top banner

Obituary Listings

Our Family Serving Your Family Since 1927

James Joseph Metz

July 18, 1951 September 6, 2019
James Joseph Metz
There are condolences waiting approval on James's Tribute wall
Obituary for James Joseph Metz

The Life and Times of James Joseph Metz

Jim was born on July 18, 1951 to Jim and Joan Metz of Wauwatosa. He was the eldest of four children, and the fourth of five generations to live in the family home designed by his grandfather, Joseph Wiemer, on 61st and North Avenue. Jim graduated from Francis Jordan High School, class of 1969, and continued his education at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee where he earned a bachelor’s degree, followed by a Master’s degree in Social Work. He worked as a clinical social worker at Catholic Social Services and Elmbrook Memorial Hospital before moving to Richmond, Virginia where he worked for Henrico County Emergency Services. There he met his best friend and chosen brother, Dan Dougherty, where they both provided mental health crisis counseling. Jim was the newcomer from the north and Dan was directed to keep an eye on him. When asked by a supervisor if Jim was as good as Dan, Dan said, “No.” This was followed with the question, “Then why should we hire him?” Dan responded, “Because he’s better than everyone here.” From responding to a crisis during a snow fall (because no Virginian knew how to drive in said snow), to chasing a mentally ill patient on foot for three miles while carrying a vintage, boxed cell phone, he was always ready to do more than expected. Upon returning to Milwaukee, Jim worked tirelessly as a social worker with Milwaukee Public Schools and resumed his clinical practice at Cornerstone Counseling. He retired from the school system in 2018 and continued his private practice. Jim was never one to talk about what he did or whom he helped; he saved many lives of people in crisis in Virginia and Wisconsin.

Among their many gifts, Jim’s parents fostered a love of the outdoors through their frequent camping excursions around the state and other locales. Jim shared his appreciation of nature with his daughter, Dani, with whom he shared countless wonderful adventures on land and water, reading books (Snoopy/Peanuts, Frog and Toad), playing games (backgammon and cribbage), and watching movies and shows- Star Wars, Star Trek, and MASH were among their favorites. They enjoyed a remarkable father-daughter bond, evident to all and unique to the time. Jim navigated parenthood lovingly and led by example.

Interestingly, Dani was responsible for finding Jim’s wife-to-be when she was just a fifth grader: she decided that her former fourth grade teacher, Mary Boyle, would be the perfect partner for her father and put her matchmaking skills to work. Soon, Mary and her two children, Brendan and Siobhan, were accompanying Jim and Dani on their adventures: Jim’s Plymouth Satellite would be packed to the roof with camping gear, topped off with a canoe, and off they would go.

Shakespeare observed, “The course of true love never did run smooth.” It was many years later, in 1998, and after much anticipation, that Jim proposed to Mary on one knee at sunrise on Bethany Beach in Delaware – a day after his birthday (he didn’t want to ruin his birthday if she said no). To the great joy of all concerned, the proposal was a success. A year later, on July 25, 1999, Jim and Mary united their family through marriage. They continued their adventures near and far together, and with family and friends -- most famously with their Wisconsin friends, Bill and Gail Adams, and their Virginian friends, Dan Dougherty and Julia McLaughlin.

Jim enjoyed celebrating the marriages of his children and developed special relationships with each of his children-in-law: daughter-in-law Mary (Brendan), and sons-in-law Michael (Siobhan) and Gary (Dani). As their family grew, Jim continued to build his life’s adventures and shared his many passions with his grandchildren. Jim created uniquely wonderful memories with Sam with a ride in a bi-plane and one of the last flying B-17s. He shared a love of horses with Molly, and trains and Matchbox cars with Eamon. McKenna looked forward to volunteering with him to provide cat care and socialization. Emmerich helped him set up and enjoy his train sets – the holiday set-up was something we all looked forward to watching unfold. Family trips to Wisconsin Dells, Williamsburg, Disney World, and a cabin in Gatlinburg were particularly memorable events.

Jim never wanted to miss the draft horses or the Bonsai display at the Wisconsin State Fair. He especially enjoyed seeing the hitch-class teams and was there when the Budweiser Clydesdales treated the audience to a performance. Attending the Milwaukee Air and Water Show and viewing the Warbirds at the EAA Airventure, along with a well-deserved splurge on a ride (or two) on the coveted planes, were events he eagerly looked forward to every summer.

Jim enjoyed jazz, classical music, and a deliciously smooth Scotch. He couldn’t resist a crab cake and had an insatiable sweet tooth. Antiquing offered the opportunity to look for more treasures to add to his Colonial Williamsburg and Civil War collections. Military history, particularly that of the Civil War, was one of his focused passions. He was deeply moved when visiting Civil War battlefields and felt a personal connection to the time-period. Jim was also a very active member of St. Boniface Episcopal Church in Mequon.

Jim’s mother once said she thought he would have become a veterinarian because of his love of animals. He volunteered at a dear friend’s veterinary clinic in Richmond, and more recently for the Sheboygan County Humane Society branch housed at the PetSmart in Grafton. He met two of his five beloved cats through his volunteer service, and many endearingly thought of him as a borderline crazy-cat-man. (If you’re wondering: no, he did not have all five cats at once and, yes, all will be interred with him. Neither he, the cats, or his family would have it any other way; however, one question remains: one niche or two?)

Jim’s chosen brother stated, “Despite all of his eccentricities, he was one of the best people I knew.” Anyone who knew Jim will conjure uniquely fond memories of this spot-on characterization. He had a sharp wit, lived life with joy and integrity, and earned profound respect from all who knew him. Jim deeply loved his family and friends, and they loved him.

Jim is survived by his loving wife of 20 years, Mary Metz (formerly Boyle, nee Straub). He loved all of his children unconditionally and with his whole heart: Dani (Gary Fuller) Metz, Brendan (Mary) Boyle, and Siobhan (Michael) Mesenbourg. He cherished his grandchildren and looked forward to spending time with them: Sam La Porte, Molly and Eamon Boyle, and McKenna and Emmerich Mesenbourg. He is further survived by his brothers Jeff and Joel Metz, sister Janell (Dan) Hagerman; his nieces, nephew, grand nephews, Lisa Love Stelloh Quesada (daughter Dani’s lifelong best friend and soul sister), and many other relatives, friends, and colleagues. He will be especially missed by his chosen brother, Dan Dougherty and Dan’s wife, Julia McLaughlin, and dear friends Bill and Gail Adams.

The family would like to extend sincere appreciation to the medical staff at Ascension Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital - Ozaukee, with a special shout-out to the nurses who tirelessly attended to Jim’s needs, and his aforementioned eccentricities.


To send flowers or a remembrance gift to the family of James Joseph Metz, please visit our Tribute Store.

Previous Events

Visitation

Saturday

14

Sep

10:00 AM 9/14/2019 10:00:00 AM - 12:00 PM 9/14/2019 12:00:00 PM
St. Boniface Episcopal Church

3906 W. Mequon Rd.
Mequon, WI 53092

St. Boniface Episcopal Church
3906 W. Mequon Rd. Mequon 53092 WI
United States

Service

Saturday

14

Sep

12:00 PM 9/14/2019 12:00:00 PM
St. Boniface Episcopal Church

3906 W. Mequon Rd.
Mequon, WI 53092

St. Boniface Episcopal Church
3906 W. Mequon Rd. Mequon 53092 WI
United States
Albums

Create new album
 
Subscribe To Obituaries



We appreciate your support
In accordance with the wishes of the family, this
message has been declined.
James Joseph Metz

Thank you for sharing your
memory of James

Provide comfort by sending fresh
flowers from our local florist.

Send Flowers
No thanks, please don't show me this again.
Loading...