Tri-City teacher, musician teacher Greg Metcalf dies after cancer battle

By Dori O'Neal, Tri-City HeraldJanuary 13, 2014 

The life of a well-known Tri-City musician and teacher will be celebrated Wednesday in Marysville.

Greg Metcalf of Lake Stevens died Dec. 18 after a long battle with cancer. He was 63.

Metcalf was a Park Middle School band director in Kennewick for 13 years before he took a teaching job at Eisenhower Middle School in Everett 23 years ago.

He was a Pasco High grad and was inducted into the school's hall of fame in 2004.

He was honored as Teacher of the Year in the Kennewick School District, received the Golden Acorn Award in the Everett Public Schools and also was inducted into the Hall of Fame for the Washington Music Educators Association, according to his obituary.

He published a book in 2012, Help! I'm In The Band, that told many funny stories about his teaching experiences.

"I moved to the Seattle area to further my career but sorely missed Park Middle School, and still do," Metcalf told the Herald in 2012.

He also said he missed jam sessions with all of his Tri-City musicians friends, like Deb and Frank Eng, whom he still would occasionally perform with here.

"Frank and I are so deeply saddened by his passing," Debi Eng said. "Frank, Greg and I played music together for more than 30 years as Three Jazz, and in the 1980s, we played almost every weekend together. When he moved to Everett, we did reunion gigs every year."

Eng recalled one of Metcalf's songs he wrote that was always her favorite, The Wombat Song. "Wombats were how he lovingly referred to his students," she said.

Before he became a teacher, Metcalf played professionally with such notable musicians as Johnny Mathis, Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, Natalie Cole, The Temptations, Stan Kenton Orchestra, Diane Schurr, Buddy DeFranco and Linda Ronstadt.

Greg is survived by his wife, Laurie, and son, John, of Lake Stevens; and brothers, Terry Metcalf of Vancouver and Kerry O'Farrell of Marysville.

The memorial service will be at 4 p.m. at the Church of the Nazarene, 8240 64th St. N.E. in Marysville. Memorials may be given to the church for worship music, Metcalf's first love, his obituary said.

-- Dori O'Neal: 582-1514; doneal@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @dorioneal

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