In memory of
Metcalf, Robert Ann Arbor, MI Robert C. Metcalf, age 93, architect and University of Michigan professor and dean emeritus of the Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning, died peacefully at his home on January 3, 2017. Born in 1923, in Nashville, Ohio, Bob enrolled at the University of Michigan in 1941 to study architecture. In 1943, he was inducted into the United States Army during World War II. He completed his training, graduated with the rank of sergeant, and four days later married the love of his life Bettie Jane Sponseller of Canton, Ohio. Bob was assigned to the Army Specialized Training Program in 1943, and transferred to the 84th Infantry Division in 1944. He was sent to Europe, served 42 months, and was awarded the Silver Star as a lieutenant. After his discharge from service in 1946, he returned to U-M. Upon completion of his studies (B.Arch., 1950), Bob and Bettie bought a lot in Ann Arbor and began designing and building their home. They worked for over a year on its construction. Their nightly, on-site picnic dinners were some of his most treasured memories. Metcalf launched a successful residential-design private practice. From 1953-2008, the office completed over 150 projects in Michigan and Ohio. His work received multiple honors and awards and was featured in numerous architectural journals and publications. In addition to his professional practice, Bob had a long teaching and administrative career at the U-M Taubman College of Architecture and Urban Planning. He joined the department in 1950, became a full professor in 1968 and was appointed chairman of the architecture department. He served as dean of the college from 1974-1986. In 1989, the U-M Board of Regents named him the Emil Lorch Professor of Architecture and Urban Planning. He retired with emeritus status in 1991. Bob's final years were spent with Bettie in their beloved home of over 60 years. He was preceded in death by Bettie in 2008, and their infant daughter Lisa in 1955. Following Bettie's passing, Bob's comfort and needs were taken care of by TLC Senior Care, and he especially appreciated his caregiver Nancy. He is survived by his nephew Jeffrey Ferriell and his niece Kathryn Ferriell. A celebration of Bob's life will be held at Taubman College (2000 Bonisteel Blvd, Ann Arbor, MI 48109) on Friday, February 17, 2017 at 12:00 p.m. in room 2104 with a reception to follow. Memorial contributions may be made to the U-M Metcalf Architecture Fellowship Fund at http://bit.ly/2jbZIr1 or by check to the address above.
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