Lt. Col. Spurgeon A. Messner US Army Ret.

Lt. Col. Spurgeon A. Messner, US Army Ret. Lt. Colonel Spurgeon Arthur Messner, U.S. Army (Retired) (Sam) died peacefully 39 days shy of his 100th birthday on February 19, 2014 at Chambersburg Hospital. Born March 29, 1914, in McClure, PA he was the son of the late Charles and Grace Bixler Messner. Sam graduated from high school in Carlisle, and went on to earn is B.A. from Gettysburg College in 1939. He met his wife of 59 years, while sitting alphabetically in the chapel at Gettysburg College. He married Mary Elizabeth "Cissie" in 1942. He continued his education at the Lutheran Seminary in Gettysburg for two years until "Uncle Sam" called him to service. He entered the Army as a 2nd Lt., serving in North Africa and Italy with the 1st Armored Division as a Scout Platoon Leader. After a near death experience at Anzio Beach, Sam and the 1st Armored Division played a key part in the Battle on Monte Casino. His other experiences during WWII including capturing a German Liquor Warehouse on Lake Como and bivouacking his unit near the Ponte II Veccicho in Florence. After the war, Sam went to law school and earned a JD Degree from the University of Arkansas in 1949. Then came the Korean Conflict and this time Sam went to war as a Truck Battalion Commander. Later in Vietnam he deployed with the 101st Airborne Division and served as the II Corps S-4, where he spent over 150 hours in the air, winning the Air Medal with two oak leaf clusters. During peace time, Sam was stationed all over the globe including a stint as a Caribbean Command Transportation Officer in Panama and U.S. Army Alaska Command S-4 in Anchorage. He finally retired from the Army in 1969, moved to Chambersburg and went to work at the Knause Food Plant as Logistics Manager for 10 years. When Sam finally retired, in 1979, he was able to indulge in his love of golf, playing almost every day for many years. He was preceded in death by his wife Cissie in 2001 and is survived by two sons, John (wife Kathy) of Denver, CO, and William (wife Jane) of St. Louis, MO; a daughter, Marilyn Huntzberry of Chambersburg with whom he resided until his death; 7 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren. Sam was a beloved father and grandfather known as "The Colonel." He will be greatly missed by many. A memorial service will be held on his honor on 11:00 am, Saturday, March 1, 2014 at Trinity Lutheran Church, 38 N High St, Arendtsville, PA 17303. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Wounded Warrior Project at or "Elder Day" at Menno Haven 1427 Philadelphia Ave, Chambersburg, PA 17201. Arrangements by Auer Cremation Services of PA, Inc.

Funeral Home

Zimmerman-Auer Funeral Home, Inc..
4100 Jonestown Rd. Harrisburg, PA 17109
(800) 720-8221

Published in Public Opinion on Feb. 23, 2014