Paul R. Messmer, 84, Jasper

Paul MessmerPaul R. Messmer, 84, of Jasper, died Sunday (January 19) at Memorial Hospital and Health Care Center in Jasper. He was born December 21, 1929, in Huntingburg, to Clem and Viola (Woerter) Messmer. He married Virginia Sermersheim August 1, 1953, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Huntingburg.

Paul worked for the local telephone company 1947 to 1986, and then as a contractor for the phone company for another five years. He was a Korean War veteran who served in the Army from September 1951 to June 1953, with 13 months in Korea. He was a founding member of Precious Blood Catholic Church in Jasper, where he served as a lector, server and Eucharistic Minister. He was a participant of the Divine Providence Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Chapel located at Precious Blood Church. He was a member of Precious Blood Men’s Society where he held several offices. He served two terms on the Precious Blood School Board and served on the Building Planning Board and as a liaison for the new church and school addition. He was a member of the St. Vincent de Paul Society, a life member of the YMI in Huntingburg, a life member of  VFW Post No. 673, American Legion Post No. 493, a 3rd Degree member of the Jasper Knights of Columbus, a life member of the Pioneer Telephone Association, and a life member of the Jasper Outdoor Recreation Association. He was a sheepshead and avid bridge player who belonged to the Jasper Duplicate Bridge Club. He was also a hunter and a fisherman.

Surviving are his wife, Virginia Messmer; four daughters, Paula Reyling and husband Kent, Jasper, Donna Smith and  husband Dr. Bruce Smith, Effingham, Illinois, Linda Schmitt, and  husband, Randy, Ireland, and Martha Schmitt and husband Gene, Ireland; three sons, Dave Messmer and wife Toni, Jasper, Keith Messmer and wife Jackie, Newburgh, and Kevin Messmer and wife Bev, Jasper; 17 grandchildren; 11 great-grandchildren; one sister, Pat Seckinger, St. Meinrad; and one brother, Bernard Messmer and wife Sharon, Jasper.

In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by one brother, Steve Messmer, and one sister, Suzann Schiewer.

Funeral services at 10 a.m. Thursday at Precious Blood Catholic Church in Jasper, with burial following in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Ireland. VFW Post No. 673 will conduct military gravesite rites. Friends may call from 2-8 p.m. Wednesday at the Becher-Kluesner Downtown Chapel in Jasper. A rosary will be prayed at 1:45 p.m. The Huntingburg YM. will perform a memorial service at 6 p.m. The Chaplet of Divine Mercy will be prayed at 3 p.m.Wednesday at the Divine Providence Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Chapel located at Precious Blood Church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Precious Blood Catholic Church school tuition endowment fund. Online condolences may be made at

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