Barbara Metzger, the author of over three dozen books and a dozen novellas, was a woman of many talents, working at various points in her life as an editor, proofreader, writer of greeting card verses, and an artist. Ms. Metzger, who was known as Bob-E, died on June 21 after a long illness. She was 79.
Her novels, mostly set in Regency-era England, “transported readers to a world of grand balls, moonlit carriage rides, and tales of swoon-worthy love,” her family wrote. She won numerous awards, including the Romance Writers of America RITA, the National Readers Choice Award, the Madcap Award for humor in romance writing, and two career achievement awards from Romantic Times magazine.
“Her website is filled with comments from readers thanking her for seeing them through difficult times, igniting their imaginations, and bringing fantasy and romance into their lives,” her family said.
“She was incredibly intelligent and creative,” they said, and will be remembered as much for “her kindness, humor, and devotion to her family and friends” as for her achievements in the literary world. “She was known for uplifting her loved ones with inspirational messages, funny photos, and personalized gifts. She always put the needs of her friends and family first, no matter what she was going through herself.”
When not painting, writing romances, or reading them, doing her crosswords, playing Wordle (her start word was always “anise”), or watching the Yankees, she volunteered at the Montauk Library, where a room is dedicated to her. She enjoyed gardening, went beachcombing, and sought treasures at yard sales.
“She was passionately involved in philanthropy and supported numerous environmental and animal welfare charities,” her family said. “Throughout her life she was usually accompanied by a canine companion — Dio, Sunny, Hero, and Tino — who were all adored and lucky to have Bob-E for a mom.”
Ms. Metzger was born on Feb. 15, 1944, to Jerome and Celia Metzger. She is survived by her sister, Carole Pruzan of Ossining, N.Y., her nieces, Jeri Seiden of California and Stacy Siegal of Manhattan, her great-nephews and great-niece, Josh Siegal, Andrew Siegal, and Jillian Siegal, “and numerous friends and artists that touched and enriched” her time in Montauk, where she had lived for most of her life.
As per her wishes, she was laid to rest in a private ceremony with family members in attendance. A celebration of her life will follow in Montauk at a later date.
Online condolences can be left for the family by emailing [email protected]. The Dorsey Funeral Home in Ossining helped with arrangements.
Her family suggested memorial contributions to the Montauk Library.