WILLIAMSPORT — Cooke Metzger passed away Nov. 22, 2021 at the age of 88.
He died peacefully at his home on the farm that he loved on Hunsicker Road in Pickaway County.
He was born Nov. 19, 1933, to Earl and Marlene Metzger near Yellowbud, Ohio, in Ross County.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 58 years, Jeanne Rose Metzger.
Cooke loved his family and is survived by his daughter, Kristen (Mel) Earich; sons, Randy (Cindy) Metzger, Rick (Stephanie) Metzger, Darren (Susan) Metzger; brother, William (Janice) Metzger; and brother-in-law, Byron (Karen) Rose.
He is also survived by 10 grandchildren, Erin (Jeremy) Scott, Lauren (Ted) Dille, Ryan Metzger, Kalie Metzger, Addie Metzger (Ian Stasko), Mallory Spengler, Evan (Hanna) Earich, Eli Earich, Andrew (Andrea) Metzger, Blake (Julie) Metzger; niece, Vicki (Mike) Chester; nephews, Todd (Marsha) Metzger, Bret Rose, and Scott Metzger; and 10 great-grandchildren.
Farming and agriculture had been his vocation for 70 years. Cooke was a proud graduate of Williamsport High School in 1951.
He met the love of his life, Jeanne Rose Metzger, when he moved to the Williamsport area in the fourth grade.
After graduation, Cooke went into partnership farming with his father, Earl, and brother, William (Bill). Cooke and Jeanne married in 1953 and started their family.
In recent years, he farmed with his son, Randy; nephew, Scott; and grandson, Blake.
He was a very community-minded citizen. He was a co-founder of the Pickaway County Farmers Club. He and Jeanne were members of a local Farm Bureau Council with several other local farmers. Cooke also served on the Pickaway County Senior Citizens Board and was recognized as an Outstanding Senior Citizen in Central Ohio. He served on the Pickaway County Farm Service Agency County Committee.
The educational needs of children in the Westfall District were his passion. All who met Cooke found him to be the definition of a true gentleman. His down-to-Earth philosophy and caring attitude made it very easy for all to call him a friend.
He was a fixture of educational integrity in Pickaway County for as long as many can remember. His interest in education was sparked by his father, Earl Metzger, who served on the Williamsport School Board prior to the merger of the local schools into the Westfall District.
Cooke served on the Westfall Local School Board for 36 years. He began his service to the community in 1966. Over the course of his tenure on the Westfall Board, Cooke was revered for his character, which was defined by his strong values.
Everyone recognized Cooke as an honest, caring and fair individual who devoted a great deal of time and energy to the children of the district. He served as president and vice president of the board several times during his tenure and served on multiple committees. Cooke believed education to be a foundation for life-long learning. He believed that to solve problems, one must be willing to listen, evaluate and make decisions based on facts.
The dedication Cooke Metzger gave to his community has not gone unnoticed. In 1983, he was part of the Ohio School Board Association All-Region Board. In 1990, he received the Outstanding School Board Member Leadership Award. In November 2001, the Ohio School Board Association, which comprises five regions, presented Cooke with the All-Ohio School Board Member Award for his 34 years as a Central Region Representative.
Calling hours will be from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 26 at the Wellman Funeral Home in Circleville.
Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to the Westfall Education Foundation (The Cooke and Jeanne Rose Metzger Education Fund), or to the Pickaway Senior Center.
Contributions to the Cooke and Jeanne Rose Metzger Education Fund can be mailed to Westfall Education Foundation — Metzger Education Fund, P.O. Box 83, Williamsport, Ohio 43164. Contributions to the Pickaway Senior Center can be mailed to 2105 Chickasaw Drive, Circleville, Ohio 43113.
Online condolences can be made to www.wellmanfuneralhomes.com.