Memorial services for Will G. Metz Jr., who passed away on January 1, 2015, at the age of 93, will be at St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, 808 N Mason Road, Creve Coeur, MO at 11:00 am on Saturday, January 10th. Internment will be at a later date at the Joliet Cemetery, Joliet, MT.
Will was the son of Will Sr. and Irma Chilcott Metz of Sheridan, WY. He was born May 13, 1921 in Chicago, IL. Will had one sister, Patricia Metz Bandich, of Aurora, CO. Will was a football player at Pomona College in San Diego, CA. He also attended Colorado State University in Fort Collins, CO and the University of Wyoming in Laramie, WY.
Will joined the Marines at the Casper, WY recruitment center on Jan 10, 1942. He completed basic training in San Diego, CA and was sent to the Pacific Theater in WWII. In the beginning he had ‘watch duty’ and did not find this exciting enough – so he walked to a unit which was engaged in fighting behind the lines …. The Edson Raiders. The Marine Raiders were elite units established by the United States Marine Corps during World War II to conduct special amphibious light infantry warfare, particularly in landing in rubber boats and operating behind the lines. Edson’s Raiders of 1st Marine Raiders Battalion are said to be the first United States special operations forces to form and see combat in World War II. In his memoirs he listed 19 ships on which he served in the war. He was often one of the first behind the lines of battle in Guam, New Georgia, Okinawa, and New Caledonia. Will was in Japan representing the USA when the war ended. He was discharged on Oct. 2, 1945.
Will’s profession was a rancher – first raising commercial Herefords in Buffalo, WY and later moved into registered Shorthorns in Joliet, MT. His progressive breeding techniques earned him a solid reputation for high quality cattle. He was known for the exceptional respect he had for the livestock in his care.
Will first started running after he retired from ranching when he was observing the runners at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, MT. They invited him to join them in 1985 at the age of 64 …. in blue jeans and work boots! He continued to run and compete in triathlons, 5K, 10K, and half marathons for the next 12 years. He was the National Champion in the U.S. Senior Olympics at the age of 72 in the 5K with a time of 19:39 and the 10K with a time of 41:57. He went on to represent the U..S in the World Senior Olympics in Brisbane, Australia, at the age of 73 where he won the gold medal in the half marathon and silver medals in the 5K and 10K races. He continued to compete through 1997.
Will was married to Romaine Ladensack Pushee from Boston, MA on June 25, 1953. They had two children – Sally Metz, who now lives and works in St. Louis, MO and Charles Horton Metz (Chip) who lost his life in a car accident in 1974. Romaine succumbed to cancer in 1984. He married Myrna Loken and after 19 years of marriage was divorced in 2008. His 3 grandchildren are young adults – Pieter Vanacht, a chef; Percy Vanacht studying economics at Westminster College; and Sara Vanacht studying global multi-cultural studies at Montana State University.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Will’s memory may be made to either St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church, 808 N Mason Road, Creve Coeur, MO 63141 or to the Alzheimer’s Association, 9370 Olive Boulevard, Olivette, MO 63132.