Willard Arlin Messinger
Dec. 13, 1930 - Feb. 21, 2021
McCOOK, Neb.‚ — Willard Arlin Messinger, 90, of McCook, died on Feb. 21, 2021, at home with his wife, Eva, at his bedside.
Willard was born west of Cedar Bluffs, Kan., at home to Herman Gustave and Serena Isabel (Zimmerman) Messinger on Dec.13, 1930, the third of four children. The family moved to a nearby farm in Nebraska, where the children were raised. He started country school in Rural Red Willow County and later finished in McCook. In 1947, while active in FFA, he was selected to represent Nebraska in the first National FFA band. He graduated from McCook High School in 1948.
He married Eva Jane Paxton on Jan. 23, 1952, in McCook, at the United Methodist Church. On returning from their honeymoon, his invitation to participate in the Korean Conflict was waiting in their mailbox. He served in Korea as part of Company C 44 Engineering Construction Battalion of the Army, operating heavy equipment building roads ahead of the front lines and many other wartime construction projects. He was honorably discharged in February 1954.
He returned home to Eva and they happily spent the remainder of their 69 years together, raising their two sons and proudly enjoying their growing family, farming, feeding cattle, and pursuing other agribusiness ventures with family such as M & W Equipment and Southwest Feeders. He was a member of McCook United Methodist Church and a life-long member of McCook BPOE Elks Lodge 1434. When his children attended Marion School District No. 4 he served several terms as Board President.
Preceding him in death were his parents; sister, Betty and husband, Don Crocker, of Centralia, Mo.; sister, Ruth and husband, Wayne Joy, brother, Merlin and wife, Eunice, mother-in-law, Agnes Witte, and sister-in-law, Margie McBee, all of McCook.
Those left to celebrate his life and continue his legacy are his wife, Eva; sons, Mark (Pat) and Kirk (Peggy) of McCook; grandchildren: Paul Messinger, Amy (Matt) Bohmont, David (Kari) Messinger, Keith (Kelsey) Messinger and Kayla Messinger; six great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
Visitation will be Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, from 10 a.m to 7 p.m., at Herrmann-Jones Funeral Chapel in McCook; the family will greet the public from 5 to 7 p.m.
Funeral services will be 2 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021, at Memorial United Methodist Church in McCook with Pastor Jeff Kelley officiating. Interment will follow services in Memorial Park Cemetery, McCook with Military Honors.
Memorials are suggested to Memorial United Methodist Church in McCook or to Home or Home Health and Hospice of McCook. Online condolences may be left at herrmannfh.com. Herrmann-Jones Funeral Chapel is entrusted with arrangements.