Gary Herbert Metzig
Our generous, caring, kind, fun loving and uniquely witty Gary passed away on Tuesday, January 7, 2020 at Gunderson Lutheran Hospital after a brief illness.
Gary’s greatest love was his family. His wife, Jeri, was his soulmate and life partner. They had a special, undeniable love for each other and were the best of friends. To all who knew them, Jeri was the yin, to Gary’s yang!
Together, Gary and Jeri raised their two sons, Tyler and Jordan. He was incredibly proud of the fine young men they’ve grown into. They welcomed their beautiful daughter-in-law, Brittney, into the family with open arms. Gary’s family circle didn’t end there. His family included all those who were closest to him, extending beyond Onalaska to Boston, Florida, Chicago, Lake Geneva, Arizona, Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina, Neenah, Oshkosh and more.
Gary dedicated his life work to the hotel and tourism industry for over 40 years. As one who was accustomed to the finest cuisine during his travels, Gary felt most at home in his own kitchen preparing and sharing meals with intimate friends. His favorite family recipes included his unforgettable soups, his perfectly sliced ham and cheese sandwiches and let’s not forget his annual batch of homemade canned tomatoes. His dry and lightning quick sense of humor at appropriate (or better yet) inappropropriate times, could make any situation one of laughter and delight; even in the most stressful of times.
He was born October 23, 1957 in Neenah, Wisconsin. Gary attended Appleton area schools and graduated from Fox Valley Lutheran High School. He is a graduate of UW-Oshkosh and upon graduating, entered the tourism workforce. His extraordinary work career led to many lifelong friendships. On September 11, 1982 he married the love of his life, Jeri Smith of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Gary served in various clubs and organizations including Kiwanis, Meeting Planners International, church council and was an active member of First Lutheran Church of Onalaska.
He is survived by Jeri, his wife of 37 years, his sons Tyler (Brittney), Onalaska and Jordan, Eau Claire; his brother Fred (Vicki ), Neenah; niece Meghan, his sister Mary Pakalski, Tucson, Arizona; sister-in-law Judie Taggart, Lake Geneva; nephew Dave (Becky) Moe, niece Alison (Mark) Routt, nephew Sturge (Barb) Taggart; sister-in-law Mary Smith, Lake Geneva; nephew Tim (Kristen); niece Lindsay (Mike); brother-in-law
Tim Smith (Joan), Seminole, Fla.; many great-nieces and nephews, treasured cousins and special friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Herbert and Verna Metzig; brother-in laws Gary Pakalski, Terry Smith and Sturge Taggart; nephews Glennie and JohnTaggart; and great-nephew Jason Taggart.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, January 18 at First Lutheran Church, 410 Main Street, Onalaska, Wisconsin 54650. Pastor Jason Stanton will officiate. Family and friends may call the church from 8:30 AM until the time of services.
We would like to express our sincere appreciation to the entire staff at Gunderson Lutheran Hospital who provided extraordinary care for Gary; and for Pastor Jason for his spiritual guidance. We are eternally grateful for the overwhelming amount of support we have received from our family and dear friends who provided comfort during our time of need. Coulee Cremation of Onalaska is assisting the family. In lieu of flowers, please make any donations to First Lutheran Church, Onalaska.