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3000 E. Third Street
Bloomington, IN 47401
Phone: 812-333-4400
Fax: 812-333-4445
Michael Metzger

Michael Metzger

Thursday, October 4th, 1945 - Sunday, May 31st, 2020
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Obituary

Michael “Mike” Metzger, 74, of Bloomington died May 31, 2020 at the Stonecroft Health Campus after a long and stoic fight with Multiple System Atrophy. He was born October 4, 1945 in Jeffersonville, Indiana to Jesse G. and Norma R. (Bengel) Metzger. He spent his earliest years in Bloomington while his father attended Indiana University on the GI bill, living in an army surplus trailer in Woodlawn field on the IU campus along with other returning GI’s and their families. As a teenager his family moved to Indianapolis where he graduated from Warren Central High School in 1962. In high school he was an avid and accomplished musician, playing the clarinet and saxophone, winning a first in the state in clarinet. Mike returned to Bloomington to attend IU and received an A.B. in 1966 and a J.D. from the IU School of Law in 1969. He met his soul mate, Virginia Kleinhans, on a blind date in his second year of law school. He proposed two years later, saying “I guess if I married anyone it would be you.”, and they married on November 27th, 1969 in Silver Lake Village, Ohio. This past November they celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.
After graduating from IU they moved to Indianapolis where Mike began his legal career in a succession of positions as a deputy securities commissioner, a legal services attorney, a senior legislative analyst, and a criminal defense attorney before discovering his true calling, teaching and research. He joined the IU faculty in Bloomington as a visiting lecturer in 1972 from Nashville IN where they now lived in a log cabin. In 1976 Mike accepted a tenure-track position as assistant professor of Business Law in the School of Business and they moved to Bloomington. Mike excelled and was promoted through the ranks to associate professor in 1979, professor in 1985, and then to three chaired professorships in Business Law, Business Administration, and Business Ethics. He published over 50 articles in a variety of law, business, and ethics journals, receiving four best article of the year awards from the American Business Law Journal. He was appointed chair of the Business Law department as an associate professor, and then in 1984 he was appointed associate dean for academics for the School of Business, and was called back twice to that position. In 1990 he became the point person to integrate business ethics into the business curriculum. Mike was an unforgettable teacher. In class, he shared his broad wisdom from many disciplines as well as his trademark sense of humor (often turned on himself), to challenge his students to examine their own thinking. Over the course of his career, he taught tens of thousands of students in settings ranging from 300-student undergraduate classrooms to corporate conference rooms. He won 20 teaching awards and was identified by Business Week as “one of the B-School’s top teachers” in 1995, and one of its “Outstanding Faculty” in 1993 and 1997. A YouTube video of his final M.B.A. class shows students giving him a rowdy standing ovation that lasts several minutes, a fitting tribute to a beloved professor who taught them new ways of thinking and helped to shape them as business professionals.
Mike loved fast motorcycles, fast cars, and fast sailboats. Mike and Virginia sailed catamarans and Mike proclaimed Virg, his nickname for her, a “lousy captain and an uppity crew.” He was a huge fan of Formula One racing, especially the Ferrari team. One of his biggest thrills was visiting the Fiorano Circuit, the Ferrari test track in Fiorano Modenese, Italy , with no less than the great Michael Schumacher, his favorite driver, screaming around the track. A second racing dream come true was a trip to the Monaco Grand Prix. As Mike said, you could smell the money. One of his favorite family outings was the Metzger “boys” annual road trip to Road America at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, to watch vintage car races and eat double brat sandwiches with his brothers and nephews. After a bad motorcycle accident wrecked his knee Mike became an enthusiastic bicyclist and he and Virginia enjoyed 25 wonderful and challenging summer bike trips abroad, Italy of course being his favorite. Mike was also a voracious reader, but an unenthusiastic bridge player. He was a life-long weight lifter, one of the HPER noon-time regulars. As an undergraduate he came in second in the Mr. IU body building contest, and he always blamed his skinny calves for coming in second. Mike was a connoisseur of fine wines, but only reds, and fine Italian clothes. Once asked how many Italian suits he had, he replied, “Who’s counting?” Mike dearly loved all of his westie “pups”: Kiltie, Mackie, Lucy, Desi, Niki, and Buddy Boy AKA Mr. Barky.
Mike is preceded in death by his father, Jesse, his mother, Norma, and his brother-in-law Larry Prickett. He is survived by his beloved wife Virginia (Kleinhans), his brother Bill and his sister-in-law Caroline (Kaiser), his sister Debby Prickett, his brother Doug and his sister-in-law Trinda (Fennelly), and numerous nieces and nephews. He will also be missed by his brother-in-law Fritz Kleinhans, his sister-in-law Alice Kleinhans and her spouse Ron Eskin. The family would like to thank the Stonecroft staff for their loving and compassionate care of Mike in the last months of his life, and his Home Instead caregivers who helped him over the course of his decline. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may go to the Monroe County Humane Association. The Funeral Chapel has been entrusted with the arrangements. There will be a private family service on June 7th and a larger gathering at a later date to celebrate Mike’s life.
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L

Laura

Posted at 11:03am
I'm so very sorry to hear of Michael's passing. Virginia, please accept my deepest condolences and know that you're in my thoughts. I recall having him as a professor when I was at Kelley in the late 80's. I remember him stopping me in the hall and chastising me for having a used copy of his text book. "You're taking food right off my table by buying that used book!!". I was pretty intimidated, but then he gave me that broad, warm smile and I was relieved to not have to defend myself. As others have said, he was an outstanding professor and his classes were engaging and enjoyable. He'll certainly be missed by many. May he rest in peace.
JL

John Lahaie

Posted at 02:37pm
My deepest condolences and heartfelt sympathies to Mike’s wife and family. When I got out of the Navy in 1978, I returned to Bloomington, Indiana to complete my undergraduate degree. While working out in the gym at the HPER building at Indiana University I met Mike. He always gave great advice; and points of wisdom and perspective on life to many of us younger guys in the gym during that time period. After I completed the undergraduate degree I was rather lost and not sure what to do next. I just started bartending around town, while continuing to do doing a lot of weight training. He would continuously advise me, and encourage me to continue my education. He offered, and later graciously wrote letters of recommendation for me to attend a couple of different graduate programs over the next few years. During that time span I had many conversations with Mike over many various issues. He always had a great sense of humor, but at the same time always gave me a wise perspective on various elements of life. I was working as a resident assistant in the dorm system while I was obtaining my graduate degrees at IU. I often would get worn down, and he would encourage me by stating no matter what position I was working in, if I just did the best I could do at each position I would find each job that much more rewarding and satisfying. He would always provide me with examples of how he utilized this philosophy in his own life situations and circumstances. He often talked about his wife and how much he loved her and how he would do anything for her. He would always bring up her accomplishments and how proud of her he was. Mike was an exceptional mentor for me. Over the years, when in discussions with others concerning people that made positive differences in your life, I have often talked about how Mike affected my life in a positive way as a role model. He was always greatly respected and will be sorely missed. Rest in peace Mike!
Jack Lahaie
BA

Barbara Angotti

Posted at 01:05pm


Ginny, I am so sorry to learn of Mike's death. It seems that it wasn't that long ago that we were all students at IU. He achieved much in his life...touching the lives of countless students. It sounds like he not only worked hard, but also enjoyed life in so many ways. Thinking of you during this time of loss. Hard to say goodbye to a husband of 50 years.
RS

Roger Schmenner

Posted at 10:30am
Mike and I got to know one another as members of several committees at the Kelley School. I was a professor at the Indy campus of the school and would run down to Bloomington on a regular basis. During breaks of these meetings, Mike and I would sometimes be side-by-side in the men's room. Mike, being Mike, would frequently comment on the unpleasantness of the scent emanating from the urinals in the old building. When it came time for a capital campaign, it occurred to me that my modest contribution would be just enough to dedicate a new urinal in Mike's honor, with a plaque placed strategically within it. Unfortunately, Dean Dalton had other ideas and my idea never reached fruition. Still, Mike appreciated the thought.
RM

Rhonda Winfrey May

Posted at 12:15pm
I was very sorry to hear of Mike's passing. He was an outstanding professor, a brilliant mind, and a unique individual. I admired him greatly.





 
JE

Julie Ekblad Posted at 10:10pm

Hi Virginia, So sorry to hear of Mike’s passing. I’m sure you miss him terribly. Here’s a thought...we have a new race track in Austin called Circuit of the Americas.They race Formula One cars & motorcycles. I haven’t been there yet, but I met & followed Roberto Guererro & followed him to many tracks. He was interviewed by Public tv for one of my Brainbow videos. I will find out this summer schedule and maybe you would consider coming to Austin & we could attend one of the races? Julie Ekblad
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