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Shirley Mae Messier Obituary

Brought to you by Olsen-Gibson Funeral Home

Shirley Mae Messier

Jefferson, Wisconsin

May 20, 1938 - July 8, 2024

Shirley Mae Messier Obituary

Shirley M.  Messier, 86, of Whitewater, Wisconsin, passed away on July 8, 2024.  Shirley was born to Erwin and Leona Reese on May 20, 1938, in Farmington, Wisconsin.  Shirley (“Shirttail”) attended the local country school, then set out on her own, taking a job doing factory work. 

On August 24, 1957, she married Blaine Messier in Jefferson, Wisconsin.  They had three daughters, Michele (Shelly), Terry, and Karen.  Shirley spent many years being a working wife and mother, finally retiring from Polymer Technologies / MacLean Fogg in Whitewater.

Shirley loved country music and spent her retirement years going to George Jones and Daniel O’Donnell concerts along with her concert friend, Edy Oldenberg.    She joined fan clubs so she could go behind the scenes and meet the performers.  She proudly had numerous photographs taken with George and Daniel, and made many duplicates of those photos so she could share copies with relatives and friends.   Shirley had a terrible fear of bodies of water, but conquered her fear so she could attend a concert on a boat in Branson, not knowing there would be a huge storm while she was on the boat.

When Shirley became a Grandma in 1986, she focused most of her attention on her only grandchild.  The two became inseparable, with Shirley making herself available for her granddaughter every possible moment.   Shirley also had a passion for decorated cut-out cookies, and would bake and frost hundreds of them at Christmas time.   She especially loved to give cookies to her adopted family member, Bruce Fletcher, who loved the cookies as much as she did.  Turkey dinners were her favorite, and she would talk about them for days before the holiday dinner.  Family members would report to Shirley when “the turkey was in the oven.”  Shirley bravely fought and won battles with both lung cancer and colon cancer, surviving both without the need for either chemotherapy or radiation treatments.

Shirley loved her three daughters, often saying that even though she raised them all the same, the three girls had completely different personalities.  Shirley always stepped up when one of her children needed her, being a mother that could be counted on in times of trouble.  Tragedy struck when Shirley’s middle daughter became ill with a rare and fatal form of Parkinson’s disease.   The first time Shirley went to her daughter’s new home, she took a turn onto the bike path, thinking it was the road.  After driving awhile, she struggled to turn the car around and go home, saying she was “not going out there again because the roads were too narrow.”   She never lived down the teasing and laughter about taking the wrong turn.  At this point in her life, Shirley could not help with many physical tasks, but that did not deter her.  She conquered the fear of that “narrow road” plus another fear – winter driving.   She drove almost daily to spend time with her very ill daughter, knowing how lonesome her daughter was.   The death of her daughter deeply devastated Shirley, and she never recovered from that loss.

Shirley is survived by her daughters, Michele Smith (Bill) of Whitewater and Karen Messier of Jefferson (Mark Simdon); her granddaughter, Alaina Smith (Jason Barajas) of Whitewater; her brother, John Reese (Leah) of Watertown; Yvonne Schuett (Larry) of Watertown, and Angie Vick of Watertown.    

She was predeceased by her parents, her daughter, Teresa Messier;  her former husband, Blaine Messier; her brother, Howard Reese  (Doris); and her sisters,  Myrtle Scheel, (Irwin); Marilyn Hertel (William);  Norma Schlesner (Art Schlesner);  Lorraine Pierick (Raymond);  all from the Watertown area.   

Services will be held on July 18, 2024 at the Olsen-Gibson Funeral Home, 221 S. Center Street in Jefferson.  Visitation will begin at the Funeral Home at 10:00 a.m., with the service beginning at 11:00 a.m.  Burial will occur immediately after the service.  Burial will be at Melendy’s Prairie Cemetery, Township of Eagle, Wisconsin.

The family would like to thank those who were able to visit Shirley while she spent her last months in the nursing facility.   It meant so much to her.  They would also like to thank the staff of Rainbow Hospice for their compassionate care of Shirley;  Dr. Roberta Wedl of  SSM Health;  and staff at Bedrock  Health Care Center.  Particular thanks  to Bedrock’s former “Nurse Eric,”  who brought an incredible amount of  joy to Shirley’s last days. 

To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of Shirley Mae Messier hosted by Olsen-Gibson Funeral Home.

Shirley M.  Messier, 86, of Whitewater, Wisconsin, passed away on July 8, 2024.  Shirley was born to Erwin and Leona Reese on May 20, 1938, in Farmington, Wisconsin.  Shirley (“Shirttail”) attended the local country school, then set out on her own, taking a job doing factory work. 

On August 24, 1957, she married Blaine Messier in Jefferson, Wisconsin.  They had three daughters, Michele (Shelly), Terry, and Karen.  Shirley spent many years being a working wife and mother, finally retiring from Polymer Technologies / MacLean Fogg in Whitewater.

Shirley loved country music and spent her retirement years going to George Jones and Daniel O’Donnell concerts along with her concert friend, Edy Oldenberg.    She joined fan clubs so she could go behind the scenes and meet the performers.  She proudly had numerous photographs taken with George and Daniel, and made many duplicates of those photos so she could share copies with relatives and friends.   Shirley had a terrible fear of bodies of water, but conquered her fear so she could attend a concert on a boat in Branson, not knowing there would be a huge storm while she was on the boat.

When Shirley became a Grandma in 1986, she focused most of her attention on her only grandchild.  The two became inseparable, with Shirley making herself available for her granddaughter every possible moment.   Shirley also had a passion for decorated cut-out cookies, and would bake and frost hundreds of them at Christmas time.   She especially loved to give cookies to her adopted family member, Bruce Fletcher, who loved the cookies as much as she did.  Turkey dinners were her favorite, and she would talk about them for days before the holiday dinner.  Family members would report to Shirley when “the turkey was in the oven.”  Shirley bravely fought and won battles with both lung cancer and colon cancer, surviving both without the need for either chemotherapy or radiation treatments.

Shirley loved her three daughters, often saying that even though she raised them all the same, the three girls had completely different personalities.  Shirley always stepped up when one of her children needed her, being a mother that could be counted on in times of trouble.  Tragedy struck when Shirley’s middle daughter became ill with a rare and fatal form of Parkinson’s disease.   The first time Shirley went to her daughter’s new home, she took a turn onto the bike path, thinking it was the road.  After driving awhile, she struggled to turn the car around and go home, saying she was “not going out there again because the roads were too narrow.”   She never lived down the teasing and laughter about taking the wrong turn.  At this point in her life, Shirley could not help with many physical tasks, but that did not deter her.  She conquered the fear of that “narrow road” plus another fear – winter driving.   She drove almost daily to spend time with her very ill daughter, knowing how lonesome her daughter was.   The death of her daughter deeply devastated Shirley, and she never recovered from that loss.

Shirley is survived by her daughters, Michele Smith (Bill) of Whitewater and Karen Messier of Jefferson (Mark Simdon); her granddaughter, Alaina Smith (Jason Barajas) of Whitewater; her brother, John Reese (Leah) of Watertown; Yvonne Schuett (Larry) of Watertown, and Angie Vick of Watertown.    

She was predeceased by her parents, her daughter, Teresa Messier;  her former husband, Blaine Messier; her brother, Howard Reese  (Doris); and her sisters,  Myrtle Scheel, (Irwin); Marilyn Hertel (William);  Norma Schlesner (Art Schlesner);  Lorraine Pierick (Raymond);  all from the Watertown area.   

Services will be held on July 18, 2024 at the Olsen-Gibson Funeral Home, 221 S. Center Street in Jefferson.  Visitation will begin at the Funeral Home at 10:00 a.m., with the service beginning at 11:00 a.m.  Burial will occur immediately after the service.  Burial will be at Melendy’s Prairie Cemetery, Township of Eagle, Wisconsin.

The family would like to thank those who were able to visit Shirley while she spent her last months in the nursing facility.   It meant so much to her.  They would also like to thank the staff of Rainbow Hospice for their compassionate care of Shirley;  Dr. Roberta Wedl of  SSM Health;  and staff at Bedrock  Health Care Center.  Particular thanks  to Bedrock’s former “Nurse Eric,”  who brought an incredible amount of  joy to Shirley’s last days. 

To share a memory or send a condolence gift, please visit the Official Obituary of Shirley Mae Messier hosted by Olsen-Gibson Funeral Home.

Events

Event information can be found on the Official Obituary of Shirley Mae Messier.