Wednesday, July 5, 2017
4:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Life Story Funeral Homes - Rupert, Durham, Marshall & Gren
120 South Woodhams Street
Plainwell, MI 49080
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.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
The soil of the Earth was worked well by the hands and tools of John Metz who farmed for 54 years of his life. He will forever be remembered for being a joker and for enjoying the moments shared with good laughter or light teasing of those he loved most. He was a loving husband, a caring father, and a cherished grandfather and friend to so many. We will miss the moments we were so fortunate to share with John in this lifetime.
The year of 1933 is marked in our history books as a time in which people all over the world were greatly impacted by the economy and the weather. This marked the worst year of the Great Depression with the unemployment rate peaking at over 25%. The weather did not help matters, as horrible drought conditions combined with strong winds created terrific dust bowls ruining crop production. Criminals faced a lock up in one of the newest, and certainly most interesting, federal penitentiaries of its time by the likes of Alcatraz. Thankfully, the invention of the Drive-in Movie Theater kept many minds distracted with the joys of entertainment found in a new way. Many couples attended these new venues to watch the premiere of the movie, "King Kong." The sweet and adorable Shirley Temple was a popular household name, and mom's everywhere were throwing the newly invented chocolate chip cookie recipe into their warm ovens.
Closer to home, John and Rose (Dryer) Metz, were eagerly waiting to welcome their sweet son into the world. John Metz made his life's debut on July 29, 1933, in Martin, Michigan. His parents were hard workers, and needed to be, to raise a family of 8 children. His father worked as a farmer, and his mother stayed home to keep the home organized. His siblings Owen, Fannie, Sid, Pearl, Bernice, and Ruthie kept John entertained throughout his childhood years. Out of all of them, however, John was closest to his sister, Bernice. They would often visit Gun Lake together, and he drove her to Georgia after working all day long so she could see her soon-to-be husband and receive her engagement ring. The children were loved, but they knew their place in the home which meant that oftentimes they were seen but not necessarily heard.
As John matured, he attended Martin schools and played on the football team. He also attended the Christian school but felt uncomfortable being the only boy in his class. Eventually, he was forced to leave school, so he could help out on the farm after his father's death. The family endured this hardship, and eventually, life lightened a bit again when love found John. One special day at the local Wayland roller rink, John and Gwen skated together after being introduced by a friend. It was tender love at first sight at the ages of 15 and 16 years old. The happy couple dated for about two and half years before deciding to marry. They celebrated their wedding on March 6, 1953, in East Martin.
The newlyweds lived in Shelbyville in a small home they rented together before moving to Bravo. It was in Bravo where they made their first home. Later they moved to Gobles and then Orangeville, where they managed Gun Lake Farm for 20 years. During the early years of their marriage, the two welcomed three daughters into their lives, Margie, Susan, and Terri. John had to have a good sense of humor to survive with four females in his life! Aside from putting up with the women in his life, he lived to farm. The family enjoyed many camping trips together in their RV. John and Gwen also took the family to Florida to visit family where many good memories were created. Amongst many places, John and Gwen also adventured to Las Vegas and Hawaii in his lifetime.
As his girls matured into women and found lives of their own, John looked forward to the gift of grandchildren. He and Gwen were joyfully blessed with the precious lives of Jeannie, Melissa, Racheal, Cassandra, Rob, Audra, Ray, and Eddie for grandchildren. During all these celebrations, however, there was sadness shared when Audra passed away. With the support of their entire family, goodness in life was found again, but Audra's mark was never forgotten. Happier times were shared again when great-grandchildren entered the world. Michael, Kyle, Cody, Megan, Ian, Audra, Hannah, Brooklyn, Brandi, Zoey, Breonna, and Ben made up the great-grandchildren group. John would often egg on the grandsons saying, "I bet you can't take him. . .!" Lastly, sweet Aiden started the great-great-grandchild generation. All of John's grandchildren had a special place in his heart, and he loved to have them over for a visit where he would offer rides on Grandpa's tractor.
When John was not involved with the family, he finally retired at the age of 70 to appreciate the simple joys in life. During his retirement, he and Gwen would travel with John and Marion Krima out west. He was also on the bowling league in Gobles. During one memorable game, he physically broke two pins at one time! He threw the bowling ball so hard that the backboard vibrated. He was quite strong, and his strength was notable even during bowling. Gwen and John also hosted all the holidays and birthdays in their home where the family gathered for great conversation and delicious food.
Throughout John's life, he loved the constant companion of his dogs. His favorite was a black labrador named BJ. He would often tease that BJ was his girlfriend, and this made sense because when they would ride together in his truck, it looked like he was snuggling with a dark-haired woman!
We will miss John dearly especially for his constant joking. He loved to pick on pretty much anybody he liked. He thoroughly enjoyed picking on Terri. All this good humor was John's way of showing his love. He was not the type to lean in for a hug or kiss, but he certainly could be counted on to tease the ones he loved. One particularly notable time he pranked a friend was when he pulled his truck up to the door of a porta potty in use by one of his co-worker buddies. He kept bumping the truck against the door, so his friend could not get out. This elicited much laughter and silliness - mostly after his friend finally escaped the porta potty.
After 83 years of a full life, John passed away on June 29, 2017, in the comforts of his home. His laughter and good humor will be dearly missed. We will hold the memories we shared with John close to our hearts, and he will never be forgotten. Visit with his family and friends and view his life story film on Wednesday, July 5, 2017, from 4–7 at the Life Story Funeral Home, Plainwell; 120 Woodhams St. (685-5881). A funeral service will be held on Thursday, July 6 at 11:00 at the same location. Left to cherish his memory are his wife of 64 years, Gwen; his daughters: Margie Metz, Susan (Edwin) Landon, and Terri (Bob) Colburn; 8 grandchildren; 12 great-grandchildren; 1 great-great-grandchild; sister Ruthie Cronen; as well as several nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings: Owen, Sid, Fannie, Pearl, and Bernice; and granddaughter Audra. Memorial donations may be made to the March of Dimes.