Leland “Lee” Franklin Messer
Leland “Lee” Franklin Messer passed away peacefully on June 9, 2021 at the age of 70 after a valiant battle with cancer, with loved ones at his side. He was a wonderful father, husband, brother, grandpa, great-grandpa, and friend. A Liturgy of Word Service will be at 10 a.m. MDT., Wednesday, June 16, 2021 at Ladbury Funeral Service, Dickinson with Deacon Robert Bohn presiding. Inurnment will follow at 2 pm CDT at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, Mandan. Military Honors will be provided by the Bismarck Community Honor Guard. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service on Wednesday.
Lee was born on Dec. 26, 1950 in Richardton to Frank and Theresa Messer and was raised on the family farm. He graduated from Richardton High School and entered the US Army, serving in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne Division. After being honorably discharged in 1972, he attended the State School of Science in Wahpeton.
He married Maureen Rothmann on August 25th, 1973 and became the proud father of Jenifer and David. They lived in Bismarck for a short time before moving to Richardton where Lee returned to his family farm. In 1984, they moved to Dickinson. He worked as a master electrician for Berger Electric before joining Southwest Water Authority, where he spent the remainder of his career before retiring as the Water Distribution Manager in 2015. He put his all into everything he did, and took great pride in his work, but was very humble and refrained from taking credit for his achievements.
In his free time and retirement, Lee enjoyed the outdoors to the fullest. He meticulously cared for his yard and garden, and enjoyed hiking, hunting, fishing. He also took great pleasure in spending a quiet day at the farm, walking through the pastures and draws. He was a skilled handyman, who always had a project or remodel to work on, and he never turned down an offer to help someone else. Above all else, it brought him great joy to spend time with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Lee passed away on what would’ve been his dad’s birthday. We rejoice that Lee was able to join him in celebration.
Lee is survived by Maureen, his wife of 47 years; daughter, Jen (Andrew) Werder; son, David; grandchildren, Michael and Justin Moore, and Jenica “Grace”, Laeken, and Waverly Werder; great-grandchildren, Greyson Werder and Jackson Moore; sisters, Elaine (Dwight) Schank and Margaret Messer; sisters-in-law Rosalind (Leif) Ravnaas, and Glenda Scholl; numerous aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, and many dear friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Theresa; parents-in-law, Gordon and Gladys Rothmann; and brother-in-law, Steven Scholl.
Arrangements are with Ladbury Funeral Service, Dickinson, www.ladburyfuneralservice.com.