Cecelia Ann (Lutgen) Messer

June 13, 1926


December 5, 2020

Cecelia Ann (Lutgen) Messer

June 13, 1926


December 5, 2020

Cecelia Ann (Lutgen) Messer passed peacefully from this world on Dec. 5, 2020, shepherded by her Savior to her new home in heaven.

She was born to Theodore and Mary Lutgen on June 13, 1926, in Wheat Basin, Montana. She attended rural elementary school and the family later moved to Billings, where she attended and graduated from Billings Senior High School. She then attended nursing school at Carroll College in Helena, graduating in 1946. She married John A. Messer on Jan. 19, 1949, in Billings. Cecelia set aside nursing for a while to raise their family of six children, but she resumed her career as a registered nurse at St. Vincent’s Hospital for 25 years, retiring in 1988. She loved life, her husband, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She was a devoted member of St. Thomas Catholic Church and the Parish Council of Catholic Women. She was also a member and past president of the Women of the Moose and served with the Riverside Neighbors Extension Club. For over 10 years, she volunteered for the School District #2 Host Program in Billings, which assists and tutors elementary school children with their reading. She studied the Word of God at Bible Study Fellowship and enjoyed the study, fellowship, and friendships she made there.

For 63 years, Cecelia faithfully loved and worked alongside her husband, John Messer. She had a lively and ready sense of humor, was a great cook, and always enjoyed family gatherings — hosting many get-togethers over the years for family and friends. A birthday didn’t pass in the family for any child, their spouse, grandchildren or great-grandchildren over the years without her noting it with a card and gift. In her leisure time (though there wasn’t much of it in those early years), she enjoyed raising her flowers and tending to her plants, loved music and craft making. She was a very dedicated and compassionate registered nurse and a hard worker in every realm of her life. She steadfastly managed her busy life raising six children, working full-time, canning the produce from their huge gardens, and helping as a volunteer for so many organizations. She set an example to her children and grandchildren by faithfully observing the Lord’s Day, honoring her Savior, and serving her church. She was a wonderful dancer, perfectly in step with John; she is now once again dancing with him. Hers was a full and well-lived life, and she was ready when her Lord called her home after more than 94 years.

Preceding her in death were her parents, Ted and Mary (Theisen) Lutgen; sister and best friend, Agnes Dierenfield; brothers Ernest Lutgen, Leonard Lutgen and Frank Lutgen; son Gary S. Messer; grandson Kirk Thornburg; and great-granddaughter Paisley Croghan. She is survived by daughters Gloria (Doug) Iams, Sharon Thornburg, Donna (Gene) Holden, Cynthia (Don) Epperson; son Gregory Messer; and daughter-in-law Sharon Lynn Messer (widow of son Gary S. Messer); grandchildren Michael (Maria) Iams, Emily (Dax) Simek, Sarah Iams, Misty Thornburg, Hannah (Adam) Porcella, Benjamin (Olivia) Holden, Rebekah (Jeremy) Carlson, Jonathan Messer, Jason Messer, Stephanie Messer, Chelsey Messer, Joseph (Tenley) Epperson, Anna (Paul) Croghan, Luke Epperson; and 20 great-grandchildren.

Cecelia Ann was loved by so many; her smile brightened the room and she will be sorely missed.

The family wishes to thank the staff at St. Johns United for their kind and compassionate care of Mom.

Graveside services will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 12, at St. Anthony’s Cemetery, Laurel.

Memorials in her honor may be sent to St. Vincent’s Healthcare Foundation.

Condolences may be made at www.michelottisawyers.com.

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10 thoughts on “Cecelia Ann (Lutgen) Messer”

  1. Cecilia was always kind ,always had a smile .I remember great picnic with the all Messer family .She sure could dance those polka. All the Messer did.She was so sweet and had heart for the Lord.she will be missed. Ken Dierenfield

  2. Ronald Dierenfield

    Im so dissappointed that I cannot be there for the graveside memorial service. She was my Godmother and always treated me with kindness except when Gary and I got into trouble. I could write for hours about my memories of her. So many picnics, dinners, dancing. She was such a good friend of Agnes and they enjoyed spending time together. She was the last of all my Aunts and Uncles. Sad day but so happy she is with Jesus now maybe showing a few dance moves.
    Love Ron Dierenfield

  3. Duane Dierenfield

    It was a sad day of her passing but Heaven rejoiced in welcoming Aunt Cecilia. Im happy she gets to see my mother, her sister, in Heaven. They were best friends and very close and enjoyed each others company. Sooo many memories from having to dance with her at the Echo Inn when my parents “forced” me on the floor to dance with her, to picnics, home visits, reunions and ALWAYS FAITHFULLY sent me a Christmas Card. What an amazing woman who never was selfish and gave to family, friends and volunteering. Unfortunately I can’t make it to graveside service but I will make a donation on her behalf to the foundation.
    Love Duane Dierenfield

  4. I remember Aunt Cecilia as such a kind and gentle person. This was easily apparent in her nursing career. Dad (Francis Lutgen) cherished her and her visits in his last years. She surely is in Heaven with all of her family that awaited her there.

  5. I never got to meet your mother, Gloria, but she must have been a wonderful person because she certainly raised a wonderful daughter. So sorry for your loss. Miss seeing you. Much love, Jane Loucks

  6. I am sorry of the passing of my first cousin Cecilia Ann, who I believe was named after my Mother, I remember when we were young I was always proud to show her or her picture to friends because she was so pretty, I can’t believe how much she looks like her mother in her later years, I will not be able to attend hers services, God Bless……….Albert Visser

  7. I am sorry to hear of the passing of Cecelia. It was always such a joy for the Theisen’s of Bozeman to head to Billings to the Messer home. There was always plenty of food, fun, and laughter. Cecelia and John always welcomed us with open arms. Even though the years have passed and we have gone many directions we still talk about our trips to the Messer house. May God bless all of you and surround you with love in the coming days. I am sorry l won’t be able to make it to the celebration of Cecelia but you will all be in my thoughts and prayers. Sharon, l will catch up with you after things quiet down a bit.
    Love to all.
    Mary Theisen Fisher

  8. Kathy Jo Berscheid

    I met “Mrs. Messer” in 1982 when I was a newly hired LPN at St. Vincent Hospital. She was an excellent mentor to many of us just starting our nursing careers and was well known for her loving care of patients. Cecilia had a great sense of humor and a sweet smile that I am sure will be missed greatly by her family! So very sorry for your loss…Sleep sweet Mrs. Messer

  9. Dear Cindy and the Messer Family,

    I am heartbroken to hear of your mother’s passing. I will forever remember her kind, sweet smile, and the welcoming feeling it gave me. It is never easy to say goodbye to a parent as my father passed away just two days before your mother did.

    I hope, after this great moment of grief, Cindy, that we can meet up with each other soon!

    One of my favorite poems.
    “Unable are the loved to die, for love is immortality.”
    — Emily Dickinson

    Joni and Jim,
    Casey, Jamie and Haley Rains

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