Saturday, July 11, 2020
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM EDT
Betzler Life Story Funeral Homes
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Visit with family and friends while sharing food and drinks.
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.
Ladies Library Association
333 S Park Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49007
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Jackie Metzler lived her life to the fullest. Selflessly tending to the needs of others, she was a loving wife, caring mother, and affectionate grandmother. Her positive outlook on life kept her heart young for many years. Active in her community, Jackie leaves behind a wonderful collection of special memories sure to be missed by each and every one of her special loved ones.
Born to G.H. and Pauline Reid on March 24, 1928, Jackie’s story begins at an exciting time in our nation’s history. The Roaring Twenties were known for their large-scale industrial growth and significant changes in our nation’s culture; especially sports figures and jazz music. Joining her older sister, Gerri, her birth brought great joy and happiness into the family home.
As a child, Jackie lived a typical childhood of the times. Much of her early years were affected by the results of the Great Depression. To supplement the family income, her parents rented out some of the rooms in their home in Kalamazoo. She and her sister worked from a young age helping to clean the rooms they rented. Jackie attended local schools and graduated with the Class of 1946 from Kalamazoo Central High School. Studious as well as ambitious, she completed her postgraduate retaining degree from Western Michigan College. She was an active member of her business fraternity, Chi Omega Rho where she made lifelong friends.
Jackie met her first husband, Walter Koehler, who was a long time tenant of her parent’s home. He played professional baseball for the farm team for the Chicago Cubs until he was drafted in the war. While Walter was away serving the country, she landed a position with the UpJohn company as an operator. Later, the happy couple joined in marriage on February 3, 1951. Sadly, about a year later, he died while serving as an Army medic.
Not to be forgotten was the meeting of her second husband, Eugene “Gene” Metzler, on a blind date! Sharing many commonalities, they joined in marriage on January 16, 1954. Together, they adopted two wonderful children; Matt and Carol. She treasured her years as a nurturing mother. As a family, they enjoyed many years of making the best of memories and enjoyed traveling together. She would do anything for her family and was immensely proud of each of her children.
Jackie using her degree from Western found a career at Kalamazoo Collage in the bookstore. She loved her work in the bookstore and stayed loyal for twenty plus years before retiring as their assistant manager. After retiring from K College Jackie took a job demoing food at D & W Food Store. Jackie loved any time she was able to socialize with people. Both of these jobs satisfied her need for human connection and service to others. In addition to her work, Jackie always found time to pursue her many special interests over the years. A woman of strong faith, she was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church and the Ladies Library where she was known to help with many of their special events.
Hard to believe that she found any time for herself, yet when she did, she treasured trips to the local casinos, thrift stores, and plays at the Civic theatre. She never passed up an opportunity to travel. She loved road trips as well as bus trips. She had a real eye for finding a good bargain and would select antiques that she would later resell at a higher price! The extra money she made was saved for her next bus trip to the slot machines! For relaxation, she enjoyed reading John Grisham novels, solving wooden puzzles, and volunteering. She also had an ear for Big band and a variety of other music. Whenever she hosted parties at her place at Friendship Village, she often played her record player for adding ambiance in the background. Social by nature, Jackie savored her happy hours with vodka tonics and being around her special friends.
Above all else, she cherished her time with her family. Her love was warm and there never seemed to be a shortage of it with her. Her home was always welcoming and there was always plenty to go around. A passionate cat lover, she and Gene shared their love of animals with their children as well as their grandchildren. She lived her life with an immense sense of positivity and a wonderful sense of humor! Sweet, caring, and kind, her strength came from her radiant heart and beautiful spirit. May her loved ones never doubt the enormous amount of love she had for each of them and may they live their lives graciously sharing her gifts with others forevermore.
Jackie Metzler, age 92, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, died on April 23, 2020, at Woodside-Friendship Village. She was preceded in death by her first husband, Walter Koehler; second husband, Eugene Metzler; and by her two children; Carol Dwyer-Metzler and Matthew Metzler. Surviving are two grandsons; Justin (Angela) Dwyer and Jesse (Victoria) Dwyer; and two great-grandchildren; Austin and Nolan. Cremation has taken place. Visit with family and friends while sharing food and drinks on Saturday, July 11, 2020, from 5-7 PM at Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive, Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. Please visit Jackie’s personal web page at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com, where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign her online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Ladies Library Association or SPCA of Southwest Michigan.