Neva Louise McCormick Metz
April 15th, 1927 - March 12th, 2018
Neva Louise McCormick Metz, age 90, died peacefully on March 12, 2018, in Fullerton, California, following a lengthy illness and a recent stroke. She was born in McCracken, Kansas, April 15, 1927, the daughter of James “Jim” and Philomena “Minnie” McCormick.
She was raised on a wheat farm in western Kansas, with her siblings William “Bill” McCormick, Frances Cline, and Ann Barnes. She attended Thistle Grove Elementary School, a one-room schoolhouse about a mile from the farm, which was in the McCormick family for more than 100 years.
Neva shared numerous stories of her youthful adventures with her sister Ann and double cousins, Jean, Alvina, Sylvester “Bet” and Tom McCormick, who lived on the adjacent farm. The family’s barn was the site of frequent barn dances and the kids would dance on the roof of the adjacent chicken coop, where they could hear the music. Neva related so many stories about her farm escapades that her family joked she should start an Internet radio show.
Neva attended McCracken High School and graduated from Bazine High School in 1945. Following high school she graduated from Central Business College in Denver, Colorado. During her life, she used her secretarial skills in a number of positions.
October 4, 1948 she married the love of her life, Melvin Monroe Metz, another McCracken native, the son of Grace and A.S. “Alfie” Metz. (By pure coincidence, that was Grace and Alfie’s anniversary, too.) She and her husband traveled to Los Angeles on their honeymoon and made Southern California their permanent home. Mel’s Aunt Ada offered them her home in Los Angeles and their three children, Barbara Ellen, John Michael and Mary Louise, were born there.
In 1960 Neva and her family moved to La Habra, California, where she remained in the “new house” they purchased for the rest of her life. She was a parishioner at Our Lady of Guadalupe for 58 years, and spent decades volunteering in the gift shop, cleaning the church and making sandwiches for the poor. She also volunteered for many years at the St. Vincent de Paul resale shop.
Neva collected many lifelong friends along the way. Frequent family vacations to Kansas kept her in touch with numerous friends and relatives. Her father had nine siblings and her mother had ten siblings, so there were aunts, uncles and cousins galore. Every vacation turned into a huge family reunion.
She maintained enduring familial friendships with three women she met in L.A. in the 1950s and continued the friendships with their children. Marie Hitchcock, Bina Lambaiso and Vi Moore (who ultimately moved across the street from Neva in La Habra) were friends until their passing.
Neva was a gracious hostess and a wonderful cook who welcomed family, friends and strangers to her table. Her vegetable garden was legendary with cabbages as big as basketballs and tomatoes for the entire neighborhood. For years, she canned dill pickles annually, sometimes 50 quarts at a time.
Her hobbies all involved making her family and her home more beautiful. For decades she sewed most of her own clothing and dresses for her daughters and their dolls. She had a keen interest in interior design and loved growing flowers, arranging flowers, and decorating elaborate cakes. She has such a Green Thumb, she ran a virtual plant hospital for the family’s sickly houseplants.
Neva was always up for an adventure. She rode a camel on vacation in her 60s and went hot air ballooning during her 80s. She spent many vacations in Rough and Ready, California, with her dear nephew Jim Cline and his family. His children, especially Sandi and Patrick, were like grandchildren to her and Mel.
She also traveled the world with her husband, family and friends, visiting Israel, Rome, Vienna, Stockholm, Ireland, England, Canada and many places in the United States, including Hawaii, New York City and Washington, D.C.
Neva had a small, but devoted and loving family. After Mel’s passing in 1995, her son John moved in with her and gave her unending support, companionship and love. Her daughters Barbara and Mary made frequent trips to La Habra and held many family celebrations in their homes. Many of the greatest joys of her life were attached to her grandchildren, Brittany, Scot and Ethan.
Neva is survived by her sister Ann Barnes of El Dorado, Kansas; her children, John Metz of La Habra, Barbara Metz and her partner, Hector Torres, of San Diego, Mary Envall and her husband, Robert, of Menifee, California; grandchildren Brittany Envall of Murrieta, California, and Scot Envall of Carlsbad, California, great grandson Ethan Envall of Carlsbad, Sandi and Jim Lucchesi of Healdsburg, California, and Patrick Cline of Santa Rosa, California.
The family is grateful to the many doctors, nurses and caregivers who tended to Neva during the final year of her life, especially the owners and staff at Amazing Grace and Care of Fullerton, and to Steven Baffa, who faithfully brought her the Holy Eucharist every week until her passing. The family would also like to acknowledge the tremendous support it has received over the years from neighbors Carlene Clarke and David Sanchez.
Events & Services
March 20, 2018 · 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
8221 College Ave., Whittier, CA 90605 ·
College Avenue Church
March 21, 2018 · 10:00 AM
900 W. La Habra Blvd., La Habra, CA 90631 ·
Our Lady of Guadalupe
March 21, 2018
2161 Fullerton Rd., Rowland Heights, CA 91748 ·
Queen of Heaven Cemetery