A funeral Mass for Betty Messer, 88, of Richardton, will be 9:30 a.m., Monday, November 26, 2018 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Richardton with Father Thomas Wordekemper, OSB celebrating. Burial will follow in St. Mary’s Cemetery.
Visitation for Betty will be from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 25, 2018 at Stevenson Funeral Home, 2067 1st Street West, Dickinson, with a rosary and vigil service taking place at 4:00 p.m.
Betty passed away Wednesday, November 21, 2018 at Sanford Health, Bismarck surrounded by her husband and all of her children.
Betty was born July 18, 1930 in Stark County, ND, the daughter of Albert and Rose (Herauf) Schmalenberger. She grew up on the family farm north of Hebron and attended school in Hebron; graduating from Hebron High School. After graduation, Betty began working as a bookkeeper for Hebron Co-op Elevator. It was during this time that she met Phillip Messer while he was unloading wheat. The two were united in marriage on May 22, 1951 at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Richardton. Together, Betty and Phillip made their home on a ranch south of Richardton along the Beaver Creek. It was here that she raised their eleven children and called this her home for the rest of her life.
Betty was a true ranch wife. She worked tirelessly on the ranch in her early years and more recently would run wherever she was needed. Family was of the utmost importance to Betty and cherished time spent with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She enjoyed making blankets and each grandchild and great grandchild was the lucky recipient of one of her creations. One could see the pure joy she received tending to her flowers and working in her garden. Betty took great pride in dressing up for each occasion she attended; especially weddings of her grandchildren. She will be remembered as an honest, hardworking caretaker with a big sweet tooth and an abundant supply of Schwan’s food.
Betty was a very selfless person and found ways to give of herself to her family and community. Betty was a member of the Cowbells Association and a life member of the North Dakota Cattle Women, North Dakota Stockman’s Association, St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Richardton and Catholic Daughters.
Betty is survived by her husband Phillip; children, Barb Ruhland of Watkins, MN, Pat (Lyndia) Messer of Cromwell, MN, Randi Messer Schaeffer of Bismarck, ND, Mark (Carol) Messer of Richardton, Jerome “Jerry” (Deb) Messer of Richardton, Fritz (Karen) Messer of Cheyenne, WY, Vickie (Wade) Entze of Golden Valley, ND, Margie (Aron) May of Glenwood, MN, Greg (Dori) Messer of Richardton, Tina Akins of Cheyenne, WY, and Scott (Lisa Scott) Messer of Richardton; siblings, Robert (Gloria) Schmalenberger of Hebron, Jacob (Alice) Schmalenberger of Hebron, Allan (Georgianne) Schmalenberger of Dickinson, Joyce (Harold) Schatz of Hawaii, Gladys (Florian) Woronicski of Hebron, and Verda Huepel of Mandan; 43 grandchildren and 75 great-grandchildren, with several on the way.
Betty was preceded in death by her parents, Albert and Rose Schmalenberger; sons-in-law, Larry Ruhland and Christopher Schaeffer; grandson, Jason Ruhland; great grandson, Gabriel Olson; grandson-in-law, Todd Lundquist; and sister, Mildred Underdahl.
Betty’s family suggests memorials to St. Mary’s Catholic Church, Richardton.