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MILES MESSENGER Jr.


1938 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
MILES MESSENGER Jr. Obituary
MESSENGER, MILES “RIFF” WALTER JR Miles “Riff” Walter Messenger, Jr., 76, of North Canton, husband of the late Valerie Jean (Koch) Messenger, lost his courageous fight with cancer on Monday, September 22, 2014, at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Dana Farber Cancer Center in Boston, MA. He was born May 28, 1938, in Hartford, son of the late Miles Walter Messenger, Sr. and Josephine (Wright) Messenger. Miles was a graduate of Canton High School in 1956, received his Associates Degree in Civil Engineering from Ct. State Technical College and served as Sargent in the Signal Corps, U.S. Army National Guard from 1956-1962. Miles married in 1959 and shared his life with his beautiful wife, Val for over 53 years; they raised two beautiful daughters, Lori and Sharon, next door to Grandpa and Grandma Messenger’s Farm in his hometown of North Canton. Miles was a surveyor and bridge inspector for the State of Connecticut. He later retired after 30 years service with the Metropolitan District Commission, Lake McDonough (Barkhamsted Reservoir). While at the MDC, he was the Manager of Water Supply with oversight of hydroelectric generation, natural resources and recreational programs. He was an active member of the Connecticut Water Works Association. Miles loved the outdoors, and, from the time he was a young boy, he never missed an opportunity to grab his fishing pole in search of brook trout on the family farm. He and his wife Val visited nearly every National Park in the U.S. Family camping and hiking trips were a regular event, including hiking over 250 miles of the Appalachian Trail in Maine with his daughter, Lori. Miles was deeply interested in his family’s history and genealogy, particularly his family’s participation in the Civil War, about which he researched and presented public lectures. He also had a passion for all things motor racing – especially cars, motorcycles and snowmobiles. Miles traveled all over the country for Formula 1, Flat Track, Moto GP and Superbike races. He was a corner worker/flag man at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, CT, a pit steward for USAC DMA midgets at Bear Ridge Speedway in Bradford, VT, and assisted the Ray Miller sprint car racing team. He was a member of the Blizzard Lizards Snowmobile Club and raced snowmobiles for the Miller and Viets Racing team. He also raced motorcycles in enduro and field trials while a member of the Foot Hills Trail Riders Association. Miles and Val were avid golfers and were members of the Shaker Farms Country Club. Miles and his wife Val were generous sponsors of many causes. He worked ardently as a volunteer for Water for People, delivering presentations at schools, staffing and sponsoring the annual ‘Water for People Golf Tournament’ at Tunxis Plantation in Farmington for many years and traveled to a remote village in Honduras with the group to assist with the construction of a well to supply safe drinking water. He received the Kenneth Miller Founders Award for his commitment. He was a member of the Union of Concerned Scientists, Physicians for Social Responsibility, the Nature Conservancy and the Appalachian Mountain Club. Miles and Val sponsored Native American children for over 35 years through the Christian Children’s Fund and the Blackfeet Indian Tribe. Miles will be dearly missed by his daughters, Lori Ann Messenger and her husband Randal William Cole of Hull, MA and Sharon Lee Messenger and her husband Jimmy Adair McGuire of Berkeley, CA; his siblings, Naomi Moulton, Lois Messenger Wright, Merlin Messenger, and Frederick Messenger, and several nieces and nephews. In addition to his wife Val, he was predeceased by his brother, Beverly Messenger, and his beloved dog, Mikata – all dogs just loved him! Miles, always warm-hearted and outgoing, developed friendships wherever he went and was famous for running into people he knew no matter how far off the beaten path. He will be deeply missed by his many dear friends from Connecticut, from the Riverside R.V. Park in Arcadia, Florida, and from all around the country. There will be no calling hours. A private burial will take place at the North Canton Cemetery. A memorial service and celebration of his wonderful life will take place at the Vincent Funeral Home, 880 Hopmeadow Street in Simsbury, CT, on Friday, October 24th, at 11:30 AM with a reception to follow at the Maple Tree Café. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Water for People, 100 E. Tennessee Avenue, Denver CO 80209 or at http://www.waterforpeople.org. Please visit www.vincentfuneralhome.com for online condolences.
Published in registercitizen on Oct. 5, 2014
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