Don Metzger

On December 22, 1947, Ronny Merle and Donny Earle were born in Calgary to Alice and Archie Metzger. Ronny passed away shortly thereafter, and was buried in the Leveland Cemetery.
When Don was a couple of years old, his folks moved from the grandparent’s home to their own farm north of Carbon where Don lived the rest of his life. On July 4, 1970, he married neighbor girl, Joan Gibson. Don passed away in the kitchen of their home on the evening of August 30, 2018.
During his school years, Don enjoyed sports very much, with baseball being his favourite. When he was 15, Don played in three different leagues. His mother would start his chores before he got home from school and of course, she drove him to all the games. He eventually injured his knee from pivoting on it so much and as the years went by, he suffered a great deal, but never once complained about playing ball. He made many friends during that time.
Farming was Don’s passion. He was always grateful to his parents Archie and Alice, and in-laws Stan and Molly Gibson, who helped him get started with his career. After Don got going, there was no stopping him. He rented land in order to pay for his own. New technology interested him. He was a wheeler and dealer, always looking to upgrade his machinery and wouldn’t hesitate to purchase good used equipment when he could save money. Always trying to squeeze a little more out the land, he was the first in our area to continuous crop. The older generation told him it was crazy; this wouldn’t be possible on the heavy land. Presently, this no-till practice is the norm. Another way to maximize bushels was to have new seed. He was always searching for new varieties.
Don was part of several industry groups. He was on the board for the Carbon R.E.A. until it dissolved. Years ago, Don served on the Acme Feeder Association. Also, he was a member of the Alberta Seed Growers Association and Secan for a number of years. Don took great pride in the Three Hills Seed Plant, where he has been a board member since 1984.
Don’s interest in helping others showed in his participation on the Friends of Kilangala Foundation, which supports an orphanage in Tanzania, East Africa. Another highlight for him, was when he went as a farm consultant for the mission. He was shocked at the primitive agricultural methods, but surprised at how happy and content the people were despite their poverty.
Don was known for his storytelling. His smooth delivery, combined with creative animation cannot be duplicated. Details were his specialty. Anyone close to Don knew of his ability to attach accurate nicknames. Going to town for coffee was regular for him and he genuinely cared about his coffee buddies.
Don was so happy to be able to farm with his son and grandson. He was an extraordinary mentor for his grandson Scott, who valued his wisdom.
As the years went by, family became more important to Don. He was proud of his children, who were both very successful, and his grandchildren were beyond special. He was interested in the lives of each grandchild, and cherished them very much. From time to time he would remark, “How could it be, that we have been so privileged to see our grandchildren grow into adulthood”. Needless to say, his great-grandchildren were the ultimate. Daily, he would ask how things were going in LA; his abbreviation for Lethbridge, Alberta.
The cold weather bothered Don. As a result, he opted to spend his last 28 winters in Yuma, AZ. Don became a triple A farmer; April, August, and Arizona.
Don was adamant that he would never retire and move to town. In his last years, he did less physical activity but his great mind continued strongly. Sometimes he would simply get into his old farm truck, go down to the main shop to visit and see what was happening.
God was good to Don, granting him his ultimate wish. He spent the last day of his life swathing with the men and had a wonderful time with them at supper. In the evening, Don concluded a farm deal that he had talked about for over 40 years. An hour later, a heart attack took him as he was preparing for bed. God was good to Don.
Today, he leaves to mourn, his wife Joan of 48 plus years; his son Marty (Kyle), and daughter Vicky (Dave); his 4 grandchildren, Justine (John Capatos), Scott (Rinske), Cole, and Taryn Metzger and 2 great-grandchildren Ben and Ruth Capatos. He is survived by his brother Brian (Helen Anne) and their family as well as 3 Aunts, numerous cousins and honorary grandson Daniel Weatherald.
Services were held Friday, September 7, 2018 at the Bethel Evangelical Missionary Church, Three Hills, AB. Memorial Donations may be made to: The Friends of Kilangala Foundation Box 215 Three Hills, AB T0M 2A0