Catherine Treece Metzger, 37, of Fayetteville, NC, died peacefully on June 10th, surrounded by family at the Duke Medical Center in Durham, NC, after a prolonged battle following a severe pregnancy complication. Catherine is survived by her loving and beloved husband Clayton Blough of Fayetteville, NC and her nine-month-old daughter, Catherine Margaret “Maggie” Metzger Blough. In addition, Catherine is survived by her father, Keene Metzger of Cambridge, MA; her brother Tell (Bonnie Campbell) Metzger of Brooklyn, NY; her stepmothers Nancy Moorehead of Cambridge, MA, and Barbara Kleeman of Arlington, MA; her mother-in-law Cheri (Barry) Voss of Texas and Moyock, NC; her aunt Donna Treece of Chestnut Hill, MA; her cousin Irene Jacobson of Somerville, MA; her sister-in-law Caitlin (Mary Shoulders) Blough of Moyock, NC, all of whom spent many days accompanying Catherine on her long, final journey. Catherine’s mother, Margaret Treece Metzger predeceased her in 2013. In addition, there are many nieces and nephews, aunts and uncles, and cousins in the Boston area and throughout the country
Catherine was born in Seoul, Korea, on March 9, 1985 and adopted by Keene and Margaret. She was raised in Cambridge, MA, surrounded by friends in a loving community known as Common Place and by members of Old Cambridge Baptist Church. Catherine graduated from Brookline High School in Massachusetts in 2003, where her mother taught English for many years. She spent a post-graduate year at Tilton Academy in New Hampshire, and graduated from New England College also in New Hampshire, in 2008.
In 2013 Catherine joined the U.S. Army and served for over 6 years, primarily at NATO Headquarters in Belgium and at JBER in Anchorage, Alaska. She received two Army commendation awards during her service, and earned the Arctic Patch during her tour in Alaska. Following her discharge at the rank of Sergeant she moved to Fayetteville to join Clayton, also an Army veteran, who had been at Ft. Bragg.
Catherine was a natural athlete who excelled in every sport. She most loved ice hockey, which she played into college. In high school she was team captain and a Boston Globe All-Scholastic her senior year. Catherine was quiet but had a wonderful, playful, and incisive sense of humor. She was acutely observant of her surroundings, on which she loved to comment. Her Dad relied on her to tell him what just happened in movies and at sporting events. She loved good food, especially a good steak; Christmas and the holiday roast; celebrating her arrival day in the US on December 2, 1986, at 21 months old; her family, friends and cousins; and gaming. Following her discharge from the Army with 100% disability she took up gaming in a serious way. (She could always win at any board game!) She made a mean Cincinnati Chili and rib roast. Her Dad would bring a favorite sub sandwich from Boston to her Durham hospital.
Her marriage to Clayton in April, 2018, brought her into a whole big, new family, which she loved being a part of. Catherine had a special soft spot for rescue animals. At one time she and Clayton had nine rescue cats and three rescue dogs. Even while hospitalized, she urged Clayton to keep and care for them. She looked forward to coming home to them.
On September 21, 2021, Catherine gave birth to Maggie at 26 weeks via c-section. Maggie then spent two months in the extraordinary NICU at the Cape Fear Valley Hospital in Fayetteville. Maggie, along with Clayton, was Catherine’s joy.
The rare pregnancy complication was diagnosed as HELLP Syndrome. Catherine spent the final nine months of her life after Maggie’s birth under the exceptional and loving care of the team at the Duke Medical Center, to which she was airlifted shortly after Maggie’s birth. It was a roller coaster of good days and bad days, being on and off renal dialysis; her liver working and not working; her gastric system working and not working; fluid building up and being removed; intermittent breathing support; bouts of delirium; and various random infections, all punctuated by excruciating back pain from her military service. Eventually her body gave out. But only after a long, determined fight. Through it all Catherine was heroic. She was patient, resilient, gracious, grateful to her caregivers, in good humor and spirits, and optimistic about the eventual outcome. Buoyed above all by visits from family, especially Clayton and Maggie, the loves of her life, she never once complained. All she wanted was to return home to them and live the life she hoped for, to see Maggie’s first steps, to be a mother for the first time. In the end, which came quickly and unexpectedly after what appeared to be marked improvement, that was not to be.
Catherine wanted very much to be able to tell her story, to be sure the risks women take in pregnancy are better understood. The family hopes to carry out that wish.
In that regard, the family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made in memory of Catherine to the Preeclampsia Foundation at:
3840 West Eau Gallie Blvd, Suite 104 Melbourne, FL 32934
Private Services To Be Held.
Online condolences may be left at http://www.jerniganwarren.com
Arrangements by Jernigan-Warren Funeral Home, 545 Ramsey St. Fayetteville, NC 28301
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