Obituaries: Eleanor Mae Messer

In Loving Memory of

Eleanor Mae Messer (nee Diehm)

December 20, 1923 – February 28, 2021

Eleanor Mae Messer

Eleanor Mae Messer fondly known as “Ms. Ellie” was born December 20, 1923 in Coatesville, Pennsylvania to the late Dewey S. and Fianna M. Diehm.  She was the little sister to her big brother, Donald, who would be one of her strongest advocates during the years to come.  As a little girl her father playfully created a rhyme to describe his daughter “I am a little chatter box, my name is Eleanor Mae, the reason that I talk so much, is because I have so much to say!”  The young Diehm Family lived on “Snyders Row,” a street that was home to her extended family where she enjoyed the close companionship of her grandparents, aunts, uncles and many cousins.  Ms. Ellie would describe life as a child saying “We were the luckiest people to grow up on “Snyders Row.”  In Coatesville High School she enjoyed athletics, making the swimming team, specializing in the breast stroke.  After graduating High School she married and gave birth to the first of her five children, Raymond Earl, “Ray”.  In 1951 she decided to spread her wings and left Pennsylvania for sunny San Bernardino, California where she met her true love Darrel Wallace Messer, “Jake,” an aspiring Air Force pilot, they married May 16, 1953.  The adventure began with multiple moves and children.  They had four children together, Sandra Kay “Sandy”, Eleanor Jean “Jean”, William Darrel “Bill” and Diane Carol.  Throughout the years as a military family the Messers lived in over 25 different homes within the United States, England, and Guam.  Living in Guam was Ms. Ellie’s favorite, but she would follow her husband anywhere even her least favorite the wintery cold of Michigan.  

Ms Ellie was devoted to her family caring for her mother, Fianna, until her death; her husband, “Jake” of almost 25 years until his untimely death in 1978 and a loving mother to her children.  She would describe being a mother by saying, “I loved having children and it didn’t seem like work-more like fun!”  She worked a variety of jobs throughout the years as a Debt Collector, Tax Preparer, Clerk Supervisor at the Post Office, and Cashier at Publix. She was an advocate of women’s rights.  Ms. Ellie’s own experience of working in a male dominant environment at the U.S. Post Office led her to “push the envelope” to advance her career.  Ms. Ellie worked at Publix until her official retirement in 2015 at 92 years old.  Ms. Ellie volunteered through-out her life helping those in the community in the V.A. Medical Center and The Waterford Health Center among others.  She was an avid sportswoman, excelling in tennis and swimming.  In the late 1960’s and earlier 1970’s she was the President of The Officer’s Wives Tennis Club and won several tournaments and ultimately became top player.  Ms. Ellie enjoyed reading the newspaper, sharing, and listening to funny stories, playing Soduko and Parcheesi, playing cards, playing cards, and playing cards!  According to Ms. Ellie playing cards was “sheer happiness” and would refer to her middle name as “Cards”.  This kindhearted woman was a fierce competitor, showing no mercy when playing cards!  Most would agree she was a superb card player whether it was Bridge or Spite and Malice.

Ms. Ellie leaves to cherish her memory, her children, Sandy Kay Messer of Warrensburg Missouri, Eleanor Jean Messer of Jupiter Florida, Bill Messer of Palm Beach Gardens, Florida and Diane Messer and son-in-law John Carolus of Annapolis, Maryland.  Ms. Ellie is preceded in death by her son, Raymond Earl Messer in 1987.  Ms. Ellie’s grandchildren include: Scott Messer, Jacqueline Messer-Owen, Todd Messer, Jesse Messer, Nazaneen Karimi, Farahnaz Karimi, Najeela Karimi and Brian Williams.  Her great-grandchildren include: Lauren Ann Owens, Tyler Raymond-Storm Owens, Jayden Anthony Messer, Sebastian Kai Messer, Elise Karimi-Holda and Vivienne Karimi-Holda.  Ms. Ellie will be missed by the many friends throughout the years who have been touched by this warm, generous, and loving woman.

A special note of appreciation goes to Barbara Sewell who provided care for Ms. Ellie for the past two years. Barbara always went above and beyond for Ms. Ellie developing a quality of life that would not have been attainable by anyone else. Memorial Services will be private. In Lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Loggerhead MarineLife Center or Friends of Manatee Lagoon.


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