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Roger E. Metzger, Food Bank of WNY founding director

May 21, 1936 – June 30, 2016

Roger E. Metzger, a retired wholesale food executive and a founding director of the Food Bank of Western New York, died Thursday in his Elma home after a long illness. He was 80.

Born in Rochester, he was the son of Carl Metzger, founder and president of Buffalo Blue Cross and designer of the Blue Shield logo. He came to the Buffalo area as a child and was a graduate of Clarence High School and Cornell University.

He began his business career with Loblaws and was chosen to serve as a loaned executive for the United Way. He later joined the S.M. Flickinger Co., where Burt P. Flickinger Jr. encouraged him to continue his community service. He retired as purchasing manager for Flickinger in 1997.

Mr. Metzger worked for more than 30 years for the United Way drive and served a year as chairman of the Food Division.

He served the Food Bank of Western New York for more than three decades in many roles as president, treasurer, board member and staff volunteer.

He received numerous awards, including the Food Bank’s Community Service Award and the National Conference of Christian and Jews’ Brotherhood/Sisterhood Award.

He began giving blood while he was a student at Cornell. He was enrolled on the Rare Donor Registry and donated more than 10 gallons.

He was active in the Catholic Church of the Annunciation in Elma, where he served as president of the Parish Council and was a Eucharistic minister for more than 20 years.

He also was an avid gardener and do-it-yourselfer.

Survivors include his wife of 58 years, the former Irene E. Rizzi; a daughter, Marjorie Metzger Stell; three sons, Martin, Jeffrey and John; two sisters, Marilyn Ferguson and Carole Santa; 10 grandchildren; and three great-grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. next Monday in the Church of the Annunciation, 7500 Clinton St., Elma.

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