Irvin Calvin Metz

Irvin Calvin Metz, Topeka, whose daily generosity helped many throughout his journey, passed away peacefully at Midland Hospice House, Sunday January 19, 2020. He was 91. A World War II Veteran of the Navy stationed in the South Pacific, Mr. Metz was a businessman for over 70 years, most of those years in Topeka.

Mr. Metz was of German-Russian heritage and born in 1929 in Morris County, Kansas, the son of Lloyd V. Metz, Falls City, Nebraska and Tena Schimpf from the Volga River Valley, Russia. He married Anita Marie Tindell from Burlingame, Kansas and was married for over 62 years. Mr. Metz was proud of his four children who survive him:  Connie Reynolds, Topeka; Larry Metz (Wanda), Georgia; Shirley Woodbury (Ron), Topeka; and Ron Metz, Topeka. 

His loving grandchildren are Melissa Flesher(Ryan), Krystal Zurmely(Curt), and Chase Woodbury, all of Topeka; Allison Pankratz(Scott) of Gardner, Kansas; Malinda Hostetler (Brian) of Cedar Falls, Iowa; and Zak Metz and Anthony Rodriguez(Lauren), Georgia. 

His beautiful great grandchildren include Kaylor, Kolbi and Kallie Zurmely; Tyler and Dylan Flesher; Mallory and Kemper Pankratz; Bowen and Cru Hostetler and Mila and Isabel Rodriguez. Mr. Metz is also survived by his brother Alvin Metz(Janet) and his brother-in-law Robert Tindell, both of Topeka.

Besides his loving wife Anita, Mr. Metz was predeceased by his parents, his brother Henry Metz(Janet); sister Helen Fisher(Denzel); sister Vina Brown(Wilbur); sister Viola Lueker and several brother and sister-in-laws, nieces and nephews.

Mr. Metz was a business owner for over 70 years, most of those years in Topeka. He and his wife Anita owned and operated Sasnak Tavern in North Topeka for well over 60 years and Sasnak Tavern and Restaurant  in downtown Topeka. He also owned and operated Thunderbird Oil Company in Eldorado, Kansas. 

After being raised on a farm near Admire, KS, young Irvin stowed away on a freight train to find work in oil fields, only to be tracked down by his mother Tena. At the age of 16, he lied about his age to follow his older brothers and join the military, making his way across the United States to San Francisco, then on to the South Pacific, stationed mainly in the Truk Islands, where he served in the Navy as a radio operator. On his return to Kansas, he found work at a pool hall in Burlingame, KS where many of the area coal miners would gather after work.  He also worked at the Tindell Hatchery in Burlingame, owned and operated by Anita’s family. After purchasing the Burlingame pool hall, he later moved to Topeka with his wife Anita, where he continued in the bar and restaurant business for the remainder of his life.

His lifetime career as a business owner afforded him the ability to contribute to the citizens of Topeka in many ways, from his undying generosity to employees and strangers to his tireless work for Kansans For Fair Taxation, fighting unfair state taxation practices that were a hindrance to small businesses across the city.  In a world where there are “no free lunches”, Mr. Metz provided open arms and generosity daily in his business for at least 30 years, providing hundreds of thousands of free lunches. Even those that were not customers could stop in for a free meal when they just needed a break and a bite to eat to make their day a bit better.

Mr. Metz has been cremated and his family will have a private memorial event in the future. His family invites any of you who are friends, former business associates, employees, customers or acquaintances to remember him and your interaction with him fondly. That would please him greatly!

Irv will be greatly missed for his generosity, strength, tireless work ethic, ability to improve himself and others and of course, his always present humor and ability to listen when you needed someone to talk to for a while.  We all love you and will miss you!

In lieu of flowers, for anyone who would like to make a donation in his honor, please send your donation in Irvin Metz’s name to one of the following organizations by using the links below:

Midland Hospice House Donate Online

Cystic Fibrosis Foundation – Heart of America Chapter – Kansas City, MO and Wichita, KS

Kansas City Down’s Syndrome GuildKansas City

The Helping Hands Humane Society of Topeka – Donate Online

14 “Irvin Calvin Metz

  1. My condolences the entire family. I didn’t know him personally but my mother Evelyn Stewart LeMere grew up and went to school with him in Council Grove. She later worked for him at the Sasnak in North Topeka. She always thought fondly of him and his brother.

  2. Irv always had a wonderful way of dealing with people. He gave people a chance to create success for themselves. He did not judge people arbitrarily. He was generous to many. He had many friends because he treated people with respect. He will be missed.

  3. Shirley, Ron, and all,
    So sorry for your loss. Hoping you find comfort in your memories.
    With Heartfelt Sympathy, Nancy & Gary Groves

  4. I didn’t know Irv but visited the Sasnak on occasion. I did know Shirley from ABF and would like to offer my most sincere condolences to the family.
    “L G” Ward (Tucson)

  5. I worked for Anita and Irvin at the uptown Sasnak years ago and found them a couple of hard working and really nice people to work for. There cooks name was Alma however I don’t remember her last name. This was back in the late 60ies that I worked for them.
    They always put out good meals for the people that ate there. A lot of the people worked for Hallmark and businesses downtown.

  6. Irv was a amazing man. I was blessed to have him in my life and honored to work for him for 20 years. I will never forget him and everything he did for me. My thoughts and prayers are with all his family and friends. Love you Irv (Poppa)

  7. Irv thank you for everything. Irv teyed to teach me more code when I was studying braille .Awesome boss …..sincerely SASSY

  8. Your dad, and my uncle, had a very interesting history. I had no idea. He was certainly a strong and generous man. He was definitely adventurous. Now that I know that he was half Russian, it explains his dark good looks.
    I’m sorry for your loss, but I’m glad he enjoyed a long, full life.

  9. I am greatfull,and blessed to know irvin.for the last 21yrs.of working at his establishment..I tried several times to check in on him ,see how he was doing .this last year..I Love You,Irvin Metz you were family to me ,and I hold you in my heart heart goes out to irvs family,its not easy lossing a parent..Thank You,for the best years of my life,were spent,at sasnak.Irvin’s bar..I will miss you dearly..

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