Friday, February 20, 2015
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM EST
Life Story Funeral Homes - Betzler
Paw Paw Location
60900 Michigan 40
Paw Paw, MI 49079
Food and refreshments will be served.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
St. Mary Catholic Schools
508 Paw Paw Street
Paw Paw, MI 49079
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Everyone who knew John Metheny would agree that life was certainly a lot more fun when he was around. He was vibrant, larger than life, and the eternal optimist who always brought a smile to everyone he met. A loving husband and father, if there was someone who needed help John was there and he was there first, and his heart knew no bounds. It was sometimes hard to know how to interpret what he said since he loved to tease. In fact, it was said that as John recounted something more than once, the details of the story were always varied to some extent. He loved having fun, but he also knew how to work hard, and he was well respected in his work as well. Although he was taken from his loved ones without warning, John’s family and friends will forever cherish his memory.
The 1930s were some of the most trying days we have faced as a nation as the entire decade was cloaked in the hardship of the Great Depression. Jobs were scarce and the unemployment rate soared, which left countless Americans without work, without homes, and without hope. Things only went from bad to worse when a drought blanketed the nation for nearly two years throughout the nation’s heartland. Despite the trials around them, Dessie and Odesa (Lionberger) Metheny, were filled with unspeakable joy as they announced the birth of their healthy baby boy on December 30, 1934, in Battle Creek, Michigan. John A. was the ninth of ten children, and he was raised in the family home in Augusta. His father supported their family working on the railroad while his mother had more than enough to keep her busy at home. John attended local schools for a time, but he later left school to help support the family.
New and exciting changes were in store for John when he met a young woman named Jenny Boelman. Together they were blessed with the birth of a baby when he was a young man of 18 and Jenny was only 16. They went on to have three more children together. Although they later went their separate ways, John was always grateful for the blessings that his children brought to his life. To support his young family, he worked at Brown Paper and then at Checker Cab.
In the hustle and bustle of life, John was stopped dead in his tracks when he noticed a certain young woman who worked at Town and Country. Her name was Cathy, and they officially met through some mutual friends. They had their first date, a double date, on New Year’s Eve. John was smitten, and he knew that he wanted to marry her almost right from the start. He was persistent as he kept showing up on her door step time and time again asking her to marry him. Finally, Cathy agreed, and they were married on June 15, 1962, in a small ceremony that was officiated by a neighbor who was also a judge. The newlyweds took a brief honeymoon to see her family in Pennsylvania.
As a couple John and Cathy lived in Kalamazoo for a brief time before settling in Gobles. She had one child, and together they welcomed two additional children into their hearts and home. John spent the bulk of his career at General Motors where he truly enjoyed his work. Around work he was known as “John-Crack-the-Whip-Metheny,” and his work ethic was impeccable. He never missed a day of work, and he made the drive to work every day in his Chevette. John loved that little car, and he also picked up his best friend, Bob Hawes, every day on his way in. He remained at GM until retiring as a supervisor after 27 years there. Because they were both so much fun, he and Cathy were known as “the cool parents,” which meant that their house was the place to be.
John was a man of many interests who lived a full life filled with the things he loved, but what made them even better was sharing his passions with the people he loved. He was an avid fisherman who fished all over on several inland lakes and also in Canada a few times. Bluegill were always his favorite fish. John also loved mushroom hunting and was known for giving a quarter to the person who found the first one. He was also the one to cook for the guys while out hunting. John was famous for his beer battered fish fries, and he barbecued all through the winter, too. Every Christmas season he made fudge and cookies, and it has been said that he also made the best Thanksgiving dressing and turkey. Perhaps what made John such a great cook was the fact that he loved to eat - everything! Because Cathy’s family members were all big Pittsburg fans, John became one, too. He and his wife were two peas in a pod who were bingo fanatics as they played somewhere almost every night, often playing 40 cards at once! When relaxing at home, John enjoyed feeding and watching the birds and playing along with various shows on the Game Show Network. Wheel of Fortune was his favorite game show. It really was amazing how John also seemed to have the best luck as his name came up in drawings on more than one occasion. As far as music goes, he loved classic country. John and Cathy did travel some, but more often he was seen driving around town in his little Chevette, often with his aluminum boat strapped to the top.
Described as a teaser, a jokester, a prankster, and a big flirt, John Metheny was the heartbeat of wherever he was. He was always doing something funny whether he was jumping into a parade and pretending he was a part of it, embellishing a story in a dramatic way, or playing a practical joke of some kind. It was easy to see the love John had for his wife, and there was no greater gift in his life than his family. He was content in all things, and somehow he never had a bad day. A blessing to so many, John will be forever missed.
John A. Metheny, of Paw Paw, died on February 17, 2015. John’s family includes his wife, Catherine Metheny; 6 children: Ken Metheny, Sheliah Barnhart, Linda Hatten, Marie “Marty” Verberg, Chantal (Joe) LeDuc and John Metheny, II; several grandchildren; sister, Beverly Vance and many nieces and nephews. John was preceded in death by a daughter, Sharon Fritz and by 8 siblings. Visit with family and friends while sharing food and refreshments on Friday from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the Life Story Funeral Home, Betzler & Thompson-Paw Paw, 60900 M-40; 657-3870 where services will be held Saturday at 1:00 p.m. Burial at St. Mary’s Cemetery followed by a luncheon at St. Mary’s School cafeteria. Please visit John’s personal web page at www.lifestorynet.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook. Memorial contributions may be made to St. Mary’s Catholic Schools.