Captain Roger C. Metz, Jr., USN (Ret.) unexpectedly passed away in his home on November 20, 2020.
Born on June 12, 1944 in Jersey City, New Jersey as the only child to Lt. Roger C. Metz, Sr. and Eleanor Prahm Metz, Roger Metz grew up in New Jersey, Virginia, and Ohio. Roger started college at Bowling Green State University, but soon transferred to The Ohio State University to participate in the Navy ROTC program. He received his B.F.A. from The Ohio State University in 1968. After some time out of the Navy, he rejoined and served in the Vietnam War in 1970. He met Phyllis Marie Ledoux on a blind date in her hometown of Newport, Rhode Island. They eventually started dating, married in 1975 in the now defunct Chapel-By-The-Sea in Newport, and moved to Elmira, New York, where he was stationed. Soon after, Roger was transferred to Panama City, Florida where they welcomed their daughter in 1978. They then moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, then to Mare Island, California, where they welcomed their son in 1982, although at the time of Tim’s birth, Roger was actually on a ship heading back from the Pacific. They soon moved to St. Paul, Minnesota; Mare Island, California again; Newport, Rhode Island; Great Lakes, Illinois; and finally Columbus, Ohio, where Roger retired from the Navy in 1995. After retirement, Roger delivered papers for the Columbus Dispatch, sold baskets with the Longaberger Basket Company, took art classes at Ohio State, and actively volunteered at his church.
Roger was a Navy veteran, a proud Ohio State alum, a dad, a baba (grandfather), and a dog lover. No one could sport a walrus mustache like Roger. His adventures include meeting Sen. John Glenn, scuba diving in the Caribbean, and breaking bread with Lebanese and Greek soldiers while stationed in Spain. He worked as a draftsman at Hasbro in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, designing G.I. Joe dolls. He watched the Beatles on Ed Sullivan in his dorm room at The Ohio State University, where his roommate charged twenty-five cents to squeeze in the room to see the legends. He stole a wall sculpture from a mansion in Newport, he took his kids to San Francisco on a government-issued speed boat, and he went canoeing in the Boundary Waters. He and his daughter have hung out with country musician Kinky Friedman on multiple occasions and he has attended countless Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, and Bela Fleck concerts, and the occasional Rolling Stones show with his son. He spent Christmas 2019 in Costa Rica with his kids and granddaughter where he played in the Pacific Ocean for five days. Roger had become a de facto commanding officer at Ascension Lutheran, where he collected and counted offerings, mowed the lawn, and helped church members move furniture.
Capt. Metz was predeceased by his wife, Phyllis Ledoux and he leaves behind his daughter Kathryn and granddaughter (of Cleveland), son Timothy and daughter-in-law Kim (of Texas), and his dog, Macy. He is survived by some lovely cousins in Ohio and New Jersey, wonderful friends the world over, and an amazing church family at Ascension Lutheran in Columbus, Ohio.
Roger’s natural death was exacerbated by the isolation of our pandemic life, but he was able to visit his granddaughter twice since the pandemic began. If you are feeling lonely and isolated, please call your family, friends, neighbors, or church. And then call them again.
There will be a celebration of life at Ascension Lutheran Church after a vaccine for COVID-19 has been made available and it has been determined to safely gather in large numbers.
Please consider a donation in Roger’s name to Ascension Lutheran Church 1479 Morse Rd, Columbus, OH 43229, or to AMVETS.