Ernie joined his precious daughter, Rebby, in heaven on Aug. 17, 2011. Although he had suffered from Alzheimer's disease, Ernie never lost his love of life, his joy of music, his smile and his own kind of therapy walking.
Ernest Dayle Messerly was born Dec. 6, 1924, in Gooding, Idaho. He was adopted immediately by Ernest and Anna Messerly and taken to Glenns Ferry, Idaho. His love of Glenns Ferry was evident when he returned after receiving his master's degree in political science and economics from BYU with his bride, Lawana Lee (Bonnie), where they raised their six children, Ernest D. Messerly, Bonnye An Lions, Rebby Denise Diehl, Daylaun Lee Egusquiza Wert, Pamyla Alayne Stiehl and Lyrisa Janeen Nieno. Additionally, Ernie was very active in the LDS church, including being a ward clerk, seminary and Sunday school teacher and a high priest counselor. He and his wife performed in multiple melodramas for the ward and the community over the years, where they loved singing and dancing. His lifetime commitment to community was seen in his role as an elected city councilman for six years, followed by mayor of Glenns Ferry for 32 years. Additionally, he was honored in 1973 by the Idaho Statesmen as the "Portrait of a Distinguished Citizen."
Dad was barely 17 when Pearl Harbor happened. He joined the Army Air Force where he was a tail gunner aboard a B-24 ("Bird of Paradise") airplane during World War II, serving in the Pacific Fleet. He received the Pacific Theatre Medal with three clusters and the Air Medal with six clusters and twice was nominated for the U.S. Air Force Citation of Honor. He retired as a captain in the Army Reserve. His career included working as a civilian traffic management officer at Mountain Home Air Base for 41 years.
After retirement, he continued to volunteer in the schools, as he so loved the children.
Sports of any kind was a joy for dad. Whether his children were playing or not, you could see him and his gang cheering the teams of any sports, including cheering on BYU football on a very "staticy/poor" radio reception in Glenns Ferry When he moved to Salt Lake City due to his illness, the Glenns Ferry School District honored him and continues to do so with a traveling football trophy.
Ernie is survived by his wonderful wife of 64 years, Bonnie, five of his six children, 23 grandchildren, and 21 great grandchildren. The Messerly family is very grateful for the wonderful, kind and loving care Ernie received at the Veteran's Nursing Home for almost nine years.
Dad has left a legacy of commitment to community, commitment to country, commitment to family and commitment to principles. We will strive to honor him daily.
A memorial will be held at the Glenns Ferry LDS Ward on Saturday, Oct. 22, at 2 p.m.
Online condolences: www.jenkins-soffe.com