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George F. Messer, WWII vet served under Patton ; June 10, 1922 -- Jan. 4, 2011

George F. Messer of the Town of Tonawanda, an Army veteran of World War II who served under Gen. George S. Patton, died Tuesday in Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Buffalo. He was 88.

Born in Buffalo, Mr. Messer served as a member of the 66th Armored Infantry Battalion of the 12th Armored Division, the "Hellcats." He was awarded a Bronze Star for exemplary conduct in ground combat in the European Theater while serving under Patton.

Mr. Messer and his father, the late George H., were founding members of Francis J. Donovan Post 1626, American Legion, in Cheektowaga. Mr. Messer, who had served as chaplain and an election committeeman, remained active at the post until his death.

He had worked as a machinist at Westinghouse Electric Co. for about 30 years, retiring in 1984. While there, he served as a representative of Local 1581, International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

In retirement, Mr. Messer became active in the 12th Armored Division Association, participating in the National Living History Archive Project.

His wife of 61 years, Lois Ziegler Messer, died in 2009.

Survivors include eight daughters, Suzan McLaughlin, April Schmidt, Pamela Davison, Mary Kay Rice, Carol Knapp, Diane Hooton, Betty Ann Daigler and Joanne.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10 a.m. Friday in St. Joseph University Catholic Church, 3269 Main St.


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