Valerie "Val" (Koch) Messenger (1939 - 2012)

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CANTON/NORTH CANTON - Valerie "Val" (Koch) Messenger, 72, of North Canton, loving wife of Miles Messenger Jr., lost her courageous fight with cancer on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center in Boston, Mass. Val was born on Nov. 16, 1939 in Hartford, daughter of the late Arthur and Barbara (Comp) Koch.
She graduated from Bloomfield High School in 1957. Following her marriage to Miles in 1959, she moved to North Canton where they shared their lives for over 53 years and raised two beautiful daughters, Lori and Sharon, next door to Grandpa and Gramma Messenger's farm. Val was employed as a Technical Analyst by Cigna Insurance Corporation for 25 years, during which time she won the Employee Suggestion Plan Award, which resulted in implementation of new procedures that significantly improved performance within the company and was the largest awarded up to that time. Val loved the outdoors; family camping trips were a regular event, and later she and Miles visited nearly every major National Park in the US. She was an avid golfer and a former member of Shaker Farms in Westfield, Mass., and the Riverside R.V. Ladies Golf Club in Punta Gorda, Florida. She was a member of the Blizzard Lizards Snowmobile Club and loved snowmobiling, especially their trip to Yellowstone National Park. She and her husband were generous sponsors of many causes. Val could be found from year to year working at the annual Water for People Golf Tournament at Tunxis Plantation in Farmington, and she and Miles also sponsored Native American children for over 35 years through the Christian Children's Fund and the Blackfeet Indian Tribe. As a 62-year survivor of Ewing's Sarcoma, Val volunteered for the in Canton fundraisers and participated in events.
In addition to her husband Miles, Val will be dearly missed by her children, Lori Messenger and her husband Randal Cole of Hull, Mass., and Sharon Messenger and her husband Jim McGuire of Berkeley, Calif., as well as by her many aunts and uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. She will also be deeply missed by her many life-long friends from Connecticut and the friends from throughout the country that she made during winters in Florida as the "hostess" of the "Nightly Happy Hour" at Riverside R.V. Park.
There will be no calling hours. A private burial will take place at the North Canton cemetery. A memorial service and celebration of her beautiful life will take place at the Vincent Funeral Home, 880 Hopmeadow Street in Simsbury on Friday, June 1 at 11 a.m., with a reception to follow at Maple Tree Café. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Water for People http://www.waterforpeople.org/ or http://www.challenge21.com/ or the - http://www.relayforlife.org/. Please visit www.vincentfuneralhome.com for online condolences.
Published in The Register Citizen on May 16, 2012
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