Ohio Buckeye Boys State, 1941. He also lettered in baseball and basketball. He was very active in the Boy Scouts attaining the rank of Eagle Scout. He was the waterfront director of Tecumseh Council Scout Camp in 1942, and played in the Region 4 Boy Scout Band made up of scouts from Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky. The band played at the 1939 World’s Fair in NY giving concerts daily for 2 weeks.
He attended Ohio Wesleyan one year (1942). Also spent 6 months at Ohio State where he lettered in Baseball. He enlisted in the Army in December 1942. He received an appointment to West Point from the Army and graduated in 1949. At West Point he lettered in Baseball and also monogrammed in football (1946 & 1947, National Champion Football teams). In the 1949 West Point year book it was noted that “Hayes’ easy going nature and his affable disposition have fostered friendship in all who know him. He is one of those rare fellows who always has a song on his lips and whose presence is a welcomed influence in any group. On the athletic fields, he was consistently outstanding. His success will be rightfully measurable only in the contributions he makes to the happiness of others.” Later in life he earned an MBA and an M. Ed.
His military career spanned three wars: WWII , Korea, and Vietnam. In Korea in 1952 his battalion commander noted in a report that “Lt. Metzger is a man of fearless calm in active combat.” His military honors included: the Purple Heart (living with bullet shrapnel in his shoulder they could not get out) the Silver Star, the Bronze Star, the Air Medal, the Croix de Guerre (Gov’t of France), the Gallantry Cross (Gov’t of Vietnam), the Honor Medal (Gov’t of Vietnam), the Legion of Merit (2), the Meritorious Service Medal(2), 6 other campaign and service medals, the Master Parachutist Badge, and, as any infantryman knows, he was especially proud of his Combat Infantry Badge (2 Wars).
Visiting hours will be at Cournoyer Funeral Home in Jaffrey on Friday, April 11th from 5-7 PM. A memorial service will be at Fitzwilliam Community Church on Saturday, April 12th at 11 AM, The Rev. Curtis Metzger presiding. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Fitzwilliam Fire Rescue and EMS.