Troy - The warm heart of Wayne Brian Metsch, 68, stopped beating on January 4, 2022, and many lost a true friend. The cause was complications resulting from a stem cell transplant for the treatment of myelofibrosis.
Wayne was the son of Frederick and Angelina Scafuto Metsch who raised him in Franklin Square on Long Island. He studied psychology and acquired his abiding passion for wine at SUNY New Paltz, then obtained his MSW at the University at Albany. Wayne was employed as a social worker for 33 years by the NYS Office of Mental Health at the Capital District Psychiatric Center. He also maintained a private psychotherapy practice for 38 years, retiring in 2020. Wayne’s specialty was clients with significant mental health issues. He had a deep respect for them, and felt that every day he learned about life, and endurance through adversity, from those he was fortunate enough to serve.
Wayne married Jennifer French in 1982 and together they built a home in Averill Park. There, Wayne created and stocked his storied wine cellar, honed his cooking skills, entertained often, collected antiques and started keeping bees. Wayne and Jennifer traveled widely, and on these trips Wayne made friendships across the globe that he cultivated through his lifetime.
After Jennifer’s death, match-maker friends introduced him to Lynn Gelzheiser, whom he married in 2006. Their home in Troy was a perfect venue for Wayne, as he was happiest in the kitchen, preparing a complex sauce, plating a multi-course meal, and uncorking a special bottle of wine for friends. The ingredients were always seasonal and carefully selected from local farms. The honey was from his own bees. Wayne’s special events were welcoming and seemed effortless.
Wayne and Lynn traveled often, most especially to Paris, Guadeloupe, England, and their beloved Sablet in Provence. In Sablet, they could walk the vineyards, chat with the wine makers, and dine in the sun with friends old and new.
Wayne served on the board of the Troy Community Food Coop and Joseph’s House. He and Lynn volunteered to host Albany Symphony musicians; this too was the source of enduring friendship.
Wayne was predeceased by his parents, his sisters Veronica (Roni) Marnell and Virginia Miklus, and his first wife Jennifer. He is survived by his wife Lynn M. Gelzheiser, his cousins Barbara Michaels (Bob) and Alan Terney (Sara Daniels), his nephews Dylan Woythal, Andrew Woythal, Adam Moran, Marcus Moran, his niece Rachel Ferluge DeLeva, and his in-laws Janet, Ed, Bob and Lynn A. Gelzheiser, Chris French, Bill DeRidder, Kitty and Tom Moran, Pam and Mark Woythal, and Lynne and Bob Ferluge. He also leaves behind many good friends of many years who will miss his kindness, compassion, and steadfastness.
Wayne wanted his friends, family, and former clients to know how much he appreciated their support and encouragement throughout his life and illness. Thanks are also due to the talented and kind staff at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Samaritan Hospital. Because of the ongoing pandemic, an outdoor celebration of Wayne’s life is planned for the spring.
Donations in his memory may be made to Joseph’s House or the mental health programs at Unity House, both of Troy.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Wayne Brian Metsch, please visit our floral store.
Joseph’s House & Shelter
74 Ferry Street, Troy NY 12180
Unity House of Troy, Inc.
2431 6th Ave., Troy NY 12180