The Rev. Dr. John F. Messerschmitt, 77, of Pittsfield, died on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at Albany Medical Center after a stroke. He was born in New York City March 8, 1940, the son of Harold and Agnes (Inman) Messerschmitt. John graduated from CCNY in 1960 with a BS in Biology and from Union Theological Seminary in NYC in 1966 with a Bachelor of Divinity.
After graduation John worked as the campus minister at Brockport State College in NY, and then as the campus minister at Brooklyn College, while he continued studies at the Institutes of Religion and Health in NYC. In 1975 John moved to Pittsfield to start and co-direct the Counseling Center in the Berkshires. His desire to help people led him to Andover Newton Seminary where he earned a Doctorate of Divinity, enabling him to become a licensed psychologist in Massachusetts.
John was particularly dedicated to the issues of peace and justice and constantly strove to help improve the lives of others. He was actively involved with many organizations, including Bridges for Peace, Berkshire Citizens for Peace and Justice, the Berkshire Environmental Action Team, Mass Audubon Society, and most recently, Literacy Volunteers. John received the Distinguished Service Award from the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, Northeast Region; additionally, he was a member and supervisor in the American Association of Marriage and Family Counselors. He was an active member of First Church, Congregational, where he served on its Mission Committee and Church Council, and taught adult classes. He loved hiking (including with his friends the Monday Mountain Boys), camping, traveling, reading, poetry, painting, seeing the heavens with his telescope, and photography.
John is survived by his wife, the former Carol Lynne MacDonald, whom he married September 2, 1961; his daughters, Kristin Kinsky (Greg) and Karen Lavery (Christopher); his grandchildren, Ryan and Chase Kinsky, and Trea and Aislinn Lavery; and his brother, Peter Messerschmitt (Diane). He was predeceased by his parents, his brother, Paul, and his sister, Betty.
Funeral Notice: Funeral services for Rev. Dr. John F. Messerschmitt will be Saturday, December 16, 2017, at 11 a.m. at First Church, Congregational, 27 East St., Pittsfield, celebrated by the Rev. Dr. James Lumsden. Calling hours at the Dwyer Funeral Home will be on Friday, December 15, 2017 from 4 p.m. until 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First Church Congregational in Pittsfield, Hancock Shaker Village, Mass Audubon, or a charity of your choice
, care of the Dwyer Funeral Home, in his memory.
Please visit www.dwyerfuneral.com
to leave condolences and remembrances.
Published by The Berkshire Eagle on Dec. 12, 2017.