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Fleur Woods Metzger, of Granville, Ohio, the self-proclaimed Luckiest Woman in the World, passed away peacefully at the age of 91 on Wednesday, December 27, 2023, surrounded by her loving children.
Fleur was born September 9, 1932, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but spent most of her childhood in Cleveland where she cultivated a lifelong love of reading, played sports, baked kifli with her feisty Hungarian grandmother and swam in Lake Erie. Her childhood had its share of challenges which helped shape her character as a strong woman and a determined optimist.
Soon after graduating from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in 1954, Fleur went on a blind date with Charly Metzger, a lanky guy with a great smile, quick wit, and smooth dance moves. Charly nicknamed Fleur “Long Sam” after a voluptuous brunette in the funny pages, and in all their years together he never missed an opportunity to say she was “the prettiest girl in the room.” The romance lasted throughout their fifty-two years of marriage until Charly’s death in 2008.
Fleur and Charly’s combined sense of fun was legendary. In the early years of their marriage in Cleveland and then New Canaan, Connecticut, they threw beer parties, danced to Burt Bacharach and had babies. Fleur began her run as The Bionic Mother, a nickname her children gave her years later. There was nothing she couldn’t do: room mother, den mother, chair of the East School rummage sale, winner of paddle tennis tournaments at the Lake Club, and the best cook around.
Their move to Granville, Ohio in 1971 began what would become an over fifty-year love affair with a small town. Fleur and Charly made their first Granville friends while helping found the Raccoon Creek Paddle Tennis Club. Fleur went on to help start the Granville Recycling Center, serve as publicity chair of the Granville Garden Club’s annual Daffodil Show, and sing in both the Granville Community Chorus and the Denison Concert Choir. In 1974 she and Charly, along with Dave and Dottie Klauder, purchased and renovated an 1853 brick mansion which they opened as Bryn Mawr Restaurant a year later. Fleur loved her community, her friends, her multiple book clubs, and St. Edward’s Church.
As her four children left the nest, Fleur began a second half-of-life career as a writer and publications editor at Denison University. She loved her job, her co-workers, and the countless Denison students she mentored in the Public Affairs office. As the daughter of an English professor, she was proud of her twenty-seven-year career at Denison and the many accolades and awards she and her colleagues received for their work. She retired in 2012 at age 79, but her keen eye for a misplaced comma and sharp ear for an incorrect pronoun made a lasting impression on her family.
As a wife, mother, and beloved “Nana” to her fourteen grandchildren, Fleur ruled the roost from her kitchen. There she made dozens (and dozens) of loaves of zucchini bread from the bounty of her garden, whipped up delicious dinners, helped with homework, wiped the muddy paws of her beloved golden retrievers, or occasionally just listened to the birds through an open window.
In her later years, Fleur faced the challenges of dementia. With the same fierce determination that had characterized her entire life, she lived independently as long as she could, and after that, with grace and a beautiful smile until the very end. The family is deeply grateful for the loving care provided by Home Instead of Granville, Cotter (formerly Kemper) House of Worthington, and Fleur’s years-long and beloved caregiver Janice Kindred.
Fleur is survived by her four children, Lisa (Phil) Drake, Julie (Doug) Baker, Laura (Jay) Wigdale, and Charlie (Wendy) Metzger; her fourteen grandchildren, Ben (Randi) Drake, Zach (Amanda) Drake, Alex Drake, Doug Baker, Will Baker, Laura Baker, Lindsey (Wade) Buxton, Jack (Hannah) Wigdale, Charlie (Elizabeth) Wigdale, Ellie Wigdale, Anna (Thomas) Paras, Margaret Metzger, Charlie Metzger, and Joe Metzger; and eight great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her beloved husband Charly and by her parents Charles Burton Woods and Evelyn (Velha) Woods Holland.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, January 27th at 11am at the Church of St. Edward the Confessor, 785 Newark Granville Road in Granville, Ohio. The family will receive friends at 10am, prior to the service. A livestream of the service will be available on the McPeek Hoekstra Hoskinson Funeral Home Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=61555353177926&sk=live_videos. Later viewing will be possible on the same site at https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=61555353177926&sk=videos.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to: The Granville Community Foundation, PO Box 321, Granville, Ohio 43023 or https://www.granvillecommunityfoundation.org/donate; or The
Charcot-Marie-Tooth Association https://www.cmtausa.org/ways-to-give/unite-for-a-cure/.
McPeek Hoekstra Hoskinson Funeral Home is honored to care for Fleur and her family. Please visit www.McPeekHoekstra.com to share a special memory about Fleur or to leave a message of condolence for the family.