Dr. John W. Metcalf, Jr. passed away peacefully on November 21, 2019 at Allegheny General Hospital with the support of his loving family at his bedside. He was born on June 20, 1929 at the Ohio Valley Hospital and grew up in Toronto with his parents, Dr. John and Lizetta Metcalf, and his older sister Barbara.
From his childhood Dr. Metcalf knew he wanted to be a doctor when he accompanied his father on house calls to patients in Toronto and northern Jefferson County.
Two weeks after graduating from Toronto High School in 1947 he started college at Kent State University and had enough credits to apply to medical school after two years. Dr. Metcalf received his medical degree in 1953 from the University of Maryland Medical School and entered the United States Navy. Upon completion of a rotating internship at the U.S. Naval Hospital in San Diego, California he was assigned to duty with the Fleet Marine Force in Japan and Korea in the waning years of the Korean conflict. He was discharged with the rank of Lieutenant Commander and returned to Camp Pendleton where he was assigned to duty in the obstetrical department of the Naval Hospital. After leaving the Navy Dr. Metcalf attended graduate school at Ohio State University where he completed his residency in obstetrics and gynecology, receiving a Master of Medical Science degree. He was certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1962 and continued to be re-certified through the years, most recently in 2014.
Dr. Metcalf began his private practice of obstetrics and gynecology on July 1, 1959 in the downtown First National Bank Building, then moved to an office on Sunset Blvd. until building an office on Brady Circle West to accommodate his growing practice. He was on the medical staff of the Ohio Valley Hospital, Gill Memorial Hospital, Weirton Medical Center and Magee Hospital in Pittsburgh. He was the first chairman of the obstetrics and gynecology department when St. John’s Hospital opened. He also served as chairman of that department at Ohio Valley Hospital and president of the medical staff. He served on the board of Trinity Health System with the merger of Ohio Valley and St. John’s Hospitals. His private practice was purchased by Weirton Medical Center in 1999 and he maintained his office there for the past twenty years.
Dr. Metcalf had a distinguished medical career for sixty years and recently retired on July 1, 2019 at the age of 90. His enthusiasm for the practice of medicine remained as strong at the end of his career as it was when he first began. When asked why he continued to work he replied “I like what I do. To me it is not work.” He was loved by his patients and respected by his medical colleagues. He delivered babies for forty-five of his sixty years in practice and estimates he delivered nearly 7000 babies. In some instances he served three generations of the same family.
Dr. Metcalf’s dedication and compassion for the medically indigent manifested itself early in his career. He believed everyone was entitled to medical care regardless of their ability to pay. In 1971 Dr. Metcalf founded the Family Planning Association with the late Rev. George Crenshaw to provide medical care to low income and uninsured women. Today the clinic is the Women’s Health Center and Dr. Metcalf maintained a presence there until 2017. Dr. Metcalf volunteered monthly at the Fourth Street Health Center, now the Ohio Valley Health Center, from its beginning until 2018 and was recognized as the 2015 Medical Honoree. While serving on the board of the Jefferson County Unit of the American Cancer Society in the 1980’s he began a cancer screening clinic for medically indigent women and recruited local physicians to assist. From 1992 to 1995 he volunteered at Cameo—the Women’s Center.
His volunteerism was not limited to caring for women. In the 1960’s Dr. Metcalf volunteered as camp physician at Fort Steuben Scout Camp at Lake Clendenning . He opened his medical office after hours to do volunteer Boy Scout physicals. Dr. Metcalf’s political career began when he was elected a member of the Charter Commission which wrote the first charter for the city of Steubenville. He served as fifth ward Councilman from 1987 to 1991 when he was appointed Jefferson County Coroner. He was subsequently elected to four full terms as Coroner, retiring in January 2009. He remained active in politics as a member of the Jefferson County Democratic Executive Committee. Dr. Metcalf’s most passionate hobby was flying which he began in the 1960’s and continued for more than thirty years. He held a private pilot’s license with ratings for single and multi engine land planes and also had a helicopter rating. Dr. Metcalf built two experimental airplanes, the most ambitious one being an open cockpit aerobatic biplane which took ten years to complete. He started construction of the biplane in the basement of his house, then had to have a building constructed in his backyard when the plane outgrew the basement. When the biplane was completed he named it “Theresa Rose” in testament to his wife’s patience. He performed aerobatics in his biplane at many local air shows. He used his helicopter to commute to the Weirton hospital during the construction of the Veterans Bridge, thus avoiding the traffic jams.
Dr. Metcalf joined Pilgrim Masonic Lodge #691, F &AM in 2002 and became its worshipful master in 2006. He became a member of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Valley of Steubenville in 2003. He was an active member and participated in various degrees. He received the Valley Service Award in 2010 for exceptional service to the valley and on June 1, 2018 received the Meritorious Service Award, the highest state award which can be given a Scottish Rite member. Dr. Metcalf was a proud member of the Toronto Community Band, now the Tri-State Community Band, from 1997 to 2017. He was honored in 2004 as a Distinguished Alumnus for Toronto High School. Dr. Metcalf was a member of the former St. Anthony’s Church and its Men’s Club and was now a parishioner at Holy Family Parish. He was a member of Steubenville Post American Legion, Weirton Elks Lodge, Prime Time, Serra Club, Steubenville Country Club, Williams Country Club, Tampa Bay Golf and Country Club. Dr. Metcalf was a devoted husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. His love was unconditional and boundless. Through his example he taught his family kindness, humility and the value of education. His family will cherish memories of vacations in Ocean City, Florida and Maine and many family celebrations in the home on Braybarton where friends were always welcome.
In addition to his parents and sister Dr. Metcalf is predeceased by a son David Metcalf.
He is survived by his devoted wife of forty-three years, Theresa. Their endless love for each other was evident to all who knew them. In their younger years they vacationed in St. Thomas and later in Florida where they enjoyed golfing, entertaining family and friends, and just being with each other. Theresa always told him she was proud to be his wife Dr. Metcalf is survived also by his six children: John(Judy) of Webb City, Missouri; Steve (Terry) of Herndon, VA; Beverly (RJ) Dyrdek, of Elizabethtown, KY; Dr. Lisa (Jeff) Cannada of Jacksonville, FL;
Monica(BJ) Pendleton of Wintersville; Gregory (Beth) Metcalf of Steubenville. He is also survived by his daughter-in-law Cherie Metcalf of Wintersville, 26 grandchildren, 19 of whom he delivered , 26 great grandchildren, three nieces and numerous great nieces and nephews.
Calling hours will be Sunday from 2-7 pm at the Mosti Funeral Home, Sunset Chapel, 4435 Sunset Blvd., Steubenville. A funeral liturgy with Mass will be celebrated Monday at 10:30 am at Holy Family Catholic Church, Msgr. Gerald Calovini will celebrate. Entombment will follow in Mt. Calvary Cemetery.
Memorial donations can be made to Women’s Health Center, 217 Washington Street or the Ohio Valley Health Center, 423 South Street , in his honor for the many patients he treated. Donations can also be made to Holy Family Church (specify building fund), 2608 Hollywood Blvd.
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