Tanner Anthony Messina
Alexandria - A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated for Tanner Anthony Messina at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, April 14, 2021, at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Catholic Church, with Rev. Dan O'Connor officiating and Rev. John Brocato concelebrating. Interment will follow at Alexandria Memorial Gardens, under the direction of John Kramer and Son Funeral Home.
Visitation will be held at the funeral home on Tuesday, April 13, 2021, from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m., with a recitation of the Holy Rosary at 6:00 p.m. in the Kramer Chapel. Visitation will resume on Wednesday, April 14, 2021, from 9:30 a.m. until time of service at Our Lady of Prompt Succor Catholic Church.
Tanner Anthony Messina, 91 of Alexandria, passed away on Thursday, April 8, 2021 in his residence.
He is preceded in death by his loving wife of 61 years, Doris Verzwyvelt Messina, daughters, Carol Kitchen Levesque and Virginia Messina Gibson; his parents, Joseph and Mary Sirchia Messina, six brothers and two sisters.
Tanner was born August 31, 1929, in Cheneyville.
Tanner enlisted in the U.S. Navy October 5, 1945, and proudly served his country until March 1, 1952. During that time, he was assigned to the USS Rockbridge, the USS John R. Craig, and the USS Fred T. Berry. He was awarded the Asiatic-Pacific Medal, the American Area Medal, the Good Conduct Medal, the China Service Medal, the Navy Occupation Medal and was bestowed the World War II Victory Medal.
Upon returning home, Tanner was hired by the Alexandria fire department, where he served the citizens for 21 years, retiring in 1973 as chauffeur. In 1959, he started Messina real estate as a broker and maintained his business for over 56 years, finishing his career as an appraiser for the Rapides Parish Sheriff's Department.
As a member of Our Lady of Prompt Succor Catholic Church, Tanner was happy to be an usher when not on duty at the fire department and was a lifelong member of the Knights of Columbus Council #3200, where he earned his 4th degree.
Tanner coached little league baseball for numerous years at Red Hall Field, winning several local and state championships.
Tanner was a charter member of the Amerita club where he was happy to serve as president in 1981, 1986,1987, as well as, 1990 and 1991. St. Joseph altars were annually prepared and enjoyed by all and members raised and donated numerous funds to the Boy Scouts of central Louisiana. He was truly saddened when the club dissolved and missed the fellowship and time spent with his Italian friends.
As a member of the Amicus Club of Alexandria, Tanner was thrilled to take part in the Amicus club rodeo, bringing in incredible actors and entertainers to highlight the event and awarding all the proceeds to St. Mary's Training Center for children with developmental disabilities in Louisiana.
Tanner worked diligently as a lobbyist at the state capitol to ensure the retirement benefits of the Firefighters Association of Louisiana. He cherished his time in the lieutenant governor's office, working alongside Jimmy Fitzmorris until his end of term in 1980, and on his gubernatorial campaign.
Those left behind to keep his memory and love alive include son, Charles F. Kitchen and wife, Patricia, of Bulverde, TX, son-in-law, George Levesque, of Bossier City, son, Terry M. Kitchen and wife, Shyrel, of Alexandria, Mary Messina Rosenbloom, of Baton Rouge, Tricia Messina Laurent and husband, Darryl of Bossier city, Tanner A. Messina, Jr. (TA) and wife Gwen, of Alexandria, and Bobby J. Messina of San Antonio, Tx: 40 grandchildren, 39 great grandchildren and 2 great-great grandchildren. He is also survived by two sisters, Mary Rose Messina Manichia and Virginia Messina Gaspard, along with numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Pallbearers honored to serve will be Tanner Jay Kitchen, Michael Levesque, Joey Levesque, Kevin Kitchen, Joshua Godwin, Stephen Laurent, Tony Messina and Charlie Messina.
Tanners' proudest accomplishment was joining the U.S. Navy at 16, where he served with his 6 brothers. He beamed with pride as he loved to boast, "I turned 17 in Shanghai, China!" When asked why he falsified his age to join the Navy, he replied, "I would do anything to get out of the cotton field!"
You will never meet anyone as proud to be an American as daddy! He never met a stranger, never forgot a face and always had a joke to tell or verse to quote. He loved hunting, fishing, and gambling! He was devoted to his family and extremely proud of us all. He will be sadly missed by our entire community.
To extend online notes of condolence to the Messina Family, please visit www.KramerFunerals.com