Published December 12, 2019
ATLANTA—Deacon Thomas J. Metzger died unexpectedly at his home on Nov. 21, at the age of 67.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Phillip and Dolly (Finn) Metzger and his sister Rebecca Zimmer. He is survived by his childhood sweetheart and wife, Barbara (Knecht) Metzger; his son, Jason Metzger; his daughter, Melissa (Metzger) Cannon; six grandchildren: Bronwen (Austin) Wilson, Mack, Joseph, Rose, Cora and Bishop Cannon; and two great-granddaughters, Nevaeh and Charlotte Rae Wilson. He is also survived by his sisters Patricia (Javier) Larrinaga, Lora (Gary) Behl, Teresa (Lee) Hulett and brother Michael (Mary Louise) Metzger, numerous cousins, nephews and nieces.
Deacon Metzger was born in Columbus, Ohio. He was a graduate of St. Francis de Sales High School and attended Otterbein College. He joined the Ohio National Guard and served his country for five years. After his marriage, Deacon Metzger moved to Deerfield Beach, Florida to assist his father in the building and development of Deer Creek Country Club & Golf.
He graduated from Florida Atlantic University in 1974 with a bachelor of business and continued to work in construction and land development from 1975-1990 with Anaconda Construction.
Deacon Metzger’s interest in land development and construction began in Columbus, Ohio. He learned the trade from his father’s family business, Metzger Brothers. He started his first business, Metzger Homes, in 1971 with his brother, Michael. They built 40 homes together. The deacon’s love of working with family continued with his son Jason at MetzgerMoore Inc. in Monticello for the past 23 years. Deacon Metzger was the president of this company, which specializes in ornamental iron structural steel.
Deacon Metzger’s work experiences also included real estate, insurance and serving as general manager of Quality Ford in Columbus, Mississippi.
He had always been a practicing Catholic, but in 1993 he experienced a deep conversion and realized he wanted to serve God. It became a spiritual passion, so Deacon Metzger followed this calling. He was nominated to and accepted into the permanent diaconate in the Archdiocese of Atlanta. He was ordained a deacon on Feb. 8, 2008 by Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory.
Deacon Metzger had been a deacon for 11 years. He served at St. Augustine Church in Covington and was currently serving at St. Anna Church in Monroe. His parish ministries included RCIA, coordinator and trainer of liturgical ministers, liturgy committee and adult education. Deacon Metzger had many accomplishments, but he truly believed answering God’s call was his greatest.
Father Daniel R. Toof, Fathers Richard and Steve Metzger, cousins, and his beloved friend, Father Omar Huesca celebrated a memorial Mass for Deacon Metzger on Nov. 25 at St. Anna. Serving during the Mass were Deacon Metzger’s mentors: Deacon Dennis Dorner, Deacon Rich Mickle and Deacon Dave Hanson. Interment followed at Honey Creek Woodlands, Conyers.
Deacon Metzger had numerous interests and hobbies including boating, fishing, RC flying, football, IMSA racing, music, hunting and golf. He loved being referred to as “the famous deacon, who made two holes-in-one during one round of golf” at Hard Labor Creek Golf Course in Rutledge.
Still working in the steel fabrication business and serving the church, Deacon Metzger was actively involved in raising his grandchildren. He was so proud of his son, Jason, his daughter, Melissa, and his grandchildren. They were his pride and joy. He was very much in love with his wife, Barbara, of 47 years. In addition to God, he often said his greatest loves were family, golf and flying.
Deacon Metzger will be greatly missed by his immediate family and his family of friends, fellow deacons, clergy members, parishioners, employees and business associates.
Donations in Deacon Metzger’s memory may be to the American Heart Association or Honey Creek Woodlands in Conyers.