Ms. Vivian Bracey Metze was born on September 14, 1928, to the late Edward and Rachel Boykin Bracey, on a little farm out by Hermitage Mills, towards Bishopville, South Carolina. On December 18, 2022, her journey of life came to an end at the MUSC Kershaw Health Medical Center. Having a mortal body, she was truly blessed by God’s grace through her ninety-four years.
She had an outstanding career in the Greater Camden community as an educator and a community activist for over forty years. Ms. Metze attended elementary school at Mather Academy in Camden, South Carolina for three years and Lincoln Elementary School in Sumter, South Carolina. She graduated from Jackson High School. Upon graduation, Ms. Metze attended South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, South Carolina, earning a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and Biology in 1950, her Master of Science in Science Education in 1969, and a Master of Arts and Certification in Guidance and Administration in 1970.
As a lifelong learner, she has completed further graduate studies at a number of universities, including the University of South Carolina Guidance and Human Relations Institute, Atlanta University (under a U.S. Government Fellowship), North Carolina State University Science Institute, and Columbia University in New York City. At Columbia University, Ms. Metze had the opportunity of a lifetime, she met both Robert Oppenheimer and Albert Einstein. Ms. Metze recalls thinking that meeting Einstein was “ the pride of her life”. “Meeting Albert Einstein was an awesome experience” said Ms. Metze. She has never forgotten that encounter.
Students as well as colleagues remember Vivian Metze as “world class educator.” Her teaching experience at St. Matthew High School, Jackson High School, and Camden High School covered a span of twenty-six years as a science teacher. Later in her career, Ms. Metze became a guidance counselor and served in that capacity for over seven years helping to guide many students through and beyond high school. Ms. Metze’s has been recognized by many organizations as a concerned community activist. She became the first African American and the first female to be elected Chair of the Kershaw County School Board and she served for six years.
Ms. Metze has held numerous professional affiliations in her career including; Board Member and Consultant for the Junior Achievement of Greater Kershaw County; the Associate Commissioner for the Kershaw County Soil and Water Conservation, and a member of Phi Delta Kappa Education Fraternity as well as a proud member of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated since 1946.
She was preceded in death by her parents and two brothers, Edward and Spencer Bracey.
Ms. Vivian Metze was the proud mother of Viveca Lorraine Metze of Camden, SC and Walter Marvin (Joy) Metze, Jr. of Atlanta, Georgia and the even prouder grandmother of two boys, Caleb “Yahma Yah” and Daniel, two girls, Bethel and Elizabeth and loved by a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
“Mom was blessed to be a warrior all her life.” – Martin
“Mom believed all her students were special.” – Viveca
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