Linda Louise Metzner (née Wurpel), wife, mother, grandmother, “the cousin who was always there,” aunt, and sister-in-law, passed away on August 29, 2023 at the age of 75. She was with her loving husband and son when she passed after an unexpected acute illness.
Linda was born to Fred and Louise Wurpel in Trenton, New Jersey, on January 15, 1948, as the granddaughter of Fred Wurpel Sr. and Ellen Conklin Wurpel and Robert and Louise Henrietta Tourte Dammes.
Linda grew up in a mix of Levittown and Morrisville, Pennsylvania where she attended Walt Disney Elementary, a fact she leaned on to explain her otherwise inexplicable love of Disney.
As a child, she loved traveling with family on their frequent road trips that gave her a life-long zest for travel. She relished the very frequent family gatherings with her extensive family, whether Pocono trips, barbeques, or just the casual Sunday with her aunts, uncles, and cousins. In particular, she loved time with her brother and cousins, where she could take her role as older sister and family leader very seriously, a role she would continue well into adulthood and into becoming the true matriarch of the family who loved her so dearly.
Linda graduated from Morrisville High School in 1966, and, having a passion for care and public interest, she decided to pursue a career in nursing. She graduated from Pennsylvania Hospital with a diploma in nursing in 1968. She then worked from 1968-76 at the Philadelphia State Hospital as a Nurse Manager on the adult psychiatric inpatient unit, as a psychiatric nurse consultant at the Hahnemann Medical College Community Mental Health Center’s coronary intensive care unit, at the same MHC as the Nurse Manager for the child and adolescent inpatient team. During her last two years in Philadelphia, Linda worked as a public health nurse mental health specialist for the community nursing services.
During a trip to Colorado where she was visiting her brother, Linda discovered a new path for herself. As a mental health advocate and an advocate for civil rights, she found a sense of home in the western state. Colorado would serve as her chosen home for the rest of her days, where the very major happenings of meeting her life partner, marriage, motherhood, and career growth would take place.
Once in Colorado, Linda worked as the nurse manager in the adult inpatient unit at Denver General Hospital. Her role at Denver General Hospital proved to be seminal, as it was there that she met a psychiatric resident, Jeffrey Lee Metzner. Within weeks the two were dating, breaking Linda’s “rule” about not dating doctors, and they married on June 14, 1980.
Linda continued her work and education, securing a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from Metropolitan State College of Denver, followed by a Master of Science in Psychiatric-Mental Health Nursing from University of Colorado Health Sciences Center in 1982.
That year, she earned the big title of mother to her beloved son, Dylan Harrison Metzner, on April 27, 1982, a role she would excel in as all others.
As if being a mother, wife, and nurse was not enough she added law school to the mix, and raised a toddler while attending and graduating University of Denver, College of Law during 1987 with a Juris Doctor degree.
Linda continued working as a nurse specialist in various private and public settings, which included being the division chief nurse for the child and adolescent division of the Colorado Mental Health Institute at Fort Logan (1989-1994). Linda was the Executive Director for the Colorado Nurses Association from January 2001-March 2002. During 2001, Linda received the Outstanding Alumni Award from Metropolitan State College of Denver.
Linda coupled her passion of nursing and law with a career at the State of Colorado, Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), Division of Professions and Occupations, Colorado Board of Nursing as a practice specialist, where she could effectively advocate for progressive nursing care practices. Refusing to retire, she would hold this important role and be a leader in her field all the way until her last day.
Dylan was the pride and joy of her life. She always encouraged and supported his academic (and social) endeavors, and his participation in sports; she was the “Rugby Mom”. They took countless Mom-Son trips, which she relished.
Of her many accomplishments, though, perhaps what Linda will be remembered best for is her true generosity and her extraordinary ability to maintain loving connections across time, space, and distance. She found so much joy in being the connective tissue for her family (both her born and chosen family)– weaving a web of love, care, and connection that was truly unmatched. She knew what important happenings were going on in everyone’s life, and if you had any questions about the family undertakings, just ask Linda. She would always find the time to attend gatherings in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Texas and anywhere else a family member or friend may be.
Linda was truly the queen of cards and dates, and making traditions where there previously were none. Notable high holidays in Linda’s world included birthdays, anniversaries, Halloween, Easter, Passover, you name it; if it could be an excuse to send a loving note to someone on her long list of family and friends, she was on it, and no one was forgotten. Not even the furry family members went unnoticed, and dog birthdays and holidays were too celebrated by Linda, with the fanciest of puppy biscuits. Linda’s cards were received even after her death.
Linda’s in-person traditions included amaretto tort for Christmas eve, artichoke dip for Thanksgiving, smoked salmon dip, latkes, beef brisket and chocolate gelt and some friendly gambling for Hanukkah, and bouillabaisse at the beach. Each would likely come with a bit of Ouzo for good measure.
Her wit was something that could not be ignored, and time with Linda came with an unlimited supply of quirky, and endearingly irreverent humor.
She was an avid traveler, globetrotting with Jeff, family, and friends for adventures on the Danube, the Galapagos, and the mountains of Argentina and Chile, just to name a few. She always loved her birthday trips to Las Vegas, which she, Jeff and Dylan restarted again for her 75th Birthday this past January.
Linda’s most recent role was Grandmother. She adored her two grandchildren, James and Rhett, who she could not have been prouder of or excited about sharing time with. Linda created a special bond with each, decorating lemon cakes with James and playing trucks and watching trains with Rhett at “Grandma’s Condo”.
Linda carried infinite wisdom, that we are lucky to hold, some of which is:
She was force in all areas of her life, and the void left from her parting will not be filled. But her laughter, wisdom, and teachings will be carried on. Linda is survived by her husband and partner of 48 years Jeffrey Metzner, her son Dylan Metzner and his wife Lyndsay Arundel, her two vivacious grandchildren James and Rhett Metzner, her ‘baby’ brother Rick Wurpel and a wide and extended family of nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws and friends from every walk of life, far too numerous to list, but indisputably loved.
Family and friends are invited to her Celebration of Life on Friday, September 15, 2023 at 12:30 pm at Horan & McConaty (1091 South Colorado Blvd, Denver, Colorado).
For those unable to attend the Celebration of Life for Linda a livestream will be available. To access the stream please use the following link to register and join: https://event.forgetmenotceremonies.com/ceremony?c=cca6eb59-d441-46a4-ad5c-1ca6447e6049
The family has requested that remembrances be made in the form of contributions to the Colorado Nurses Foundation at https://www.coloradonursesfoundation.com/ or a charity of your choosing in honor of Linda.