Neal Clifford Messner, 86, told us he was on a train; the conductor was Jesus and the destination was heaven. The train arrived in station January 28, 2021. He was greeted by Jesus and a throng of loved ones.
Neal, also known as Pop Pop, was born on May 30, 1934 to Eber and Ruth , (Steese). He had a twin Nina and six additional siblings: Lowell, Lyle, Maxine, Allen, Keith and Ruth. He married Eleanor (Uber) who was also waiting for him. He leaves three children: Joan, Joseph, and Jeff (Lisa). His five grandchildren were his pride and joy: Timothy (Becca), Christopher, Jorden, Taylor and Jacob. He also leaves a host of extended family, Messners, Steeses and Ubers, with whom he shared a close relationship. He had picked out odd nicknames for many of these people he loved.
Pop Pop made his grandchildren's lives a priority even if it meant traveling out of state. His enthusiasm with their activities always extended to their friends as well and he knew all their friends by name. He took his role as greeter at Grace Church very serious and knew names and facts about many of the people who passed through the doors. This then extended to Ridgewood Hospice Center; in the last month of his life he adopted the staff and Dr. Molly as his new favorites. He made them his family and we appreciate their excellent care.
He was a Private First Class in the US Army, stationed in Bamberg Germany and a machinist at Goodyear Tire and Rubber. His passions were his faith, his family, Grace church, hiking and traveling. As his ability to ambulate decreased, he spent time reading and doing puzzles. He also became a faithful prayer warrior for Crossings, a faith based organization for connecting cultures.
Friends may call at Grace Church-Norton, 3970 S. Cleveland-Massillon Rd., Norton, OH 44203 on Monday, February 1, 2021 from 6 to 8 p.m., where services will be held on Tuesday, February 2, 2021, at 10 a.m., Pastor Bob Combs officiating. Interment at Copley Cemetery .
For the safety of the family and other guests, masks must be worn and social distancing practiced. The family is looking forward to greeting you and hearing how Pop Pop impacted your life.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to God's Bible School (Cincinnati OH) or Crossings Akron (Connecting Cultures, Creating Community) in memory of Neal Messner.
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