Paul Messer, 89, who sold specialties lumber for 46 years, died Nov. 22, 2012.
He was born in Bridger on Aug. 22, 1923, three months after his parents, Phillip and Elizabeth (Zentner) Messer, along with his two brothers and three sisters, moved by covered wagon from their homestead 20 miles north of Vananda.
He entered the Army in 1944. He was in the medical field and was a Military Police corporal with the 239th General Hospital in St. Quentin, France. After his honorable discharge he returned to Bridger and went back to work for Fehner Saw Mills, where he had worked before the war while attending high school.
In 1947 he married Igerna Siemsen at St. Patrick’s Rectory in Billings. He attended Billings Business College for two years, then worked for Northern Lumber. He and two friends eventually bought the company, naming it Creative Material Supply, a wholesale specialties lumber company.
Mr. Messer traveled as the company’s salesman for 46 years throughout Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming. He was rewarded with the Silver Log and Salesman of the Year.
The family had a cabin on Rock Creek seven miles south of Red Lodge. On Sept. 23-24, 2012, he had traveled to Washington, D.C., on the Big Sky Honor Flight for World War II veterans.
He was a charter member of St Pius X Catholic Church.
Survivors include his wife; a daughter, Karen, and son, Stanley, both of Billings; five grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; and a sister, Lucille Daugherty.
Visitation was Nov. 26 at Dahl Funeral Chapel. Funeral Mass was Nov. 27 at St. Pius X Catholic Church.