Cover photo for Margaret Messer's Obituary
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1944 Margaret 2024

Margaret Messer

March 25, 1944 — March 26, 2024

Wartburg

Margaret Jones Messer — loving daughter, wife, mother and grandmother and a fierce champion for the rights of all she served during her work as a teacher, social worker, and child welfare advocate — died March 26, 2024, at her home in Wartburg, Tenn. She was 80.

Margaret was born March 25, 1944, at her family’s home in Wartburg. A proud daughter of Tennessee, she loved the surrounding mountains as much as her family and friends who made it such an amazing place throughout her life. As her health failed, she noticed the spring trees and flowers, as well as the singing birds, and remarked, “What a beautiful world!”

Margaret was a graduate of Central High School in Wartburg and excelled at whatever she tried. She was president of the senior class of 1962 and was a member of the championship Lady Bulldogs basketball teams of 1960-62.

She earned her bachelor’s degree in social work from East Tennessee State University where she met her husband Bill. She recorded their first months of dating on a small desk calendar that she saved in her box of keepsakes.

Margaret never missed a call to save a child or person in need. She served as a pre-kindergarten and second-grade teacher and a social worker, but her favorite call was to place babies with families while ensuring the health and safety of their birth mothers, as well as finding loving foster homes for children in need. 


At home, Margaret was an exceptional cook for her family and church potluck dinners. She sang high soprano in choir and could recall song lyrics with just a phrase or few notes. Her favorite enjoyments were singing, joyful flowers, and sharing stories with her friends and family.


Margaret was predeceased by her parents Lenna Hamby Jones and Fred Otto Jones; sisters Ruth Jones, Rachelle Jacob, Ruby Hembree, Lorraine Humble, Gladys Sims, Freddie Jones and Ann McCurdy, and brothers Ray Jones, Roy Jones, Robert Jones and Sam Jones. Also, in 2010 she lost her daughter, Della Marie Messer, a gift from God. 


Margaret is survived by the love of her life and husband of 59 years William Judson Messer, her son Andrew Messer (Abbie) of Tallahassee, Fla.; daughter Marie Masferrer (Marc) of Bradenton, Fla.; grandsons Jud Messer (Abby), of Crawford, Fla., and Sam Messer (Eilish), of Canton, N.C.; brother Jim Jones of Wartburg; three great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, of whom she could name all their birthdays at any time. Margaret was especially proud of her niece, retired U.S. Air Force Col. Deborah Jones, PhD, who cared for her lovingly in her final months.


The family will have a funeral service at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Wartburg at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, March 30, 2024 with Pastor David Graves officiating.  Interment will follow in the Nelson Cemetery in Wartburg. 

The family designated Lester Heidel, Jim Jones, Robert Jones, James. A. Messer, Bob Nerger and Paul Strunk as pallbearers.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Down Syndrome Awareness Group of East Tennessee; Knoxville Second Harvest; or your favorite children’s charity.


Schubert Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Margaret Messer.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Margaret Messer, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Starts at 1:30 pm (Eastern time)

St. Paul Lutheran Church

222 S Church St, Wartburg, TN 37887

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Interment

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Starts at 2:30 pm (Eastern time)

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