Ronald Irwin Metz – Captain, United States Army

From a contemporary press report:

The Rev. Ronald Irwin Metz, 81, a former CIA officer and oil executive who switched careers in 1969 when he was ordained an Episcopal priest, died of renal failure August 25, 2002, at the Washington Home hospice. He lived in Washington.

Mr. Metz had long been interested in church affairs when he felt a calling to join the clergy to help people in need. He was ordained an Episcopal priest in Jerusalem, where he served as representative of the American Episcopal Church to the Anglican archbishop from 1969 to 1975.

He did church work in Middleburg — as missionary in residence for the Piedmont region of the Episcopal Diocese in Virginia — Erie, Pennsylvania, and the Philippines before settling in the Washington area in 1982.

He was an adjunct clergyman at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church in Washington in the 1980s and did counseling work with the chemically dependent at area treatment centers in the 1990s.

He was a former member of the D.C. diocesan commission on alcohol and drug abuse and chaplain to the D.C. alumni chapter of Sigma Chi fraternity.

He was a native of Walthill, Nebraska, where his father owned a hotel. He was a 1944 Chinese and Far Eastern studies graduate of the University of California at Berkeley.

He received a master's degree in Middle Eastern studies from the American University of Beirut in 1954 and a master's degree in divinity from Yale University in 1969. Over the years, he became fluent in Mandarin Chinese and Arabic.

He served in the Army in the Far East during World War II, and his decorations included the Bronze Star. He served in the Office of Strategic Services and its successor, the CIA, from 1944 to 1952, doing intelligence work in the Far East and

From 1954 to 1966, he was an executive with the Arabian-American Oil Co., known as Aramco, working in Saudi Arabia and Washington. His jobs included time as Aramco's representative to King Saud and the Saudi Council of Ministers as well as a member of Aramco's policy and planning staff.

He was a former board member of the Middle East Institute in Washington.

Survivors include his wife of 51 years, Helen Chapin Metz, daughter of career U.S. ambassador Selden Chapin, of Washington; three daughters, Mary Selden Evans of Cazenovia, New York, Helen Winchester Metz of Independence, Minnesota, and Grace Chapin Metz of Washington.


On Sunday, August 25, 2002, in Washington, D.C., at the age of 81. Husband of 51 years of Helen Chapin Metz, of Washington, D.C.; father of Mary Selden Evans (James F. Evans III), of Cazenovia, N.Y.; Helen Winchester Metz (Perry Ketchum), of Independence, Minn.; and Grace Chapin Metz (Christopher Hunton), of Washington, D.C. Ron turned his great spirit, intellect, sense of drama and boundless energy to careers as an intelligence officer for the OSS and the CIA in the Far East and Washington, D.C.; as an executive and representative to King Saud for the Arabian American Oil Company in Riyadh, Dhahran and Washington, D.C.; and as a priest in the Episcopal Church in the Philippines, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Jerusalem, where he served as representative of the American Episcopal Church to the Anglican Archbishop. He was a long-time volunteer counselor to the chemically dependent; a former member of the D.C. Diocesan Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse; former board member of the Middle East Institute; former board member of the Public Broadcasting Station of Northwestern Pennsylvania; and former chaplain to the DC alumni chapter of Sigma Chi. Eucated  at the University of California – Berkeley, American University of Beirut and Yale University and fluent in Mandarin Chinese and Arabic, he received the Bronze Star and a Presidential Emblem for Meritorious Civilian Service for service in the U.S. Army and the OSS. From their marriage at the Hague, Netherlands, where Helen Chapin's father Selden Chapin was U.S. Ambassador, Ron and Helen lived a richly textured life on three continents, and Helen and her daughters celebrate the peace that Ron reached in his last days.

Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Thursday, August 29, 2002 at St. Margaret's Church, 1830 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20009
In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to St. Margaret's Church.

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