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Sidney Metzner dies at 72

September 02, 1998|By BRENDAN KIRBY

Sidney Samuel Metzner, the founder of a Hagerstown scrap recycling business and the father of a city councilman, died Tuesday after a battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 72.

Metzner, of Myersville, Md., was co-founder and chairman of the board of Conservit Inc., a scrap metal processor on Leslie Drive.

Hagerstown City Councilman Lewis C. Metzner called the business his father's "second love and hobby." But family was always first, he said.

"Dad was a very intelligent, fair, honest man whose No. 1 thing in life was his family," he said.

Metzner, who lives in the house he grew up in, said his parents and four siblings all lived in the house, which had two bedrooms and one bathroom before an addition doubled the size.

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Family closeness was a necessity, he said.

The elder Metzner was married to his wife, Suzanne, for 50 years.

Metzner was born in Philadelphia and came to Hagerstown as a Sears employee in 1950.

In 1952, Metzner left Sears to join Maryland Metals, where he worked for 23 years. In 1975, he left to create Conservit.

Over the years, Metzner threw himself into a variety of civic and professional organizations. He was particularly interested in the Maryland Theatre and the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts, Lewis Metzner said.

Metzner also served three governors as a member of a commission advising the state on the problem of abandoned vehicles.

He was an assistant professor at the graduate school of Frostburg State University and an adjunct assistant professor of economics at the University of Baltimore.

Sidney Metzner, a World War II veteran, served in the 69th Infantry Division and fought during the Battle of the Bulge. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his actions during the Battle of Arden Forest.

Lewis Metzner said his father requested assignment to an infantry division rather than going to officer candidate school.

Although he did not say why he chose the riskier assignment, Metzner said he believes his father, as a Jew, felt a special responsibility to make it to Europe before the war ended.

"He felt a need to do something," he said.

Metzner said his father always described the war as it is depicted in the movie "Saving Private Ryan," never in glorious terms.

"My father talked very little about his military days," he said. "But what he said was very loud."

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