Byford Paul Metzger, longtime resident and businessman of Pawnee City, Nebraska, passed away at the age of 94 on January 12, 2020.

Byford was born September 11, 1925 to Leo and Erma (Vrtiska) Metzger. He was raised on the family farm outside of Pawnee City and graduated from Pawnee City High School in 1943. He served in the U. S. Army during World War II, then returned to Pawnee City to work.

On December 30, 1949, Byford was united in marriage to Virginia Crom at the United Presbyterian Church in Pawnee City. They enjoyed almost sixty years of marriage, and raised three children: Donald Jay, Janet Lee, and Linda Sue.

Byford loved his family and worked very hard to provide for them. He developed the Standard Oil service station into a solid Pawnee City business, then later sold bulk fuel, seed, chemicals, fertilizer, propane, and anhydrous ammonia to area farmers.

Byford loved his community. He served as a charter member of the Rotary Club, and as a member of the City Council, the volunteer firemen, the Pawnee County Hospital Board, the Cemetery Board, and the Chamber of Commerce and was a longtime blood donor.

Byford loved his country. In addition to his military service, he was active in the American Legion and the VFW, and served in the honor guard for Memorial Day services at the Pawnee City Cemetery. He participated in an Honor flight to Washington, D.C., to see the World War II Memorial and other patriotic sights.

Byford loved his God. He was a lifelong member of the United Presbyterian Church in Pawnee City. He sang in the choir, served as an Elder and as a Trustee, was active in Mariners, and served a stint as Sunday School superintendent.

Byford was preceded in death by his wife, Virginia; his parents; brother-in-law, Howard Ettleman; and one great-grandson, Colten Ellerbee.

He is survived by his sister, Gertrude Ettleman of Nebraska City; son, Don (Karen) Metzger of Omaha; daughter, Janet (Jim) Krause of Plainview; daughter, Linda (Richard) Johnson of Hastings; ten grandchildren; and sixteen great-grandchildren.

Visitation and funeral services will both be held at the United Presbyterian Church in Pawnee City. Visitation will be on Friday, January 17, from 12-8 p.m. with family present from 5-8. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, January 18, at 2:30 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to The United Presbyterian Church, The Pawnee City Assisted Living, or the Pawnee County Memorial Hospital Foundation. Arrangements provided by Wherry Mortuary in Pawnee City, Nebraska. For a full obituary, visit


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